Culture of BadrinathBadrinath is essentially influenced by the rich and vivacious culture of the Garhwal region in Uttarakhand. The culture of Badrinath, essentially, depicts the traditional customs and the exclusive lifestyle followed by the inhabitants of the area. The people here are far from urbanization and they live in small houses made in the mountains. Their way of life is much dependent on their environment and the facilities available in the region.
The people of Badrinath are known to have their own distinctive culture which moves around their way of life. Their attractive culture is majorly focused on religious sentiments, mythological values, folk dances, folk songs, rituals, customs and their varied fair and festivals.
While briefing on the culture of the people of Badrinath, it is important to share some ways of life followed by them. Since they are based in mountain region and they suffer huge extremes of weather especially during the winter season, they follow a specific housing pattern in the area. The houses are devoid of any specific planning or any distinctive style, they mainly focus on having the houses near to the water resources like lakes or ponds in the area. The houses are usually made of stone with courtyards in the front and iron sheets are preferred for the roof. There are separate sheds for those who have the cattle.
Just like their houses are unique, the people of Badrinath follow a specific style for grooming up too. Males here prefer to wear Kurta pyjama in the summers and add a woolen coat with cap in the winters. The females, however, shift between Angara, a long knitted shirt with saree or wears salwar kameez in the summer months. In the winters, they add woolen coats and cover their head and neck with a piece of cloth named as oorni. Jewelry is an essential part of costumes especially for the women. Toe rings called as bichuwas and decorated nose rings are quite common among married women. Beaded Necklaces are also quite preferred by people here. Churis and armlets, made up of gold and silver, are also popular here.
Recreational activities here majorly focus on fairs and festivals celebrated here. Occasional social gatherings and recreational programs are organized in Badrinath which includes folk songs and folk dances. Theatres depicting various mythological stories are quite popular. Thadiya dance is one of the famous regional dances practiced in Badrinath. Apart from this on any occasion or festival preparing delicious cuisines is a custom followed religiously. Cuisines made of mandua, maize, rice, jhanjhora are quite popular here. Even specified dished of pulses like Urad, Lopia, Tur, Masoor are extremely tasty. Sufficient use of spices characterizes the dishes here. Only vegetarian food is available in Badrinath and consuming alcohol is restricted. People here, however, prefer to have those drinks which keep them warm.
The culture of the people of Badrinath can be better understood with the fairs and festivals celebrated here. Since gatherings and social events are negligible here, people depend on these festivals for meeting people as well as this is a major way of promoting small-scale business and trades. It is both economically and socially beneficial for the people here.
Fairs and Festivals in Badrinath
Badri Kedar Festival
Among various festivals the most important one is the Badri Kedar festival, celebrated in the month of June. This is an 8-day-long celebration with huge number of devotees and tourists attending the same. It is a festival which is also celebrated at Kedarnath temple. In this festival plenty of artist from different art field come to enjoy and take part in the celebration by showcasing their art.
Mata Murti Ki Mela
On the pious day of Bavan Dwadashi, this particular festival is celebrated. The idol of Uddhavji is taken to Mata Murti Temple and kept back by the evening. It is believed that mother of Badrinath divided the River Ganges into twelve channels to lessen its effect on earth and, thus, saved the earth from its huge force. In this honor a huge celebration is organized in the town.
Apart from this some other festivals of the area include:
This is the celebrated as the day of birth of Lord Rama and it falls on the ninth day of the Hindi month Chaitra. The devotees keep a fast on this day and recitations of the stories of Rama are done where people gather to hear the same and pray to God.
Celebrated in the month of Sravana, this is in praise of the serpent Gods. Families keep milk and rice as an offering to the Lord.
This is an auspicious day on the month of Sravana. In this festival a special thread, Rakhi, is tied by every sister on their brother’s hand as a mark of protection and security. Celebration with good dishes is done on this day.
This is a festival in regards to the celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna in the month of Bhadra. Huge enthusiasm and excitement rings the air during the festival day in Badrinath. A huge number of devotees gather before Badrinath temple to seek blessings on this day. Many people keep fast throughout the day.
Dushera, Holi and Diwali
The three most popular festivals of the country are celebrated in Badrinath too.
Shivaratri is another popular festival celebrated in Badrinath in honor of Lord Shiva. People keep fast till midnight and then conduct pujas and prayers for welfare and prosperity.
In a nutshell, the culture of the town is very much traditional and they prefer to live believing the ancestry rituals and conducts them with complete faith and devotion. In every religion, faith is everything and that is the essence of the culture of Badrinath town too.