July 19, 2024, 1:51 am

Haldwani ~ Gateway to Kumaon



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Haldwani People, Language, Traditions

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Passage of people into Haldwani can be traced back to the 15th -16th centuries when hill dwellers would make their way down into Haldwani to escape the bitter winters in the hills. These people were essentially animal rearers and they used to migrate along with their animals and were known as 'Gothiyas'. In Haldwani they used to engage themselves in small jobs and make 'khoya' from the milk which they got from their animals. During the British occupation they busied themselves in work related to forestry in Haldwani. They would return back to the hills in March once the winter had receded.

Haldwani's population has seen an exponential increase in the past two decades owing to rapid urbanization and growth of trading acitivites in the city. The local population comprising of indigenous people as well as settlers was 1,56,078 according to the 2011 India Census.

The male - female ratio is 53% - 47% respectively. Literacy levels are higher than the national average and credit for that must also go to an excellent educational infrastructure in town. Schools here are popular and not as expensive as the popular hill schools in Uttarakhand.

Traditional Way Of Life
Haldwani has always been an important transit and trading town. Trading in merchandise and goods has been a primary source of income for over a hundred years. Agriculture has also traditionally been and has remained to the present day ,an important means of livelihood in the town.

As we learn, Haldwani over past 300 years has emerged as a colorful social fabric comprising people from across Kumaon Hills who themselves migrated to the Himalayan hills from across Central and Western parts of India, such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan during Mughal invasions. There are people from Terai-Bhabhar foothills, Sikhs & Punjabis who settled in and around Haldwani post 1947, there are people from surrounding plains, neighbor state of Uttar Pradesh. Thus it represents a distinguished Indian diaspora.

People celebrating festival of Holi in Haldwani

Language ( Dialect )
Kuamoni and Hindi are the primary languages spoken in Haldwani. Urdu is prevalent amongst the muslim community while Punjabi is spoken by the large Sikh community settled in the town.

Traditional Clothing Clothing of the women are ghaghras and full-sleeved shirts. Pichoras are worn on special occasions. The men wear pajamas and a long coat with a woollen cap. The women wear lehengas and ghaghras ( full skirts ) with full-sleeved jackets. Special occasions call for the traditional attire of a 'Rangwali Picchora' with an ornate lace border covering the head. The men wear long coats with pyjamas and a woollen cap, an indispensable part of their costume.

Traditional songs /Dances Similar to the rest of the Kumaon region ,musical instruments like the Hurka, Turturi and Dhol are played by the people of Haldwani. Dances like the Chholia Nritya, a traditional war dance with a sword and shield, the Jhora, a group dance and the Chhapeli are also predominant in this region. Folk songs are usually devotional and have heroic mythological themes. Love songs and songs with moral messages are also popular. Bhangra and giddha are also popular amongst the Sikh Community.

Famous Personalities like G.B. Pant, Narayan Dutt Tewari etc. have been associated with Haldwani.
Population of Haldwani, 2011 Census : : 1,56,078


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