First road link after Independence in Uttarakhand’s Darma Valley | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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First road link after Independence in Uttarakhand’s Darma Valley

For Rung tribals of the remote Darma Valley in Pithoragarh, their dream of motor vehicles reaching their villages is set to come true.

dehradun Updated: May 31, 2017 20:50 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Uttarkhand news
The Darma valley in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district will be connected by the first road link.(HT File Photo.)

For Rung tribals of the remote Darma Valley in Pithoragarh, their dream of motor vehicles reaching their villages is set to come true.

With a road being reconstructed for the first time after Independence of the country, the annual Kumbh Mela at Dantu village will be special this year. The village is situated 45 km up from Dharchula towards the Indo-China border. Since Independence, the road existed till Dar which is 20-30 km away. Now, the road will be extended till the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) post of Titang Gaon.

The Kumbh is about the traditional Gabla Puja are held by the Rungs. Gabla, a form of Lord Shiva, is revered in this part of the state. The Kumbh is the biggest religious event for tribals not only from Darma but also those from Chaundas and Vyas Valleys. This year, the Kumbh will be held from August 17 to 21.

As the road has reached the village, there are chances of outsiders visiting the village for the fair. Sela, Nagling, Chal, Baling, Dugtu, Son, Dantu, Bon, Phillam, Go, Daakar, Teethang, Marchha and Seepu are the 14 villages in the Darma Valley. The villagers migrate to lower areas of Galati, Ningalpani, Gothoi, Kalika, Naya basti, Charchhum, Ghatibagad and Jauljeebi in winters for avoiding bitter cold and heavy snow in the winters.

Traditionally, the tribals carried out trade with Tibet but many of them are now into local administration, thanks to reservation in government jobs. Locals expect bureaucrats to be present at the celebrations, thanks to the new road connectivity.

Sundar Singh Bonal, a social worker from Bon village, said apart from religious purpose, the puja’s main aim is to attract non-residents and migrants to their villages and highlight the region’s culture, heritage and traditions.

Phali Singh Datal, general secretary of Darma Samajik Evam Sanskritik Vikas Samiti organising the puja and fair, said there was a hope that the Kumbh mela will be much more grand in the coming years as youths are now part of the organising committee.