Uttarakhand govt steps in to revive fading ‘Pahari’ culture
With an aim to revive traditional art forms dying out fast in Uttarakhand, the government has initiated a slew of schemes, under which all forms of cultural infrastructures from virtual reality museums to cultural centres to art galleries are being set up in the state.
“We have also introduced schemes aimed to support folk artists, so they may earn their livelihood by pursing their traditional vocation,” said Beena Bhatt, director, department of culture.
“Besides, as part of our initiative to revive the traditional culture a dedicated scholarship scheme has also been initiated for students pursuing their studies in traditional arts.”
About the cultural infrastructures being set up, she said those infrastructures would help showcase the state’s traditional ‘Pahari’ (folk) culture.
“Showcasing the traditional folk art forms will not just help publicise them among the people paving the way for a revival of our cultural heritage,” Bhatt said.
“Such exhibitions of our traditional art forms through contemporary methods like light and sound shows would also ignite the interests of the youth in their cultural traditions.”
Under the project, an array of art galleries, virtual reality museums and light and sound shows and cultural centres would be set up in the hill state.
“For instance, we have on our agenda a state cultural centre. It is coming up in the city’s Garhi cantonment area here,” Bhatt said, adding that the massive complex in which the cultural centre would be housed “is coming up in a sprawling area” near the Institute of Hotel Management.
“The state cultural centre will be spacious enough so that it can emerge as a hub of all cultural activities, for which it has been designed,” she said. It would help project all aspects of Uttarakhand’s traditional culture, Bhatt added.
Besides an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,000 people, the centre would house six art galleries, a library, a museum, an amphitheatre and a place for symposiums and seminars.
“It (centre) will not only help expose the budding artists to their cultural heritage but will also provide them a platform to showcase their works,” Bhatt said, adding civil work relating to the cultural centre was complete.
Besides, the department of culture had planned to set up an “iconic” virtual reality museum in Tehri in the backdrop of the sprawling Tehri Lake.
To be set up at the bank of the river Bhagirathi, the project would be dedicated to “the story and legend of the river Ganga and our evolution”. The Bhagirathi is one of the tributaries of the Ganga.
The proposed museum would be complete with a state-of-the-art water jet laser projection sound & light show which would be presented on water curtains.
“The enchanting show won’t just help create awareness among the locals about the mythology of the Ganga, which originates from this (central Himalayan) region only,” Bhatt said.
“It (show) will also help increase the tourist footfalls in the state which is known for its scenic beauty.”
Besides, plans were also afoot to set up a museum in the fort of Pithoragarh. The legend has it that the Chand rulers of Kumaon built it in 1791.
As per some records, the iconic fort was built by Gurkhas after they attacked the town.
“The museum would also be equipped with a light and sound show, which would ‘depict’ the vibrant Shauka culture of the area’s picturesque Darma and Johar valleys,” Bhatt said.
“Similarly, a virtual reality museum depicting Kumaon’s vibrant culture would also be set up in Uday Shankar Academy in Almora,” Bhatt said.
“Through that light and sound show, contributions of great writers and poets from that region like Sumtra Nadnan Pant will also be projected.”