The Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand gets its name from the word 'Garh' meaning the Land of 'Forts'. It has its name and fame from the Puranic period, having referred in Mahabharata and Skanda Purana.
In the Gurkha War of 1814, the British attacked the Gurkhas and the region of Garhwal and Kumaon came under the British empire. The Garhwal rulers gave 60 percent of their kingdom to the Britishers for their support in chasing the Gorkhas away. Thus, the Britishers ruled in the eastern part of the Garhwal region, then known as the town of Dehra and later became popular as the Dehra'dun'. The western part of Garhwal - the Tehri region was restored to the Garhwal kings.
CULTURE OF GARHWAL
Garhwal is culturally colorful and the hospitality here is heartwarming. The people of Garhwal region are known as Garhwalis and they primarily speak Garhwali language with varied dialects of its own. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan language and most of the Garhwalis also speak Hindi and Sanskrit. The region celebrates music, dance and a number of festivals and fairs. The folksong '' is quite famous and yeah, once in a while you can find me humming the tune.
Uttarakhand is popular for its food too. The Garhwali and Kumaoni food is something that you should discover and relish when on a trip to this state. The cuisine is made of simple ingredients, mostly cereals and grains, and local produce. Winter calls for heavy meals. I wait for winters for it brings fresh greens in the form of Fenugreek leaves ( Methi), Mustard greens ( Rai), Spinach ( Palak), Radish Greens ( Mooli ke pathe) and more. Mandua (finger millet) ki Roti, Chainsoo (made with black Urad Dal), Phaanoo (made from a mix of different lentils including Gehat), Rajma, Kafuli (made with spinach and fenugreek leaves) and Jholi (a thin gravy made of potatoes, tomatoes and curd) are some staple food.
Non-vegetarian foods are loved too, primarily curries ( Jhols) made with river fish and gravies with red meat and chicken. Dessert options include Jhangore ke Kheer (made from millet) and Arsa (sweet balls made with jaggery and curd).
FLORA AND FAUNA OF GARHWAL
The meadows, valleys and lush green forests come with rich flora and fauna as well. The feline family including Tiger, Snow Leopard, and Panther is bountiful in the mountains. You can also spot Jackal, Musk Deer, Bear, Monkey, and Flying Squirrel among many others.