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Religion And Rituals In Himachal Pradesh

India has vast variations in climate, geography, language, beliefs, way of life and taste etc. An Indian can be an Aryan, Mongoloid and Negro, the three main ethnic stock of people word over. An Indian can carry any feature from among these three races. The utmost thing is that they are all Indians and also think alike besides their different faiths also. India is unique country which houses all religions, races, castes, culture, geography, climate of the world at one place. If there is not anything in India then it can never be anywhere in the World. This was the reason to put forward the theory of “Unity in Diversity.” Himachal Pradesh is very much part of India.

The People

The people of Himachal Pradesh are heterogeneous mixture of different tribes and all speak their own language. The greater part of people is from Aryan stock barring the residents of Lahaul and Spiti, being from Mongol origin.  Kinnauri people are unusual among them because of their bizarre beauty and love for complex Jewelers.

The Earliest Inhabitants

The Mundas, kols and different tribal groups were the original inhabitants of Himachal Pradesh before the advent of Aryans. These peoples form substantial part of the populace and are still being represented by scheduled castes and Tribes.

The social fusion since immemorial time has resulted in the present form of changed characteristics and appearances among the people of the state. Thus they are recognized to Aryan blood by mainstream historians.

Religion

The major religious population of Himachal Pradesh is Hindu which constitutes more than 95% of the total. Muslim religion occupies second position with nearly 1.7% of the total. Muslims have a little concentration in Sirmur, Chamba and Kangra. The Trans-Himalayan areas of Kinnaur, Kulu, Lahaul and Spiti are inhabited by Buddhist who is more than 1%. The Sikhs and Christians are about 1.2% and0.1% respectively.

The people of this state is religious and God fearing. They consider Himalayas, a God, worship village deities and Devatas along with main deities of Mandirs, devils and deities of aborigines also. Himachal Pradesh roughly has more than 2000 Mandirs. They believe that everything is being happened with God’s will.

Muslims follow Saint Lakh Data Peer in villages and pray with lighted earthen Lamps on other Shrines.

Religious Life & the Sacred Texts

India was given elasticity and tolerance in religious philosophy in the want of single dogma. India’s religious beliefs are formed collectively by Vedic and independent traditions of our seers and sages. This was a broad approach, drawing all the strange and deviating beliefs with in entire atmosphere, absorbing and extending with respect to the beliefs of other religions.

Indians have desired a continuous band between Nature, God and human since immemorial time. It still persists and has given rise to unique religious and cultural features to India. The famous Bhagwat Gita says that ‘All Gods lead to one God as all rivers lead to the sea.’ Similarly it is said that ‘Truth is one, the wise identifies it in different ways.’ This maturity of thought and hospitality towards divergent viewpoints are the essence of Indian culture.

Rituals

The customs of the hill people have differences with the plain people because they follow their own rites and rituals since centuries and also keenly preserve them. For example, reverse dowry system known as ‘dhari’ is practiced in some part of Sirmur and Shimla.

Among some agriculture castes of Himachal Pradesh, atta-satta ka nata custom is prevailed in which a chain of relations is developed by exchanging the brides and grooms in marriages among indulged families.

The Marriage Rituals

A form of marriage by elopement known as ‘haar lena’ is allowed among some lower castes in Himachal Pradesh. This custom is usually performed during a fair or in nearby marriage. The marriage practice of widow to an unmarried blood brother-in-law is common in Himachal Pradesh. Meat and chhang, a kind of liquor, are served to guests.

These customs of marriages in some part of Himachal Pradesh are absolutely different from the marriages performed according to Vedic rituals in plains.

Birth Customs Rituals

The birth rituals and customs are also unique with local touch such as husband cannot kill any animal with his own hands during the pregnancy of his wife though he may eat non-veg.  A rich mixture of Gur (jiggery) and ghee (refined butter) is given to woman after the birth of child to eat and drink. In some cases country liquor is also given to drink. The naming ceremony of male child among Koli caste is done on the basis of the names of Months and week days.

Language

Himachal Pradesh roughly has 60-65 rich local dialects of tribal languages like Pangwali,Lahauli, Chambyali, Kinnauri etc. Tibetan is also spoken in some quarter.
Pahari is the main language spoken by Himachali people. It is a mixture of prakrit and Sanskrit. Hindi is also spoken widely and is an official language. Due to closeness to some Punjab area, Punjabi is also spoken in some areas.

Festivals and Fairs

Himachal Pradesh is known for its fairs and festivals with fun and frolics. Every month has some fair / festival to celebrate so people here remain in festive mood year long. The religious ceremonies are also unique and inventive like famous Kullu Dussehra festival and others. The main festivals are Deepawali, Holi and Dussehra with hundreds of other significant and traditional local festivals and celebrations mainly in honor of gram Devi/Devata and nature/seasons.

Love and labor of Himachal Pradesh people for their festivity also depicts their love for colorful dress and jewelers.

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Religion And Rituals In Himachal Pradesh
Religion And Rituals In Himachal Pradesh
Religion And Rituals In Himachal Pradesh
Religion And Rituals In Himachal Pradesh
Religion And Rituals In Himachal Pradesh
Religion And Rituals In Himachal Pradesh

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