Where Gods Dwell  -  Central Himalayan Folktales and Legends

Where Gods Dwell - Central Himalayan Folktales and Legends

Product ID: 29138

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Author: Kusum Budhwar
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 296
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143066026


An introduction to the colourful and exuberant folk literature from the hills of Kumaon and Garhwal

In the iridescent snows of the Central Himalayas known as Devbhoomi, the land of the gods, there is a story for every mountain, river and tree.

Kusum Budhwar introduces us to Kumaon and Garhwal’s rich and rarely translated folk literature by retelling the colourful and exuberant stories of the region.

Whimsical and imaginative, these are tales of high adventure, luminous love and romance, benevolent pastoral gods, local heroes, brave medieval warriors, sacred sites and historical anecdotes, all of which are equally popular in these parts but little known outside.

Arranged in sections, each focusing on a particular theme, the book opens with Nanda Devi, the patron goddess of the region, believed to be the daughter of the Himalayas.

In the sections that follow we become intimately acquainted with the enchanting adventure sagas of the Ramola clan, the Ramola Gathas; the romantic ballads ‘Malushahi’ and ‘Haru Heet’; the tale of Chyongompa, the demon bird; and the simple stories, imbued with faith, of local gods and goddesses like Golu Dev and Devmangala, among others.

Where Gods Dwell not only allows us to savour the stories of the hills, resonating with the cheerful cadences of mountain streams and the dark silence of the forests, but also offers us a rare glimpse of the culture, life and society of the people of the region whose lives are shaped by the rugged terrain they inhabit and who revere the mountains on which they make their home.




Nanda Devi Stories

Nanda: Birth of a Goddess
Roopkund: The Wrath of a Goddess
Nanda and Sunanda: A Goddess in Action

Local Deities

Goludev the Just
Naagraj Krishna
Devmangala of Budho Kedar
KAl Bisht, the Gentle Cowherd
Mahasu Devta of Hanol

Romantic Sagas

The Malushahi: The Balled of Raja Malushah and Rajuli
Haru Singh Heet, The Righteous
Massar Kund

Ramola Gathas

Gangu Ramola: Pride and Penalty
Sidhwa and Bidhwa: Pastoral Adventures
The Kunwar Brothers: Of Girls and Dice

Tales of Valour

Ajuba Bafaul, the Wonder Man
Garhu Sumyal, the Grand old Warrior
Madho Singh Bhandari’s Amazing Feats
Teelu Rauteli, the Warrior Lass

Legendary Places

A Guru’s Miracle: Meetha Reethu Sahib
The Tiger Lord Saryu at Bageshwar
Gomari or Gokarna, the Cow-eared
The Caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar
The Temple of Hatt Kalika

Capital Tales

Srinagar (Garhwal)
Almora (Kumaon)

Fantasy and Humour

Chyongompa, the Demon Bird
Kutri Muya or A guest is god
Ghugutiya, the crow
Raja Divya Chand’s Supernatural Powers
Demon Gangola