How I learnt about social networking in the Himalayan village of Sankri

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How I learnt about social networking in the Himalayan village of Sankri

Category Transformation Stories

By Latika Payak

2015-11-23

Spending months together in a rustic, picturesque Himalayan village, is something a lot of us would love to do. Our Operations Manager, Manav Menon, was lucky enough to spend time in Sankri, a quaint village in Uttarakhand and be a part of its age-old traditions. Those days gave Manav a candid peek into the local lifestyle of the real mountain folk. Here’s a page from his diary.

It was during the months of September and October 2015. Life moved at a beautifully slow pace at Sankri, except when I was bustling about organising treks. During my free time, though, I was lucky enough to witness fairs, or melas, as they are called in Sankri.

Sankri is a charming village that accommodates close to 120 families. These families keep themselves busy by growing potatoes, rice or apples. They live in neat wooden houses and have few wants. It is a simple village with a simpler lifestyle. No cellphone network, no internet – it’s more peaceful than you can imagine.  

But this village is a hub for trekkers. Three popular treks – Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun and Rupin Pass begin in its vicinity. Though trekkers usually get just a fleeting glimpse of life in Sankri, a longer stay will give them an interesting peek into a time when Sankri actually comes alive – during its melas.

These melas usually revolve around village deities that travel from village to village. Religion is close to the hearts of people here, and melas are taken seriously. Once the deity is placed in a temple, everyone gathers around it and welcomes it with folk songs and dance. There is a festive aura in the air, a smile on everyone’s face.

But there’s one other reason that makes melas so popular – social networking. Melas, in Himalayan villages, are a great platform to make new friends and dance together. Men and women dance in a circle around the temple under the moonlit sky. It’s nothing short of a party at 6,500 feet and it runs all night long!

Now, where there’s a party, there’s bound to be good food! So there is a free flow of delectable local dishes like bhaang pakodies coupled with local drinks. (Now you want to be there, don’t you!) 

There’s more. Melas also set a platform for young boys and girls of different villages to mingle under the watchful eyes of the elders. And being in this quaint Himalayan village brought me face-to-face with the age-old tradition of networking.

In the age of virtual social networking, it was a pretty sight. It reminded me of the rustic traditions, something like writing letters. Remember, the good old days – mela main milenge!

Read more:

Colourful stories of Nanda Devi Jat Yatra 

A Butter Holi Festival at Dayara Bughyal

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Latika Payak

Senior Content Writer

About the author

Latika is a Senior Content Writer who started trekking after joining Indiahikes. She has trekked to Roopkund, Hampta Pass, Kedarkantha, Dayara Bugyal, Tarsar Marsar, and Har Ki Dun. Before joining Indiahikes in 2014, she was a lifestyle journalist with print and online media. Latika is always hunting for great stories hidden in the folds of the mountains. Horror stories from ancient routes and villages of the Himalayas are her favourite. If you have an interesting story from your trek, share it with her on latika@indiahikes.com.