Chamoli District Stats
- District Headquarters: Gopeshwar
- Area (km²): 7951 sq km
- Population: 3,91,114
- Languages:: Kumaoni, Hindi, Garhwali
- Best Season:All year
Chamoli, the abode of Gods, reputed for its shrines and temples, birth place of ‘Chipko Movement ‘ with its strategic significance is one of the hill district of Uttarakhand, India. Chamoli proved itself ” the most spectacular in its natural assets ; be it maintain scenery , valley aspects, water-edges, floristic varieties, dramatic landform or the climatic cardinalities “
The region covered by the district of Chamoli forms part of the district of Pauri Garhwal of the Kumaon till 1960. It occupies the north-eastern corner of the Garhwal tract and lies in the central or mid-Himalayas in the very heart of the snowy range described in ancient books as Bahirgiri, one of the three divisions of the Himalayan mountains.
Historical Back Ground
Chamoli , the district of “Garhwal’’ the land of forts. Today’s Garhwal was known as kedar-khand in the past. In puranas kedar-khand was said to be abode of God. It seems from the facts Vedas puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata that these Hindu scriptures are scripted in kedar-khand . It is believed that God Ganesha first script of Vedas in Vayas gufa situated in the last village Mana only four km. from Badrinath.
According to Rigveda(1017-19) after Inundation (Jalprlya) Sapt-Rishis saved their lives in the same village Mana. Besides there the roots of vedic literature seems to be originated from Garhwal because the Garhwali language has a lot of words common with sanskrit .The work place of vedic Rishis are the prominent pilgrim places in Garhwal specially in Chamoli like Atrimuni Ashram in Anusuya about 25 km. from Chamoli town and work place of Kashyap Rishi at Gandhmadan parwat near Badrinath. According to Aadi-Puran vedvyasa scripted the story of Mahabharata in Vyas Gufa near Badrinath. Pandukeshwar a small village situated on the Rishikesh Badrinath high-way from where Badrinath is just 25 km away is regarded as Tapsthali of king Pandu. In Kedar-khand Puran this land is regarded the land of lord Shiva.
The authentic script about the history of Garhwal is found only 6th AD on word. Some of the oldest example of there are the trishul in Gopeshwar, lalitsur in Pandukeshwar .The Narvaman rock script in siroli the chand pur Gari rock script by king Kankpal authenticates the history and culture of Garhwal.
Some Historian and scientist believe that this land is origin of Arya race. It is believed that about 300B.C. Khasa invaded Garhwal through Kashmir Nepal and Kumaon. A conflict grew due to this invasion a conflict took place between these outsiders and natives .The natives for their protection builded small forts called “Garhi’’. Later on Khasa defeated the native totally and captured the forts.
After Khasa, Kshatiya invaded this land and defeated Khasa accomplished their regime. They confined Garhwal of hundreds of Garhi in to fifty-two Garhi only. One kantura vashudev general of kshatriya established his regime on the northern border of Garhwal and founded his capital in joshimath then Kartikeypur vashudev katyuri was the founder of katyura dynasty in Garhwal and they reign Garhwal over hundreds of years in this period of katyuri regime Aadi-Guru Sankaracharya visited Garhwal and established Jyotrimath which is one of the four famous Peeths established by Aadi-Guru Sankaracharya. In Bharat varsh other these are Dwarika , Puri and Sringeri. He also reinstated idol of lord Badrinath in Badrinath, before this the idol of Badrinath was hidden in Narad-Kund by the fear of Buddha. After this ethicist of vedic cult started to pilgrim Badrinath.
According to Pt.Harikrishna Raturi king Bhanu pratap was the first ruler of Panwar dynasty in Garhwal who founded chanpur-Garhi as his capital. This was is strongest Garh for the fifty- two garhs of Garhwal.
The devastating earthquake of 8th September 1803 weakened the economic and administrative set up of Garhwal state. Taking advantage of the situation Gorkhas attacked Garhwal under the command of Amar Singh Thapa and Hastidal Chanturia. They established there reign over half of the Garhwal in 1804 up to 1815 this region remain under Gorkha rule.
Mean while the king of Panwar dynasty Raja Sudarshan Shah contacted east India Company and soughted help. With the help of British he defected Gorkhas and merged the eastern part of Alaknanda and Mandakani along with the capital srinagar in British Garhwal from that time this region was known as British Garhwal and the capital of Garhwal was set up at Tehri instead of Srinagar. In the beginning British ruler kept this area under Dehradun and Saharanpur. But later on the British established a new district in this area and named it Pauri. Today’s Chamoli was a tehsil of the same .On 24th February 1960 tehsil Chamoli was upgraded to a new district. In October 1997 two complete tehsil and two other blocks (partially) of district Chamoli were merged into a new formed district Rudraprayag.
It is in Chamoli that Hanuman is believed to have found the ‘Sanjeevani’ herb which revived the wounded and conscious Lakshman; it is here that the sage Ved Vyasa is believed to have composed his immortal epic The Mahabharata; and it is here that Guru Gobind Singh is believed to have meditated in one of his earlier births. It is to these hills that Pandavas are believed to have come to ask Lord Shiva’s blessings and forgiveness for the sin of having killed their own kin. Here Karna, the son of Draupadi and Lord Surya, performed austerities to be bestowed the Kavacha and kundala that made him invincible; Varuchi compiled his Panini Grammer and Adi Sankaracharya attained enlightenment. Five out of six schools of Hindu philosophy have their beginnings in these hills that have been home to the highest flights of man’s spirit in the past and the present