Understanding the Jadh-Bhotiya Settlement of Bagori Village in Uttarakhand

in Module
Published on: 01 April 2021

Sweta Kandari

Sweta Kandari is an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. She holds a Masters of Architecture degree from CEPT University, specialising in Architectural History and Theory. Her research revolves around understanding various narratives, transitions and historical linkages between communities and their influences on the built environment.

Bagori village is an unexplored settlement of Jadh Bhotiyas, an ethno-linguistic tribal community en route to the Gangotri shrine on the banks of river Bhagirathi in the Garhwal Himalayas. Historically, the community was a pastoral nomadic tribe from the Nelang and Jadong valley of Uttarakhand. After the Indo-China War of 1962, they were relocated to Bagori and Dunda villages in Uttarkashi district. 

Unlike the terraced or staggered arrangement of houses in the hilly regions, this village settlement is arranged in a linear manner. One-storey wooden houses flank the street on either side. The houses in the village are built with the indigenous building method of timber-reinforced stone masonry, an adaptation of the popularly known koti banal construction technique in Uttarakhand or kath kunni in Himachal Pradesh. The settlement pattern, spatial arrangement of the houses and the construction techniques are an amalgamation of occupational, cultural, geographical and historical responses to extreme climatic conditions and various hazards.