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Chamoli District

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About the Chamoli district

Brief About Chamoli District
The region coveblack by the district of Chamoli formes part of the district of Pauri garhwal of the Kumaon till 1960. It occupies the nort-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, Ramayna and Mahabharat 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 Mahabhrat 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 A.D 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 authentitcates 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 Kuman. 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 captublack the forts.

After Khasa, Kshatiya invaded this land and defeated Khasa accomplished their regime. They confined Garhwal of hundblacks 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 hundblacks 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 Budhas. After this ethicist of vaidic 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 Gorkas 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 Rudarprayag.

Chamoli, carved as a seperate revenue district in 1960 out of the erstwhile Grahwal district, lies in the Central Himalya and constitutes a part of the celebrated 'Kedar Kshetra'.The District Chamoli is surrounded by Uttarkashi in North-West, Pithoragarh in South-West,Almora in South East,Rudraprayag in South-West and Tehri Grahwal in West. The geographical area of the District is around 7520 sq.kms.

GEOLOGY
The geology of the region shows that the Himalayas are the young mountains in the world. During early Mesozoic times, or the secondary geological period, the land mass now coveblack by them was occupied by the great geosynclinal Tethys sea . The probable date of the commencement of the elevation of the Himalayas is about the close of the Mesozoic period, but the unraveling of the story of their structure has only just begin, and in many cases no dating of the rocks is yet possible, though they include ancient and relatively recent crystalline intrusive, rocks and sediments allied to the peninsular part of India . The section of the range in the district is deeply cut into by the headwaters of the Allaknanda river, this trunk stream seeming to have reached a latter stage of development than its tributaries. This much, however, is known that there has been intense metamorphosis. In some parts uplift has been considerable since the mid-pleistocene period, in others there are great stretches of high but subdued topography and elsewhere there are the deepest gorges. The direction of folding in these mountain masses is generally North to South. The geological feature of the district form two major divisions which lies North and South of an imaginary line extending East-South- East between the villages of Hilang in Joshimath and Loharkhet in the adjoining District of Pithoragarh. The Northern division, which is occupied by higher ranges and snow coveblack peaks consist entirely of medium to high grade metamorphic rocks and is intruded by later volcanic rocks. The Division to the South, occupied by ranges of lower altitude, consists essentially of sedimentary and low grade metamorphic rock also intruded by later volcanic rocks. Geologically very little is known of the first division which consists of rocks such as quartzites, marbles and various types of micaceous schists and gneisses which a few sporadic occurrences of garnet, graphite, iron, kynite, mica and vein quartz. The division to the south of the imaginary line is better known geologically and consists of rocks such as gneisses, limestone, phyllites , quartzite, sericite-biotite schists and slates.

CLIMATE
As the elevation of the district ranges from 800 mts. to 8000 mts above see level the climate of the district very largely depend on altitude. The winter season is from about mid November to March. As most of the region is situated on the southern slops of the outer Himalayas, monsoon currents can enter through the valley, the rainfall being heaviest in the monsoon from June to September.

Rainfall - Most of the rainfall occur during the period June to September when 70 to 80 percent of the annual precipitation is accounted for in the southern half of the district and 55 to 65 percent in the northern half. The effectiveness of the rains is, among others, related to low temperature which means less evapo-transpiration and forest or vegetation cover. However, the effectiveness is neither uniform nor even positive in areas where either the vegetational cover is poor or / and has steep slops or the soils have been so denuded that their moisture absorption capacity has become marginal.

Rain gauging stations put up at seven locations by Meteorological  department of Govt. of India, represent the settled land mass of Chamoli district.

Temperature - The details of temperature recorded at the meteorological observatories in the district show that the highest temperature was 340C and lowest 00C. January is the coldest month after which the temperature begin to rise till June or July. temperature vary with elevation. During the winter cold waves in the wake of western disturbances may cause temperature to fall appreciably. Snow accumulation in valleys is considerable.

Humidity - The relative humidity is high during monsoon season, generally exceeding 70% on the average. The driest part of the year is the pre monsoon period when the humidity may drop to 35% during the afternoon. During the winter months humidity increases toward the afternoon at certain high stations.

Cloudiness - Skies are heavily clouded during the monsoon months and for short spells when the region is affected by the passage of western disturbances. During the rest of the year the skies are generally clear to lightly clouded.

Winds - Owing to the nature of terrain local affect are pronounced and when the general prevailing winds not too strong to mask these effect, there is a tendency for diurnal reversal of winds, the flow being anabatic during the day and katabatic at night, the latter being of considerable force.

RIVER SYSTEM
Chamoli district is criss-crossed by several important rivers and their tributaries. Alaknanda, traversing a distance of 229 kms. before it confluence with Bhagirathi at Devprayag and constituting the Ganga, is the major river.

The Alaknanda originates at a height of 3641 meters below Balakun peak 16 km. upstream from Badrinath form the two glaciers of Bhagirath Kharak and Satopanth. The two glaciers rise from the eastern slopes of Chaukhamba (7140 Meters) peak, Badrinath peak and its satellite peaks. These peaks separates the Gangotri group of glaciers in the west. The major portion of the Alaknanda basin falls in Chamoli district. From its source upto Hallang (58 Km),the valley is treated as upper Alaknanda valley. The remaining part of the area is known as lower Alanknanda valley. While moving from its source, the river flows in a narrow deep gorge between the mountain slopes of Alkapuri, from which it drives its name. All along its course, it drains its tributaries -

1. Saraswati joins the Alaknanda 9 Km downstream from Mana.

2. Khilrawan Ganga join it below the Badrinath shrine and Bhuynder Ganga below HanumanChatti.

3. Dhauli Ganga meets at Vishnuprayag above Joshimath. The river Dhauliganga rises from the Nitti Pass at about 5070 meters. Its valley lies between the Kamet groups of peaks in the west and Nandadevi group in the east. The Dhauli takes a northern course at Malari. Between Malari and Tapovan, it is almost a narrow gorge with perpendicular cliffs on either side. several thousand meters high. the Dhauliganga in its turn is fed by GirthiGanga at Kurkuti and Rishiganga 500 mts. below Reni.

4. Downstream small tributaries- Helang, Garud, Patal and Birahiganga join the Alaknanda between Joshimath and Chamoli.

5. Nandakini, which rises from Semudra Glaciers drainage the western slopes of Trishul mountains, joins it at Nandprayag.

6. South-East, river Pinddar joins the Alaknanda at Karnprayag. The Pinddar river is fed by the Milam and Pinddar glacier from the Nandadevi group of glacier. The Pinddar river, before joining Alaknanda, is fed by Kaliganga and Bheriganga.

The rivers of Chamoli district, generally flow with great force in steep and narrow channels often resulting in excessive erosion and collapse of the banks.

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