Uttar Kashi Collectorate building - renovated in old native traditional ''Pahadi'' style

Uttar Kashi Collectorate building. static.toiimg.com

 Uttar Kashi Collectorate building. static. jagran.com

Pahadi culture, a way of life steeped in tradition and history. it is  deeply rooted in the people of the Himalayan region. Pahadi culture is  based on the values of simplicity, self-reliance, and respect for nature. It is  handed down from generation to generation, As for Pahadi houses,  they are  architecturally designed  seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Built using indigenous materials like stone, wood, and slate, these houses exhibit a perfect harmony between human settlement and the environment.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative in Uttarakhand state, the Uttarkashi district administration  followed a maverick path and  renovated the collectorate building in the old traditional Pahadi architectural style to retain and promote local culture. Many government buildings including the collectorate reflect on the identity of the town and the native design that is most suitable to  the mountainous terrain and the changing climatic condition.

Pahadi house, near Khedarnath. ecoplore.com

Above image: 60-year-old Pahadi house. Kedarnath  

 In order to feel proud of the native design style and long held tradition such native architectural design features must be retained. This might motivate the people to follow the old trend.  

In the first phase at the exterior of the building are installed carved deodar wood, ceramic tiles and local black stone (called pataal). On close observation, one can see depiction of  Gangotri and Yamunotri  temples, Himalayan flora and fauna and scenes from the fairs and festivals intricately carved on the wood. 

In the next phase, we will work on earthquake resistance capability of the building as the terrain may be prone  to seismic activities.  Much focus is placed on  underground electrical wiring.

Taking a cue from this building, other native buildings have a proposal to follow the old traditional techniques.

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