Where Gods Dwell

Where Gods Dwell

Folktales of India


An introduction to the colourful and exuberant folk literature from the hills of Kumaon and Garhwal In the iridescent snows of the Central Himalayas known as Devbhoomi, the land of the gods, there is a story for every mountain, river and tree. Kusum Budhwar introduces us to Kumaon and Garhwal’s rich and rarely translated folk literature by retelling the colourful and exuberant stories of the region. Whimsical and imaginative, these are tales of high adventure, luminous love and romance, benevolent pastoral gods, local heroes, brave medieval warriors, sacred sites and historical anecdotes, all of which are equally popular in these parts but little known outside. Arranged in sections, each focusing on a particular theme, the book opens with Nanda Devi, the patron goddess of the region, believed to be the daughter of the Himalayas. In the sections that follow we become intimately acquainted with the enchanting adventure sagas of the Ramola clan, the Ramola Gathas; the romantic ballads ‘Malushahi’ and ‘Haru Heet’; the tale of Chyongompa, the demon bird; and the simple stories, imbued with faith, of local gods and goddesses like Golu Dev and Devmangala, among others. Where Gods Dwell not only allows us to savour the stories of the hills, resonating with the cheerful cadences of mountain streams and the dark silence of the forests, but also offers us a rare glimpse of the culture, life and society of the people of the region whose lives are shaped by the rugged terrain they inhabit and who revere the mountains on which they make their home.


296 Pages | ISBN13 9780143066026
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Kusum Budhwar
Kusum Budhwar
Kusum Budhwar, author of Romance of the Mango: The Complete Book of the King of Fruits,has wrttwn articles covering travel, religion, folklore, and cookery that have been published in books and magazines. The wife of an Indian Foregin Service officer, she has lived in several countries and is widely travelled. Her bond with the Himalayas began early, having studied and taught in the hill stations of Dalhousie, Shimla and Mussoorie. She now spends a better part of the year in Mukteshwar in Kumaon together with her husband who equally shares this love for the hills.
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