The PECAH residency will be held in a rural area in the district of Almora in the Himalayas
. The exact venue and region in Almora where next year’s residency will be held is still being researched. More information on this will be added in due course.
During the residency, we will visit Almora City which is located at 29.62°N 79.67°E. It has an average elevation of 1,651 metres (5,417 feet). It is located on a ridge at the southern edge of the Kumaon Hills of the Himalaya range. In the shape of a horse saddle shaped hillock, it is surrounded by thick forests of pine and fir trees. Flowing alongside the city are rivers of Koshi, (Kaushiki), and Suyal (Salmale). The snow capped Himalayas can be seen in the background. Almora got its name from “Kilmora” a short plant found in the nearby region. During olden days people living near Almora used the Kilmora plant for washing the utensils of the “Katarmal Temple”. Soon the people bringing Kilmora were called Kilmori and later “Almori”. So the place from the Almori lived came to be known as “Almora”.
Almora has many noted temples, including KasarDevi, NandaDevi, DoliDaana, ShyayiDevi, Khakmara, AshtBhairav, Jakhandevi, Katarmal (Sun Temple), Pataal Devi, RaghunathMandir, Badreshwar, Banari Devi, Chitai, Jageshwar, Binsar Mahadev, Garhnath and Baijnath. Kasar Devi temple was visited by Swami Vivekananda and this area also has a Chabad House.RudreshwarMahadev Temple, near SanaraGaniya, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated beside the river Ram Ganga. A sun temple is located at Katarmal within a short distance from the town. The famous temple of Manila Devi, Devi Maa, the family goddess of the Katyuri clan, lies around 85 km from Ranikhet. Udaipur, a famous temple of Goludevta, is situated 5 km. from Binta near Dwarahat. Dunagiri has the highly revered temple of Shakti or Mother Goddess. Dunagiri is also known as the birthplace of modern day Kriya Yoga.
People of Uttaranchal – The Owners of the Hills
The people and lifestyle of Uttaranchal is determined by the climate as well as the topographical situation of the state. Popularly referred as ‘Pahari’, which means hill persons; the people of Uttaranchal can be divided into two distinct tribes – Garhwali and Kumaoni. Other tribes that also exist in Uttaranchal are Jadh, Marcha, Tolcha, Shauka, Buksha, Tharu, Jaunsari, Bhotia, Raji and Gujjar.
As far as casteism is concerned the people of Uttaranchal can be divided into Kol-Doms, Khasi Rajput, Khasi Brahmin, immigrant Rajput, migrant Brahmin and Bhotias. The principal occupation of the people of Uttaranchal is that of agriculture. Uttaranchal culture is rich and full of exoticism as well as being philanthrophic. Cultural tours of Uttaranchal are recommended to see this myriad land where about 90% of the total population is Hindu.
The hill station of Almora is located over a horse-saddle fashioned crest of a Himalayan mountain. Positioned at an elevation of 1,646 m (5,400 ft), Almora has an enjoyable but sometimes cold climate all through the year. Almora has an average annual maximum temperature of around 23 C and average minimum temperature of approximately 10 C. The annual average rainfall hovers more or less around the figure of 1,152 mm.