Tale Of Osla Village : A Secret place in the Uttarakhand District
Osla is a beautiful Himalayan Village located at (8858 ft) in the Uttarkashi dist. of Uttarakhand. Famous as a trekking hub, this village is surrounded by magnificent mountains and surreal views and is rich in history and culture which give it a distinctive edge. As is the case with most mountain places, Osla has its own festivals and traditions that have been followed for ages with grace and one such event is the ‘Someshwar Fair’ or ‘Saawan Mela’ which is held annually from the 3rd to 5th August.
The Saavan Mela is held to pay homage to their ruling deity – Someshwar Mahadev (a manifestation of Shiva) who is held in high regards and in turn blesses the valley with prosperity and good health. The Someshwar Temple is an excellent example of Himalayan architecture. The God is carried in a ‘Paalki’ (palanquin) adorned with the finest jewelry made of silver and brass across 22 villages before making his way to Osla from Gangad where he is worshipped by the Head Priest using traditional methods and the whole village indulges in celebrations for three days.
The locals eagerly await the arrival of this fair every year and prepare well in advance for the same. The men and women dress up in coats known as ‘Farji’ that are made especially for this occasion out of sheep wool and can keep you warm on the coldest days. The men wear their traditional pahadi topis (caps) while the women wear their Nathulis (nose rings), Timaane (necklace), and Dhaatu (head scarf). The air is holy and calm, thanks to the incense made out of local herbs which are used to pray to God. The whole village indulges in celebrations and merry-making, traditional dishes are prepared, people sing their folk songs and perform the Nati (folk dance of the mountains that comprises of rhythmic movements in sync performed in a circle) and enjoy.
This fair is an excellent means to get a glimpse of the rich and diverse history and culture of the mountains and something that you shouldn’t miss.
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Admin is the Chief Editor at Discoveryhike. She heads the content team and runs a video series called Trek With Admin. Before joining Discoveryhike, she worked as a reporter and sub-editor at Deccan Chronicle. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications such as Deccan Herald.