Even before the creation of Uttarakhand, the state was born in cyberspace with uttarakhand.org in 1997. Now ten years later, the first historical-cultural map of Uttarakhand is being released to celebrate this milestone with friends from PAHAR and Mountain Shepherds.
Produced by uttarakhand.org creator Rajiv Rawat, the map is the first of its kind and includes a list of rulers, historical timeline, and inset maps of various territorial, cultural, and historical facets of Uttarakhand. The map also explores for perhaps the first time, the region’s relations with neighbouring states and kingdoms. Nowhere near complete, Rawat intends for the map to serve as an inspiration for further research in unearthing the rich heritage of Uttarakhand.
Most significantly, the map is being released to coincide with the tenth anniversary of uttarakhand.org’s online presence as Uttarakhand’s first web site. As part of the Uttarakhand Solidarity Network of web sites, uttarakhand.org initiated in subsequent years an explosion of web sites, e-groups, and message boards principally by Uttarakhandis living outside the state, yet has remained singularly dedicated to Uttarakhand’s movements and their ongoing struggles for social justice and in defence of the region’s cultural and natural heritage. This is best represented in uttarakhand.net that continues the work of uttarakhand.org, now an archival site for the Uttarakhand Andolan, but also includes the Nanda Devi Campaign (nandadevi.org) and Dr. Harshvanti Bisht’s Gaumukh-Gangotri Conservation Site (savegangotri.org).
Rawat whose ancestors hail from Pauri Garhwal, has lived in Canada and the US since 1975. Ever since the peak of the Uttarakhand Andolan in 1994, he has increasingly devoted his energies towards Uttarakhand, beginning by leading the Uttarakhand Support Committee that provided international advocacy for the Uttarakhand Andolan, and then through various leadership roles in both the US and Canadian Uttarakhandi communities. Currently, he is conducting doctoral research on the Uttarakhand state and whether it has fulfilled or failed the expectations of those who sacrificed their utmost for its creation.
This event is being sponsored by PAHAR, Uttarakhand’s premier people’s research association and Mountain Shepherds which is seeking to evolve a new model of equitable community-owned ecotourism in the Uttarakhand Himalayas.
Copies of the map will be available at the launch event being held in Hotel Pacific (Dehradun) on December 6.
Dr. Shekhar Pathak, PAHAR, +91.9412085755
Dr. Sunil Kainthola, Mountain Shepherds, +91.9719316777
— 6 December 2007