March 30, 2024

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Ghenja festival dedicated to women folks

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Ghenja winners and jury

This one is for the ladies. Ghenja an annual festival is celebrated in Tehri and Uttarkashi district on the 28th day of the Poush month in the lunar calendar is dedicated to women.

An exclusive festival for married women who come out in all their fineries  to celebrate the end of severe winters. The festival is celebrated with the preparation of a traditional culinary delight called Ghenja. The dish is prepared from indigenous grains Jhangora, Koni, Koda, and Maize flour and  crafted in circular form. These delectable creations are gently steamed between lemon and oak leaves and served with tea.

Inaugural committee of the Ghenja festival

The festival was hosted in Bamura Dham, Herawal Gaon, in Pratapnagar, Tehri Garhwal. What made the event even more endearing was the fact that over four hundred homemakers took part in a Ghenja making contest which carried cash prizes not only for the winners but the participants too.

The expert jury panel comprised of Rohini Singh and Ankita Bisht, scholars from the Home Science Department of HNB Garhwal University. Sangeeta Panwar, an educator from Uttarkashi. Millet experts Pavitra Rana and Rakhi Rana from “Garh Bhoj” Uttarkashi including Poorna Devi, an octogenarian homemaker from Herwal Gaon. The jury not only tasted but also discussed the art of making Ghenja with the contestants.

The 121 kg Ghenja for Ram Prathishta

The highlight of the Festival was unveiling the world’s largest Ghenja, weighing 121 kilograms, dedicated to the Pran Partishtha of Shri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

Mr. Virendra Rawat, the man behind the event expressed his vision of giving this traditional culinary delight a national and international recognition.

The Chief Guest for the event Dinesh Semwal lauded the event as it reconnected hillfolks with traditional customs, cuisine and culture.  Shailendra Singh Negi, Sub-District Magistrate of Pratapnagar, highlighted the health benefits of consuming coarse grains and urged people to follow traditional practices for better health.

Other dignitaries, included Bhajaram Panwar and  Mahipal Singh Rawat.  The organizing committee, comprised of Dinesh Kalura, Chandrashekhar Panyuli, Vijay Pokhriyal and Mangal Singh Panwar.