On our recent trip to Mussoorie, we visited the corn villages of Uttrakhand, Sainji & Bhatoli where every house is decorated with ripe corn.
What Is It?
A trip to this village is part of the unique experiences offered by JW Marriott Mussoorie. Its the best way to get up, close and personal with the locals of the region. The Garhwalis are known to be extremely warm and welcoming. Corn is a staple crop here and the villagers make flour out of it after drying the corn. At Sainji village which is only 10 kms away from Mussoorie, every house is beautifully decorated with ripe corn. It is known to be a sign of wealth in this villages. So more corn used to cover the house, wealthier the family. Fun fact: The height of the door in their homes is short to discourage a thief from breaking in.
[caption id="attachment_28533" align="alignnone" width="770"] The more the corn, the wealthier the household[/caption]
Corn is a major part of the staple diet for these people. Their favorite food happens to be makki di roti (corn chapati) and walnut chutney.
They hang it outside their homes in order to dry them so that they have enough to harvest for the next season. It also in turn turns out to add to the decor of the already colorful homes.
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[caption id="attachment_28534" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Ripe corn is hung, to have it ready for harvest season[/caption]
Sainji has nearly 15 houses with women being the bread winners of all homes. Their homes are made up of Deodar wood that is extremely expensive these days, and the homes have short doors. This was a trick used in the earlier days, so as to identify thieves when they bent through the small doors, and chop their heads off.
Smoking up hookahs and bidis is considered a normal and is a part of the womens' lifestyle.
[caption id="attachment_28536" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Smoking hookahs & bidis is part of the women's lifestyle here[/caption]
Sainji is also home to Garhwal English Medium School which has only 15 students. The children are always happy to see a visitor and greet you with happy faces and cute 'hellos'.
The locals in the village are warm and welcoming. The women always have their heads covered, as that is their alternative to a mangalsutra. They are in charge of taking the children to school, cooking, getting wood and even making any major decisions for the family.
[caption id="attachment_28535" align="alignnone" width="770"] The locals are warm & welcoming[/caption]
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Where: Sainji village, Jaunpur Tehsil, Tehri Garhwal district, Uttarakhand
How to get there: 10 km from Mussoorie via car