Architecture

The houses are built in linear formation on different terraces facing the valley. The houses are connected by stone paved narrow lanes. Each house has an open courtyard called Khalyan paved with thick slates and enclosed by parapet wall. The houses are usually 1 storey high due to limitation of space to expand horizontally. The upper floors of the house have a terrace that looks into the aangan. The floor is a large halls divided into several functional areas. The houses are connected with each other by meandering pathways. These pathways connect to the front yard (aangan) of the houses. The immediate spaces around an individual house were kitchen gardens, and those in between them had small fenced farmlands or open pastures for the animals. Many of the houses have attached small parcels of land, upon which agriculture is practiced.

For the winter season, when the shepherds migrate the the higher ranges for grazing grounds, temporary accommodation is made by the men to provide shelter during their stay in the hills. The shelters are made on a small parcel of land to farm and provide for the basic needs. A cluster of such shelters are called Dhaar’s. A typical house in the Dhaar is a dry stone and timber construction, with space for animals at the lower level and space for family on the upper floor. The women tether the animals and take care of the fields, while the men do the shepherding and collect fire wood and water from the nearby source. Generally, a group of 5-7 shelters make up a cluster. Due to the shift in the principal occupation, schooling of the children and all-year-round availability of supply from the city market, not many families continue the shift during the monsoon. However, the dhaar’s are still intact and every village have their dhaar’s identified.