Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology

2004 Edition
| Editors: Carol R. Ember, Melvin Ember


  • Satish Kedia
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-29905-X_68

Alternative Names

The current name of Garhwal is of relatively recent origin. Etymologically, Garhwal means a region formed by the integration of Garhs (fortresses) and their territories, an act that took place in the 16th century when King Ajaypal consolidated 52 small princely states and their forts to expand his empire over the whole Garhwal (Rawat, 1989, p. 20). The original inhabitants of the Garhwal hills are known as Garhwali. They are also called Pahari, meaning “people of the mountain,” by the neighboring communities in the plains.

Location and Linguistic Affiliation

Garhwali live in the North Indian Himalayas in the western part of the State of Uttaranchal. Uttaranchal comprises 13 districts and was part of the State of Uttar Pradesh until 2000, when it was given autonomous status. The Garhwal region is in the middle zone of the Himalayas, which have a varying width of about 60–90 km and an elevation ranging between 1,000 m and 3,000 m above sea level. The region is full of...


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satish Kedia

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