Bhopal: ‘Kothar,’ a traditional granary of Rama village, Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand), is on display on the official website and the social media pages of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), Bhopal.
It is part of an online exhibition series -57 which began on Thursday. The exhibit has been displayed along with its basic information, photographs and videos. The museum had collected the traditional Kothar from Rama village of Uttarkashi district in the year 2013. It was installed in the Himalayan Village, an open air exhibition of the museum with the help of the members of the Rawain community.
Museum Associate Shrikant says that Kothar is not merely a storage structure but also an inseparable cultural item of this hilly region and the houses in the area appear incomplete without it. With the passage of time, change in living patterns and modern life ways, the existence of Kothar is on the verge of extinction. People in the region started to leave Kothare, he says.
Settled in the Rawain valley of Rajgarhi Purola and Mori Block of Uttarkashi; the Rawain community is hardworking. They practice simple agriculture and cattle breeding as their main occupations. Grains obtained through cultivation are stored in the Kothar (a grain bin). The use of Kothar in the Rawain society has been continuing from ancient times. Pine or Cedar wood is used for making Kothar as it helps in preventing damages from the rain and unwanted infestation of the woodworms and termite.
Kothar is a small wooden structure similar to a house built by the people nearby their house. Even nowadays, artists do not use nails in the making of a Kothar. They use wooden pegs and set in a way that ensures the firmness of the structure and its longevity. Carving is done on front pillars by engraving beautiful and attractive motifs of flowers, leaves and creepers.
This structure is made in a way that it can be shifted from one place to another. Its lower portion is a box-type enclosure made of four walls prepared by mud and stone. The roof is covered with wood and Pathaal (local stone). The entire structure is founded on the four thick and solid planks of pine over the stone surface and this traditional technique is used by the locality from over a period of time and tested quite enduringly to resist earthquakes to a great extent.