The children in India grow up hearing the stories of the mythological epic of Mahabharat. Even I grew up listening to the dramatic and tragic tales of Kauravas and Pandavas. Everything seemed like a fascinating ancient myth till I came across this village named Oslo on the way to Har-ki-Doon Trek. The village is nestled on the edge of the hills with the mighty river Tons flowing down its valley.
Not many would be aware that there are many villages in Garhwal Himalayas, which was the kingdom of the hundred sons of Dhritrashtra and Gandhari – Kauravas. Though the legacy has come to an end, the people of Osla village have kept it alive through their customs and culture.
It has been included in my must visit list. Once in your life time, you must witness the glory of our mythological past.
The legacy of Draupadi
The history in Indian culture changed its course when Draupadi was married to five brothers. Following her example, the women of Oslo and nearby villages were given the freedom or may be forcefully married to all the brothers of the same family. The custom is no more in practice, but still you will meet the old women of the village who were married under such custom. The shortage of girls in the area might be considered a reason for such customs during that time.
When I tried asking one of such women in the village who was married to two brothers, she didn’t comply happily and felt offended about the question, though the other women seemed quite okay with the act. This made me think if I intruded the wounded corner of her heart whose wish wasn’t taken into consideration. The women now are quite independent and free to choose their husband. There are instances of love marriages and the runaway marriages in this village and the couples happily boast about their venture.
The Weaving Women
The main occupation of the male members of the village is animal rearing while the woman weave pashmina/woolen jackets and sell it for around 2000-3000 depending upon the quality of the wool. They are friendly enough to even teach you the art of weaving. Or you can buy the jacket directly from them which would be way cheaper than those in the market. Many such ladies are the sole earners of their families and proudly maintain their family with all dignity.
The Temple of Duryodhan
Nowhere else in India would you find the temple of the defamed character of Mahabharat, named Duryodhan. Though he was an evil and selfish brother of Pandavas, another side of his character depicts him as a devout king and a kind friend of Karna. The same reason might have led the people build his temple and worship him. As per another perspective the villagers during that time might have been helped him or forced by him to consider him as their God.
The temple is opened in the evening to worship Duryodhana’s idol. Though you might not be let in, you can witness the rituals from outside the temple. Any kind of untouchability isn’t prevalent in the village, but be careful about the sensitivity of the people for their culture.
The Majestic View
Nag tibba and Swargarohini stands guarding the heaven at the end of the valley with the river Tons rumbling down from their lap, is the ultimate painting of the nature you would witness from this village. The captivating beauty of nature will certainly make you fall in love with this place of Gods, the Devbhoomi.
So… is your hippies soul inspired to pack and run??? What are you waiting for then….Get…set…. run… and lemme know your experience.
You might also like to read about the Har ki Doon Trek that is a famous trail passing through this village.
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