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Niti valley is situated at the height of 3,600 m, and is said to be a vital village or district in this gorge. There is a famous Niti Pass (with height of 5,800 m) leading to the southern Tibet at the north of this village. This area receives extensive snowfall.
The valley is seasonably populated by people who are named as Bhotias. The Niti valley provides many trekking opportunities and the surrounding places give us an excellent opportunity to know about semi-nomadic people’s culture. The population of this gorge migrates from their native villages (which are located in the extreme lower hill ranges of the great Himalayas) to the valley during the months of summer and stay in the gorge from April to October. Different traditional rituals are being executed throughout the duration of their stay in this valley. There are many villages that come along the Niti valley which includes Tapovan, Raini, Fagti, Maher, Kailashpur, Farkya, Bampa, Gamshali and Niti. Each and every village in this valley follows their own customs, events, and traditions.
There are many places worth watching in the Niti Valley which includes Tapovan, Joshimath, Nanda Devi National Parl, Dronagiri Mountain, and grasslands – Malari, Panchnag temple and Faila Temple in Gamshali. Badrinath and Niti valleys are easily accessible from Joshimath which is a major town on the way to Badrinath. The valley offer peaceful environment and almost unspoiled forests.
Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) has focused on the development of Niti valley by improving the infrastructure like small tourist rest house, artificial lake and camping facilities. The Niti valley has got a wide range of interesting features to showcase. Villagers of Niti valley practice an interesting hospitality custom. Two families of the village take over the responsibility to offer daily prayers to the village deity for a year. Along with this, they also provide accommodation and food during the year to any person who visits the village. Next year another two families takes the charge as per schedules. Added to this, the Niti valley possess various highlights includes village life, cultural experience, hand spun woolen cloth material, carpets and local agricultural products like apples during the month of September and October, and various other Himalayan spices etc. Any religious festivals held in this place attract devotees from all other parts spread across the state such as Rini, Lata and Joshimath. During the time of festivals, the villagers offer home brewed liquor to the deities as a part of their rituals and also give liquor to devotees as Prasad.
There are also ritual dances being performed by the villagers from the month of August to November by glorifying the god and goddess. Theme of the song revolves around the triumph of the god/goddess over the demon and other evil characters. These dances are always being performed by men with few females (especially Pandav dance). The most spectacular dances are Bagdwal and Pandav dance. These are being performed in the front of templates or stage by persons from the community.
Apart from this, Rongpa community is well known for their cuisines especially for those which is being prepared during special occasions of weddings, mundane and worship of god. Their cuisines include Arsa, Baadi – Lyotu, Geema – Arjiya, Chausa Daal, Koda Roti, Kwakla, Poli, Lyoad and Pakoda, Roath, Silchum etc…most of their cuisines are local flour based.
How to Reach
The closest airport is the Jolly Grand airport that is situated at Dehradun. The Dehradun is connected only with Delhi and three operators offer their services.
The nearest railhead is situated at Haridwar. Haridwar is a busy station and receives trains from different parts of the country. Haridwar is connected to Delhi, Dehradun and a few more places. Second class sleeper tickets from Delhi to Haridwar cost around Rs. 140.
The Niti valley is accessible only through Badrinath and after reaching this spot, one can either opt for a taxi or take a trek for a short distance.