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Nestled deep within the mountains of Uttarakhand, Bangar is a village in the Pauri Garhwal district. Bangar is a very old settlement, of almost 700-900 years old with a rich cultural heritage. It has a total population of about 280 people wherein 60% of it is dominated by the women of the village. Most of the villagers are involved in agriculture and defence as their core occupation.
This settlement was started at the age of the kings and has sustained till date due to its cultural and traditional practices.
The absence of motorable roads has turned it into a predominantly self-reliant community that has held on to its roots despite the concurrent era of rapid urbanization. As a result, no economic need has been generated which otherwise would have led to consequent modernization of the village. However, slowly the effects of urbanization have started showing up in this village as well.
With the young seeking out job opportunities in the city and the lack of educational institutions in close vicinity, the grey hair is afraid that their once bustling village may soon be estranged from those that give it its identity. To prevent this, locals have initiated projects that can increase its connectivity to the rest of the world thus creating job opportunities and bringing in revenue. This exact make and break situation that the village has found itself in is exactly what made it an intriguing site for documentation. It could either transition into a town with its upcoming, RCC structures, connecting bridge for vehicular entry, tourist center, etc., or not be able to keep up with the rapid urbanization of the world outside, thus ceasing to exist.
The Agro-Tourist Centre aims at increasing the economical and cultural significance of Bangar. Taking into consideration the traditional practices of the village a program to introduce agricultural practices of Bangar to the tourists, as well as enhancing the agricultural methods practiced at Bangar, the tourist centre consists of various facilities like a farmers’ market, community kitchen, cultural hall, open-air lecture spaces for live demonstrations, yoga and meditation space, farmland tours have been developed. The Tourist Centre will be functional based on the annual and daily routine of the people of Bangar so as to let the ownership of the space be with them. This will hopefully evolve the agricultural practices, increase the interest of villagers as well as tourists in farming via activities such as on-site farm tours, on-site cooking and eating, residential facilities, farmer’s markets and a yoga space which doubles up as a unique selling point.
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