This week as we ramp up for Varta, the first-ever literary and cultural festival focusing on the Western Himalayas, we have some great reads for you. Peerbagh’s volunteer and writer, Srilakshmi Srinivasan shares her favorite children’s books from the Himalayan region.
THE FIRST-EVER Literary and cultural fest
Varta aims to breathe new life into the vibrant culture and diverse stories of the Himalayan belt. Join us #VartaDoon2023.
Reviving Himalayan Culture and Stories: Varta, the Inaugural Art and Literary Festival, Comes to Uttarakhand
A good vibration of meditative icy air blooms in our hearts when we hear the word, “Himalayas”. The king of mountains, the Himalayas stretch across five countries and thirteen Indian states. The mountain region is known for its spiritual stature; the Ganges flows from Mount Kailash through northern India, and many temples find their abode in the mountains.
Let’s celebrate some children’s books from the Himalayan region.
5 Children’s Books from the Himalayan Region
- Chipko Takes Root by Jeyanthi Manokaran
Environmentalist Sundarlal Bahugana’s Chipko movement saving trees started in Uttarakhand in the 1970s. His work has shown kids and adults why loving mama earth is vital.
In a similar vein, Manokaran’s book published by Pratham books is a very good example to elucidate the values of trees. This story also illustrates the effects of deforestation, showcasing the courageous initiative, “Chipko” by a young girl from the Himalayan region and her efforts to protect her village.
- The Mighty Annapurna – An illustrated book about the Himalayan Mountain range seen through a child’s eye by Rohan Raman
Father and son hold a magical bond although we all know there is a special attachment in a father-daughter relationship. During a hiking expedition at Annapurna Base Camp in the Himalayan region, this book explores a child’s thoughts about traveling. You will cherish, rejoice in, and celebrate the affectionate connection between father and son in a serene setting.
- Tales From the Himalayas by Priyanka Pradhan
There are seventeen stories in this book, each about a different Himalayan region. It offers children a taste of culture and tradition from the Himalayas and an appreciation for diversity. It shows musical tales to tales originating far off to back 500 years ago, while also highlighting the challenges people of different diverse origins face in terms of social identity. The author also mentions the names of real-life heroes in her chapters, sharing their stories.
- The Rupa Book of Ruskin Bond’s Himalayan Tales by Ruskin Bond
Bond’s collection of short stories, essays, and poems around the theme of hills as is so much of his extensive work. With a keen spirit of observation, he deftly captures the mystery and joy of inhabiting a rich natural environment. The haikus and poems interspersed with the stories make for delightful reading. With this compelling blend of fiction and non-fiction, Ruskin Bond treats us to enjoy the Himalayan regime.
- Caravan to Tibet by Deepa Agarwal
At the turn of the century, 14-year-old Debu embarks upon an adventurous journey from Kumaon hills to Tibet to look for his father. This fast-paced, action story is a must read. Deepa Agarwal will be coming to meet us all at Varta.
These books on the Himalayan regions carve a space in our hearts to understand nature and learn about diverse identities and cultures in the region. Isn’t it spectacular to be able to travel with these books? Which book would you add to this list?
~ Srilakshmi Srinivasan