|Title||A BRIEF STUDY OF GASTRONOMY OF BRAHMINS IN UTTARAKHAND, INDIA|
Vidya Jyoti Group of Institutions, Derabassi, Chandigarh, INDIA
India, the seventh largest country in the world situated in Southern part of Asia, constitutes 29 states and 7 Union Territories. India is known for its vivid culture and traditions, languages, rich flora and fauna, historical events and monuments, different cuisines and food styles .Having one of the beautiful states lying in the laps of Himalayas known as Uttarakhand, the 27th state of India, appeared on the map of India on November 9, 2000. The state is spread over 53484 sq kilometers. Dehradun is the official capital of the state. On1st Jan, 2007 central government changed its name from ‘Uttaranchal’ to ‘Uttarakhand’. It is a place of religious importance especially in Hindu Culture. Indians (Hindus) know about it very well. Since, it was the part of Integrated Uttar Pradesh so it was majorly identified as a group of cities or a section or a part of Uttar Pradesh with famous religious places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Gangotri, Yamonotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Most of the people in India believe that Uttarakhand is the abode of Gods and people of Uttarakhand carrying this belief, developed their eating habits accordingly. They start their day after worshiping God. To do any kind of worship, there is a community called BRAHMINS. In India & particularly in Hindus there are four major castes (Varna) since the ancient times. They are known as Brahmin, Kshatriya, Shudra and Vaishya. Brahmins are the top most in this hierarchy. Since ages, they used to teach people about their culture and religion. They are the one who guide people to achieve the spiritual goals of life.” Brahmins are considered to be face of God” (Dharma shashtra sangreh) and whatever they intake is believed to be eaten by God. So, food taken by Brahmins is considered as offering to God in India. There are great food-related restrictions among Brahmins. But with the time, there has been a huge variation in their eating habits. The taste and preference of Brahmins varied according to the climatic conditions, their religious rules and traditions. According to their religious beliefs, the Brahmins of Uttarakhand are vegetarian as well as non vegetarian. Some of them prefer meat, some do not. Most of the people in India know about Kashmiri pundits-the Brahmins of Kashmir. Brahmins of Uttarakhand are almost parallel to Kashmiri pundits but they have their own sets of beliefs, rules and regulations regarding food. This research enlightens the eating habits of Uttarakhand Brahmins, their customs and their religious beliefs which are related to food.