In a significant recognition of Uttarakhand’s rich and diverse heritage, the Geographical Indications (GI) Registry has bestowed the coveted GI tags upon more than 15 products from the state. These products, ranging from traditional teas to textiles and pulses, not only reflect the cultural tapestry of Uttarakhand but also hold immense economic potential.
1. Berinag Tea: Himalayan Elegance in Every Sip
Uttarakhand’s Berinag tea, crafted from the leaves of a plant that thrives in the Himalayan wilderness, has earned a spot on the list. The unique process of compressing the leaves into a solid mass sets this tea apart. Widely sought after by London tea houses and blenders, Berinag tea showcases the region’s expertise in the art of tea-making.
2. Bichhu Buti Fabrics: Sustainable Fashion from Himalayan Nettles
The recognition extends to Bichhu buti fabrics, made from Himalayan nettle fibers. These fabrics, known for their natural insulation properties, are ideal for clothing in both winter and summer. The hollow fibers trap air, providing a unique and sustainable solution for the fashion industry.
3. Uttarakhand Mandua: A Staple Delight
Uttarakhand’s finger millet, known as Mandua, has been an integral part of the local diet in Garhwal and Kumaon. The acknowledgment with a GI tag underscores its significance as a staple food item, marking its distinctiveness in terms of taste and cultural importance.
4. Jhangora: The Himalayan Millet Marvel
Another homegrown millet, Jhangora, found in the rain-fed areas of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, now carries the GI tag. This recognition highlights its unique characteristics and strengthens its identity as a valuable local produce.
5. Gahat: Medicinal Pulse of Uttarakhand
Gahat, a crucial pulse thriving in the dry regions of Uttarakhand, has been granted a GI tag. With known medicinal uses documented in Ayurveda and traditional medicine, Gahat is not only a culinary delight but also a testament to the state’s traditional medicinal knowledge.
6. Uttarakhand Lal Chawal: Organically Grown Gem
Organically grown in the Purola region, Uttarakhand Lal Chawal, a red rice variant, now proudly carries the GI tag. This recognition further emphasizes the uniqueness of this locally cultivated rice variety.
Diverse Range of Recognition
The list of GI-tagged products from Uttarakhand is extensive, covering a spectrum of items such as the Uttarakhand Kala Bhat (black soybean), Malta fruit, Chaulai (Ramdana) grain for fasting days, Buransh juice from Rhododendron arboreum flowers, Pahari Toor Dal, Uttarakhand Likhai or wood carvings, Nainital Mombatti (candles), Kumaon’s Rangwali Pichhoda, Ramnagar Nainital Litchis, Ramgarh Nainital Peaches, Chamoli Wooden Ramman Masks, and Almora Lakhori Mirchis, a distinctive chili variant.
Conclusion: A Culmination of Culture and Commerce
The conferment of GI tags on these diverse products not only celebrates Uttarakhand’s cultural wealth but also opens up new avenues for economic growth. These products, now recognized on a global scale, are poised to contribute significantly to the state’s identity and economy, ensuring their legacy for generations to come.