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Culture of Chenani

Culture of ChenaniTo any place culture is an important aspect of society. It is a reflection of the way the people live and adapt in a society. The cultural aspects of society are important and integral part of everybody’s life. The different languages people use to communicate with each other, the folk dances and the songs which people develop as a way to entertain themselves, the art and literature which are a very important part of anyone’s upbringing are all an important part of cultural heritage of a place.

Chenani, although a small town but has a very rich culture with diversity in all aspects of life. The people live a simple life and they have managed to maintain the old world charm as they are still untouched by commercialization. Their cultural traditions are a treat to the eyes and provide solace to mind proving that old traditions are deep rooted and well performed.

People of Chenani

People in Chenani

The people of Chenani are very simple and rooted to the ground as the rural way of life has kept them grounded and level headed. They are mix of different races as Gujjaras and Dogras. They are ardent followers of their religion and believe in performing whatever they follow with immense respect and faith.

The main occupation of the people is agriculture and pastoralism. Since there are no industries in the region there are no wage laborers but a lot of work got generated for the people when the Chenani tunnel project started in the region. A lot many of the people are skilled laborers who produce marvelous works from the wood and craftsmen producing dresses from fabric.

The people of Chenani truly live up to the saying “atithi devo bhav:”showing tremendous love and care for the devotees who throng the sudh mahadeva temple fair. The three day arrangements and hospitality by the authorities and the people is really to be praised upon.

Languages in Chenani

Language is the most powerful means of expression in a society. The different ethnic groups living in the area develop different ways to communicate with each other. Apart from Hindi and Urdu people of Chenani speak Dogri as well.

The traces of Gurjara or Dogra culture are also seen in their way of living. Their attire is too simple and follows the seasonal pattern. The woman are mostly clad in Salwar Kameez with shawls and phirans and sweaters.The men’s too wear loose fitting Kurta Pyjama with loose woolen overcoats over their attire for protection from severe cold.

Food in Chenani

Food in ChenaniA region is known by the cuisine it specializes in. The cuisine of Chenani is also influenced by the Jammu culinary ways. The most famous food being the rajma chawal which is so appetizing that you can’t stop asking for more. The rajma chawal here is served with the pudina and anardana chutney which makes it a finger licking food.

The other local specialty of the region is klari which is a milk preparation like paneer. Jalebi with pure khoya is another delight for those having a sweet tooth.

The region of Chenani is dominated by Dogras and the Dogri cuisine mainly comprise of khatta maas, kulthein di dal, daal patili etc.The pickles of karsod,mangoes and girgal are very tasty and different he flavours conjoined in all these dishes are so ethnic to the region that they can give any fast food joint run for their money.

Music and Dance in Chenani

Dance in ChenaniTo any society music and dance are an integral part for its growth and development. Without music and dance life would become too simple and boring. In this part of India we surely are not going to find the Bollywood type hip hop and rap songs but the songs which people sing on the weddings and different festivals have their roots planted in the historical times. They are such melody to the ears that everybody just wishes to carry on. The folk songs carry various folklore in them which are an added entertainment factor.

The pahari folk songs are prevalent form of mass entertainment. These songs add to the priceless beauty and joy of daily life. The songs sans any instruments just add to the melodiousness of the songs.
The beautiful and melodious Dogri songs are so heart bounding that everybody starts to croon along.

The folk dances are often regarded as the regional and traditional dances of the particular area. Chenani is a small town of Jammu province so the influence is seen in all major aspects of Chenani culture. The women and children make it a tradition to perform on all major festivals and celebration such as marriages and birth of a child.

Dogri dance is performed by the women of the village. They dance on a Dogri song “surma” which is believed to reveal the anguish and plight of a newly married bride whose husband is away in army. The yearning of the partners for each other and their reunion is depicted through the song.

The small town is abuzz with music, dance and all sorts of festivities and people here enjoy themselves to their heart’s content.

Art and Crafts of Chenani

Chenani has inherited a lot of its crafting patterns from the state of Jammu. The wonderful masterpieces created by the workers are really applaudable. We can find the intricate detailing on beautiful wood carvings. The local markets are the best place to have a look at these wonderful pieces . Being a small place we won’t be able to find big shops or showrooms but what a native produces with his heart and soul into any work of art is to be looked upon for.

Various embroidered dresses and woolen stuff is found here at very nominal prices. Bamboo articles, stone and metal jewellery as well other metallic stuff are the major attractions.

Religion of Chenani

Chenani have been ruled by the Religion in ChenaniDogra rulers and it has an impact on the traditions and the religious beliefs of the region. A lot of Dogri traditional festivals and practices are still carried on by the people of Chenani. They follow the Hindu religion but there is no boundation to follow a particular religion. They believe to respect each and every religion with utmost respect.

The temple of Sudh Mahadeva and Jalandhara Mata Mandir is very important places of worship. The three day fair at Sudh Mahadev temple and the Baisakhi fair are major attractions of the region.

Festivals in Chenani

There are several festivals celebrated in Chenani and one of them is Sudh Mahadeva Fair.

Sudh Mahadeva Fair in Chenani

Religious Spots in ChenaniThe temple of Sudh Mahadeva in Chenani is of huge importance. It is one of the ancient temples of the state. The legend has it that Sudheet; a demon in his fore birth was an ardent Shiva bhakt. Once when goddess Parvati, was worshiping near the kund, Sudheet too came there and on seeing his fierce look goddess Parvati shrieked.

On hearing the shriek Mahadeva who was meditating in the Himalayas threw his trident and it hit Sudheet on neck. While dying he kept chanting Mahadeva and it is believed that then Mahadeva realized his mistake and gave him the boon that whenever Mahadeva will be worshiped Sudheet will be remembered before him. That’s why the name of the temple is Sudh Mahadeva Temple.

The temple is believed to be 2800 year old having a black marble lingam, the trident of lord Shiva and mace believed to be of Bheema. It is situated at a height of 1225 m.

The austerity and purity of the place is such that over the years it has become an important temple for the devotees. The devotees clad in their traditional and customary dresses come to the temple to worship the black marbled Shiva-linga. It is believed that the people get rid of all their problems by visiting the temple.

Fair in ChenaniThe temple is also famous for the 3 day long fair which is celebrated with so much pomp and splendor that the whole town turns into the festive spirit. Pilgrims of all faith visit the the fair on full moon night of saavan month (June –July) to worship the trident and mace.

The first day sees all the people taking a plunge in the “beenisangam” known as the budhisudhi rivulet regarded as home to innumerable saints. After that devotees take a dip in the paap nashni bouli situated at the entrance of the temple. People believe that a dip in the spring is enough to ward off all evils from one’s soul.

After cleansing themselves the pilgrims now move to worship the holy temple of lord Shiva.the pilgrims carry offerings of flowers, dhatura and milk to offer to their loved God. Many of the pilgrims carry on yajna in honor of the diety. The town during these days of puja echoes with the sounds of Shiva bhajans and bhakti songs.

During the 3 days of the fair the authorities work day in and day out to make the fair a huge success. A lot of preparations are made to make the fair an enjoyable affair for all. The authorities leave no stone unturned to provide the best of facilities for the tourists. Elaborate security arrangements along with proper transportation and medical facilities are taken care of. The devotees can stay at accommodation provided by the government in temporary tents as well the sarais maintained by the trust.

Food Stall A lot of temporary stalls of various local cuisines as rajma chawal with desi ghee and pudina and anardana chutney, klari kulcha, jalebi with khoya are few dishes to be named to arouse the taste buds of the tourists.

 A lot of cultural programmes with folk dances and music are being organized by the government. The folk songs and folk dances are a hit among all the tourists. Everybody wishes to catch a glimpse of the performers decked up in the traditional costumes. We can certainly feel the melody of trumpets, drums and flutes in the air. The well rehearsed performances of the local performers are something which no one should miss.

The fair has something for everyone. The fair is famous for the annual Dangal conducted which is a huge hit among all the people.

Festivals in Chenani

The hindola swing is a major hit amongst the kids with everyone so joyfully waiting for their turns. The kids can buy lots of local handicrafts and wooden toys from stalls specially put up for the promotion of local crafts. The fair in itself is a very sort after occasion for all the people of the town.

Culturally we can say that Chenani is rich and has all those elements which are to be found in any Indian state.

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