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Increased activity in meadows contributes to global warming

“Uttarakhand High Court Rejects ‘Butter Holi’ Festival Petition Citing Environmental Concerns”

DEHRADUN: A division bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal of the Uttarakhand high court (HC) dismissed a 
petition filed by the Dayara Paryatan Utsav Samiti seeking permission to hold a ‘Butter Holi’ festival in the alpine meadow of Dayara Bugyal in Uttarkashi district. The court denied permission, citing “increased activity in the Himalayan meadows as a cause of global warming. 

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The two-day ‘Butter Holi’ festival (traditionally called ‘Anduri’), held from August 16 to 17, in which villagers smear each other with butter in a ritual that reminds them of Holi, has recently become a major tourist attraction, attracting thousands of visitors to the high-altitude meadow, which can only be reached after trekking.

Due to the threat to the area’s fragile ecology, the forest department limited the number of tourists visiting the meadow to 200 on August 7, 2018, in with an Uttarakhand High Court order issued in August 2018.The festival’s organizing committee, Dayara Paryatan Utsav Samiti, had petitioned the HC to raise the limit.

“There is no reason to impose restrictions on the number of tourists because the meadow can only be reached by a limited number of people because it involves trekking for seven kilometers from the last point where vehicles can reach it,” said Saurabh Kumar Pandey, the petitioner’s counsel. 

The court rejected this PIL, stating that “because it is a religious case, “The court went on to say, “The bugyals (meadows) are extremely eco-sensitive and must be protected. Even though the meadow is not accessible by vehicle, increased tourism in such areas is bound to result in pollution and degradation.”The court did, however, add that there is “no limit on the number of locals who can come and participate in the festival.”

Butter Holi’ festival

Butter Holi, also known as ‘Anduri,’ is a unique and culturally significant festival celebrated in the pristine alpine meadow of Dayara Bugyal in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand, India. This festival, which combines cultural traditions with natural beauty, holds mythological roots and has recently gained attention due to its environmental impact.

Mythological Origins

Butter Holi finds its origins in Hindu mythology, specifically in the tales of Lord Krishna. According to Hindu scriptures, Lord Krishna, as a mischievous child, was known for stealing butter and playing pranks on the village’s inhabitants. These playful acts are believed to have inspired the concept of smearing butter on one another during the festival.

The festival is also associated with the vibrant Hindu festival of Holi, which celebrates the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and the bonds of friendship and love. Butter Holi retains the essence of Holi by using butter instead of colored powders to playfully connect with its mythological roots.

Cultural Significance

Butter Holi serves as a vivid reminder of the playful spirit of Lord Krishna and his love for butter. The act of smearing butter on each other reflects the joy, camaraderie, and unity that the deity brought to his devotees. Villagers and visitors alike come together to partake in this ritual, fostering a sense of community and preserving their cultural heritage.

The Festival’s Evolution

Over the years, the Butter Holi festival has transformed from a local tradition into a popular tourist attraction. The allure of this unique celebration draws thousands of visitors annually, seeking to experience the cultural fervor against the backdrop of the Himalayan meadow’s breathtaking beauty.

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