Friday, December 24, 2010

Delhi 2050

Chhoti Haldwani Heritage Map

We at arch i, have been working on a map for Chhoti Haldwani, Jim Corbett's village in Uttarakhand which was launched by the governor of Uttrakhand Ms. Margaret Alva in Chhoti Haldwani on 16th December.

The map itself is a tribute to Jim Corbett, his legacy, as well as a tool for education and awareness about the rich biodiversity of the forests of Uttarakhand and the colourful culture of the Kumaoni people.

“Agriculture Heritage Map” of Chhoti Haldwani

Marks the commencement of the 75th Jubilee year of Corbett National Park.

The first ever Heritage map of Chhoti Haldwani, Jim Corbett’s village in the foothills of Kumaon will be launched on 16 December 2010. The map is an initiative of the eco-tourism wing of the Forest Department of Uttarakhand and conceptualized and designed by Delhi based platform for architecture and research, arch i. It will be unveiled by Margaret Alva, Governor of Uttarakhand in Jim Corbett’s old house in the village and now a museum in his memory.

Chhoti Haldwani, once envisioned as a model agricultural village by Jim Corbett, is today being revived by the forest department of Uttarakhand as a model eco-tourism community. Arthur Dillman of GTZ Bank calls Chhoti Haldwani “the best community based eco-tourism initiative in Uttarakhand”.

About Chhoti Haldwani

Resting in the foothills of the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand is the quiet little village of Chhoti Haldwani. This village was once owned by the famous hunter turned conservationist of British India, Jim Corbett, or ”Carpet Sahib” as he was popularly called by the villagers. He bought this small hamlet of 221 acres for a sum of 1500 rupees from Guman Singh Barua to develop it into a model village and helped about 10-15 tenants to settle here in 1915. He built houses for them, encouraged agriculture, developed irrigation systems and helped build a wall around the village to protect crops and villagers from wild animals. Even today he is much loved and revered by the 142 families, about 750 people, that live here.

About the Initiative

In April 2010, Rajiv Bhartari from the eco-tourism wing of Forest Department of Uttarakhand approached Arch I Platform with the idea of mapping the heritage of Chhoti Haldwani. In September 2010, work on a map of Chhoti Haldwani began. This village with its rich past is not short of stories to share, which have been narrated through this map. Most importantly, this map takes Chhoti Haldwani beyond its glorious past, and looks towards the future. Jim Corbett and his role in the history and development of Chhoti Haldwani cannot be ignored, and has been paid due homage in this map. A timeline highlights the history of the village and Corbett’s role in it. Concurrently the timeline looks upward to the present and the future. It talks of the rich biodiversity, the flora and fauna, the agriculture, local crafts and traditions etc. This map is not only an aid for tourists and an identity for the village, but also a tool for education and further awareness about forests, wildlife and nature, which are moving further and further away from civilization.

Hope this mapping of Jim Corbett's legacy is intriguing and someday you experience & explore Chhoti Haldwani.