Uttarakhand Cinema has its immediate genesis in the Garhwali and Kumaoni theatre scenes of the 70s and 80s. Wherever Uttarakhandis have settled, folk plays have played an integral role in maintaining a connection with the homeland. In Delhi, Dehradun, and Nainital, as well as the university towns of Srinagar and Almora, this development was particularly pronounced, drawing support from local artists and college programs. These theatrical troupes in turn drew much of their inspiration in equal parts from Indian theatre, the Ram Lila tradition of Northern India, and traditional nataks that have been enjoyed in the hills since time immemorial when Baddis — the Bards of the Himalayas — performed their ballads for the people.

The archival clippings below covers the Delhi-based group Jagaar through 70s and 80s, when the cultural ferment in expatriate communities inspired the first films as well as the Uttarakhand statehood movement (where artists grouped together in the Uttarakhand Sanskritik Morcha). Hopefully other groups including Parvatiya Kala Kendra, Yugmanch, and Akhil Garhwal Sabha will be likewise highlighted once access to their archives is established.

A special thanks from the entire performing arts community is owed to progressive writer and renowned theatre critic Diwan Singh Bajeli who has made it his special duty to follow the evolution of Uttarakhand theatre for over 30 years. His prolific writings can be found everywhere plays have been performed.

Historical Accounts

Entry for Uttarakhandi Theatre

Snapshots from Plays

Scenes from Aunsi Ki Raat

Scenes from Cholee

Scenes from Khabesh

Bombay Troupe

Reviews of Plays

The following plays were produced by Jaagar, an Uttarakhandi-based artist group founded in 1953 in Delhi.

Reviews of Rajendra Dhasmana’s Arddha Grameshwar (1976)

Review of Cholee (1975)

Reviews of Dhar (1982)