Kandali Festival Uttarakhand

Celebrated by the Rung Tribe of Pithoragarh District, Kangdali is a festival that commemorate the defeat of Zorawar Singh's army. The festival celebration includes singing folk songs and uprooting of Kangdali plant.

About Kandali Festival

The festivals celebrated in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand have their own charm and spell over its tourists. Talking about one such festival that is celebrated in the Pithoragarh District is Kangdali. This festival falls between the months of August and October and is celebrated in the Chaundas Valley every 12 years along with the blooming of the Kangdali plant. The ones who anticipate for this auspicious festival the most are the Rung Tribals of Pithoragarh District. This local festival was last held in 2011 where the tribes commemorate the defeat of Zorawar Singh's army which attacked the area in the late 19th Century.

One may find several mythologies that follow the celebration of this propitious festival. The one that is popularly heard and enacted in the festival is that when the villages nearby Pithoragarh were being robbed by the soldiers who were on their way adjacent to the Kali River, they found a rescue spot in the Kangdali plants. When the women belonging to the village tried to repel the soldiers, the same plants ended up being destroyed and uprooted. The rituals that are followed in the festival are that the women start the cavalcade where they uproot the plants grown over the period with rills along with men and children carrying swords. The plants are taken back home as the mars of war. A festival with such a great history is incomplete without the spellbinding sound of folk music and dance, and hence the tribes perform their special dance upon the destructions of the plants blossoming every 12 years in the area. Travellers from across the country are accompanied by the locals from other villages to make the festival more extravagant and to keep traditions and customs together for the coming ages.


  • Kangdali Festival is one of the important festivals of Kumaon Region and is celebrated once every 12 years in the Pithoragarh District.
  • The women of the Rung Tribals of Chaundas Valley begin the procession where they uproot the plants with rills followed by the men and children carrying their swords.
  • The uprooted plants are taken back as the mars of the war.
  • The villagers celebrate by enjoying to the folk music and performing a special dance upon destructions of the plants blossoming every 12 years.

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