Rakcham Village

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Rakcham Village

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Rakcham Village

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Location

Sangla, Himachal Pradesh, India - 172106

Info

Located about 12 km from Sangla in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Rakcham is a sparsely populated village at an altitude of 3000m. The region is characterized by a temperate climate with long winters and short summers. Lower parts of the valley receive monsoon rains. The river Baspa flows in the valley and temperate species of trees like oak, chestnut, maple, birch, apple and apricots can be found. Alpine and coniferous trees can be found in the dense forests in the region. 

A small population of about 800 inhabits the village and are engaged in primitive occupations like farming and animal rearing. The houses within the village are mostly constructed of locally available wood and stone. Some of the residents migrate to nearby regions in the harsh winters. Two temples dedicated to Shiva and Kali are also located in the village.

Rakcham Village ( Image : the-shooting-star.com)

The architecture of the buildings and structures in Rakcham reflect a sensitive approach to the local climate and geography as reflected in the use of local materials and building methods. Houses and other structures are built on stone foundations, above which walls are constructed in the traditional Kath Kuni style. The Kath Kuni style has developed over centuries and have evolved to withstand seismic events. Alternate layers of wood and stones are arranged in a geometric stable structure. Two beams of wood are placed parallel to each other with a gap in between that is filled with stone and secured in place using a wooden joist joining the two. The next layer is made of stones without using any cementing material. 

The houses are generally two to three stories with rectangular layouts. The lower level is sometimes used as a shed for livestock and the upper level is used as a living space. The upper level projects outwards and is supported on wooden posts at the corners in some buildings while in some they remain cantilevered. The upper level is made completely of wood. Roofs are sloped in response to snow and rain. Slate is used to cover the roof however tin roofs can be seen in many newer constructions. 

Granaries and small structures for storing wood and other resources are built of wooden planks over a raised platform. These are built to provide a weather proof storage space for grains during the winters. These are built around the main house and are of a smaller scale as compared to the residence. Grains are also stored in the attic under the roof in houses.

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