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State PCS

State PCS Current Affairs


Renaming of Joshimath & Kosiyakutoli

  • 15 Jun 2024
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Recently, the Centre approved the Uttarakhand government’s proposal for renaming the Joshimath tehsil in Chamoli district to Jyotirmath, and the Kosiyakutoli tehsil in Nainital district to Pargana Shri Kainchi Dham tehsil.

  • This step will enhance the religious and cultural significance of these areas, in a state that is already a major destination for religious tourism.

Key Points

  • Joshimath was in the news in 2023 after massive cracks developed in many of the town’s roads and hundreds of buildings due to land subsidence.
    • On the other hand, the Kosiyakutoli tehsil is well-known for Neem Karoli Baba’s Kainchi Dham Ashram.
  • Jyotirmath (also known as Jyotir Peeth) is one of the four cardinal mathas (monasteries) that 8th-century philosopher Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have established across India to promote the Advaita Vedanta philosophy.
    • The Jyotirmath was established for the preservation and dissemination of spiritual knowledge and practices.
  • Jyotirmath was the hill town’s ancient name. Over time, the local population began referring to the area as “Joshimath”. This change was likely gradual and organic, influenced by regional languages, local dialects and the ease of pronunciation. The transition reflects a linguistic and cultural evolution rather than a specific historical event.
  • In recent years, some residents have demanded a change in the name to honour the town’s historical and religious importance.
    • Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced the change during a programme organised in Chamoli in 2023.
  • While Joshimath represents a subtle change from an older name, the case of Kosiyakutoli is about changing a lesser-known name that lacks wider recognition.
    • Renaming it to Pargana Shri Kainchi Dham aligns its identity with Neem Karoli Baba’s Kainchi Dham Ashram, which is a major site here that attracts devotees from across the world.
  • In the name “Kosiyakutoli”, “Kosi” refers to the river of the same name which flows through the Nainital district and is important for the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Along with adding to the scenic beauty, it matters to the local ecology and economy.
    • The term “kutoli” is derived from the local language, referring to a village or settlement. In the Kumaoni language, naming a place after a prominent geographical feature like a river is common practice and the names often have meanings connected to the landscape, local history, or cultural attributes
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