Bakarwals: caught between summer and snow
and • Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir

Bakarwals: caught between summer and snow

In the summer of 2023, as Jammu heated up, pastoralists readied to move up into the higher Himalayas. But unusually cold weather in those grazing grounds held them back. While waiting, many lost livestock to unseasonal, heavy rains enroute

September 16, 2023 | Muzamil Bhat
The travelling teacher of Lidder valley
and • Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir

The travelling teacher of Lidder valley

When pastoral families migrate to the upper Himalayas, they take their young children with them. Travelling teachers like Ali Mohammed follow and ensure that the primary schoolers stay up-to-date and in class. A story in time for Teacher's Day, coming up

September 4, 2023 | Priti David
‘There are no jobs for people like us’
, and • Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir

‘There are no jobs for people like us’

Young people from the Bakarwal nomadic community are moving away from pastoral futures towards higher education in the hope of finding jobs and settled homes

July 19, 2023 | Ritayan Mukherjee and Ovee Thorat

Between the forest and the road
and • Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Between the forest and the road

A film on the Van Gujjar community and their challenges in the hills and forests of Uttarakhand

June 24, 2023 | Shashwati Talukdar
Raika women don't just herd
and • Pali, Rajasthan

Raika women don't just herd

Women in the Raika pastoral community play a big role in the care of animals, and also do other work

June 4, 2023 | Geetakshi Dixit

Fenced out: pastoral lives of Bakarwals
, , and • Ganderbal, Jammu and Kashmir

Fenced out: pastoral lives of Bakarwals

Every year the community ascends to the higher Himalayas in Kashmir in search of grazing grounds. Ongoing fencing of pastures by the military and for tourism, along with a continuing lack of access to basic facilities, is putting their way of life under threat

January 9, 2023 | Ritayan Mukherjee and Ovee Thorat

‘These are Kharai camels, they need the sea’

In this film where camels swim in the Gulf of Kachchh, herders from the Fakirani Jat and Bhopa Rabari communities of Gujarat narrate the difficulties in keeping their seafaring livestock alive

November 21, 2022 | Urja

Jamnagar’s ‘swimming camels’ in deep waters

State policies’ dismissal of traditional knowledge of the pastoralist communities endangers the lives of Kharai camels and their herders in and around the Marine National Park and Sanctuary in Jamnagar, Gujarat

October 13, 2022 | Ritayan Mukherjee

Shepherding in Garhwal: a dangerous life

In this region of the Himalayas, shepherds brave the wet and cold weather to graze their sheep and goats. They also protect them from wild animals on the Gangotri range where they live for up to nine months a year

July 20, 2022 | Priti David

‘If they don’t get food, how will we eat well?’

Donkey herders from the Kaikadi community who migrate to work at brick kilns in Sangli district, struggle to look after their livestock. An increase in theft of the animals in Maharashtra has made it harder on them

June 28, 2022 | Photographs: Ritayan Mukherjee | Text: Medha Kale

Kachchh camels’ custody: ships of the deserted

Maharashtra police detained five traditional herders from Kachchh on January 7 suspecting these semi-nomadic pastoralists were smuggling camels to slaughterhouses in Hyderabad. Also detained: 58 camels

January 24, 2022 | Jaideep Hardikar

7,000 a litre: milking donkey breeders’ dreams?

When a litre of Halari donkey’s milk sold for Rs. 7,000 in Gujarat, it triggered speculation over this declining breed’s commercial potential. PARI explores the hard realities of the species and its breeders

December 2, 2020 | Ritayan Mukherjee

Predators and pastoralists: Shangdong to stupa
and • Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir

Predators and pastoralists: Shangdong to stupa

The documentary featured here records voices of Ladakh's pastoral communities. It speaks of how, in harsh conditions, herders try to protect their livestock from wolves, and the changes in this traditional approach

November 4, 2020 | Abhijit Dutta

‘We don’t have a home to stay at home’

For this group of nomadic pastoralist Dhangar families in Maharashtra, the lockdown brought a drop in sales of sheep, restricted access to village grounds, and depleted rations – but they have tried to move on

August 28, 2020 | Shraddha Agarwal

Kachchh camel herders: lockdown last straw?

What happens if you are nomadic pastoralists with huge herds of animals far away from home when the Covid-19 lockdown was enforced? The Fakirani Jats of Gujarat’s Kachchh district tell their story

April 28, 2020 | Ritayan Mukherjee

Vidarbha’s pastoralists paying a pandemic price

The Nanda Gaolis and other dairy farmers in eastern Maharashtra are facing losses from the drop in demand for milk and broken supply chains, besides grappling with animal health problems and fodder shortages

April 22, 2020 | Jaideep Hardikar and Chetana Borkar

Where country roads don’t take you home

With the COVID-19 driven lockdown, Chenakonda Balasami and other pastoralists in Telangana, on the road for months, are finding it difficult to access food and new grazing grounds – or return to their villages

March 31, 2020 | Harinath Rao Nagulavancha

At a 'watering hole' in the arid Banni grasslands

The migrations of the maldharis of Kachchh, Gujarat, are linked to the search for grazing grounds and water

March 5, 2020 | Ritayan Mukherjee

Kuruba shepherds lose their security blanket

For long, the pastoralist Kurubas of Karnataka have journeyed for months to graze their hardy Deccani sheep. But with declining demand for their animals' manure and wool, many are seeking other sources of income

December 13, 2019 | Prabir Mitra

Counting sheep as grasslands shrink in Gujarat

Pastoralists from Kachchh walk great distances in search of grazing lands for their sheep in Gujarat, even as pastures disappear or become inaccessible, and climate patterns get ever more erratic

September 23, 2019 | Namita Waikar

‘The happy days are now just nostalgia’
, , and • West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh

‘The happy days are now just nostalgia’

In the high mountains of the eastern Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh, the nomadic Brokpa community is recognising climate change and devising coping strategies based on traditional knowledge

September 2, 2019 | Ritayan Mukherjee

‘Perhaps we made the mountain god angry’
, , and • Leh, Jammu and Kashmir

‘Perhaps we made the mountain god angry’

Nomadic Changpa pastoralists at the high grazing grounds of Ladakh find their yak-related economy in a crisis that is driven by major climatic shifts in their fragile mountainous ecosystems

July 22, 2019 | Ritayan Mukherjee
Weaving the story of the pashmina shawl
and • Leh, Jammu and Kashmir

Weaving the story of the pashmina shawl

From Changthangi goats in the Tibetan Plateau to retail stores in Srinagar, the making of the pashmina shawl involves many – pastoralists, wholesalers, spinners, dyers, designers, embroiderers and entrepreneurs

May 27, 2019 | Prabir Mitra

Women who climb mountains, cross deserts
and • Leh, Jammu and Kashmir

Women who climb mountains, cross deserts

On March 8, International Women’s Day, a PARI photo essay on the remarkable women of three nomadic pastoralist communities – the Changpa of Ladakh, the Brokpa of Arunachal, and the Fakrani Jats in Kachchh

March 8, 2019 | Ritayan Mukherjee

The swimming camels of Kachchh
and • Kachchh, Gujarat

The swimming camels of Kachchh

The magnificent Kharai camels get vital elements of their diet from marine mangroves on islands – and get there by swimming – yes swimming! – several kilometres off the coast of Kachchh (or Kutch) in Gujarat

September 20, 2018 | Ritayan Mukherjee

The fable of Lek and Lakshmi

For long, the Raikas of Rajasthan have told stories to pass the time on their journeys. But this tradition, along with their pasturelands, is shrinking. In the video featured here, Fuyaram Raika narrates a cautionary tale

July 17, 2017 | Sweta Daga

Brokpa: ‘The jungle is our mother'
• Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Brokpa: ‘The jungle is our mother'

The Brokpa of West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh are reclusive herders who migrate in fixed seasonal patterns at high altitudes. A photo story depicting their daily rhythms

June 22, 2017 | Ritayan Mukherjee

The endless search for grazing grounds

Jat Ayub Ameen, a Fakirani Jat, is distinctive even among the remarkable 'maldhari' or nomadic pastoralists – who are worried about the growing scarcities in Kachchh district of Gujarat. A PARI photo story

March 31, 2017 | Ritayan Mukherjee

The Changpas who make cashmere
and • Leh, Jammu and Kashmir

The Changpas who make cashmere

The nomadic Changpas communities of Hanle Valley in Ladakh herd pashmina goats, live in high-altitude pasturelands, and even retain old barter systems – but their ways of life are changing

February 8, 2017 | Ritayan Mukherjee

The Raikas of Rajasthan
• Pali, Rajasthan

The Raikas of Rajasthan

This camel-herding community of Rajasthan faces restrictive grazing laws, social hostility and falling incomes

February 14, 2016 | Sweta Daga