Find out Why Bhatoli, Sainji villages near Mussoorie are called corn villages?
Outside a typical Garhwali home in Bhatoli and Sainji villages, you will see freshly harvested corn hanging in bunches. While for the villagers it is the way of life, the unique sight arouses much curiosity among new tourists.Just an hour away from Mussoorie, the sparsely populated villages of Bhatoli and Sainji are located. These twin villages have in common the tradition of hanging harvested corn outside or inside their homes to let it dry and then grind it into flour for their daily diet. After the corn is harvested in September-October, the villagers hang their harvest to conserve it for as long as possible. Also, the villagers hold this tradition as a harbinger of prosperity. The wealthier the family is, the more corn they hung outside the home. Another strange facet of these villages is the height of the door each house has. The idea behind such architectural custom is to keep thieves away from sneaking into the house.
So, it is very obvious that corn is a major part of their diet in this region, and the villagers take delight in devouring makki ki roti (corn chapatti) with walnut chutney and kheer. And the joy of eating the food gets doubled when the warm and kind villagers serve it in their typical loving way.
In Sainji itself, there are barely less than 20 houses. The society is predominantly matriarchal where the women work for living, raise children, performs domestic chores and other mundane tasks. One of their occupations is smoking hookah and bidis, perhaps to keep their body warm. They live in antique homes made using the expensive Deodar wood and love having guests over for a meal. Like the grown-ups of the region, the children too are cheerful and endearing and like it when they see a newcomer in town.
How to reach
The nearest railhead and airport is at Dehradun. Hire a taxi from Dehradun to reach Mussoorie. Once you reach Mussoorie by road, take the road toward Yamnotri. Take a right turn after crossing the Garhwal English Medium School to reach the corn village of Sainji.
If you wish to take a tour of the Sainji Village, staying at the Rokeby Manor in Landour is a good option. Also for your information, JW Marriot Resort in Mussoorie organises Walnut Trails to Bhatoli village for their guests.