This book on the Central Himalayas surveys the cultural and archaeological evidence in an inter-disciplinary perspective. Though a variety of interdisciplinary data have been used, the approach is holistic. The book is focused on Kumaun and Garhwal, yet it is related to the sub-continental framework with a global backdrop. The main emphasis has been on prehistory. This is the first systematic and scientific documentation of rock art and cup marks found in the region. It also deals with the megalithic problem and discusses the different types of megaliths found in the region. Through critical sifting of the data, the oldest megaliths/burials have been identified and some of them have been 14C dated.The ancient metal technological evidence has been thoroughly investigated and its role in supplying copper and iron to the Gangetic plains has been discussed. The archaeological and cultural data are interpreted in an ethnographic framework. Recent linguistic research has also been used to understand the Central Himalayan prehistory. Though the emphasis of the book is on prehistory, a chapter is devoted to historical archaeology, architecture and sculpture and iconography. Some important cultural symbols like Nanda have been discussed in their multiple forms and how much they mean to the local people. The cultural history of this region is brought right up to the modern times. The necessity and viability of the proposed state of Uttaranchal has also been discussed.
The cultural scene is presented as a continuous process from the hoary past to a lofty future.