The ODALI village is situated in Uttarakhand (India) - the land of gods, the land of Panch Badri (five places of lord Vishnu), Panch Kedara (five places of lord Shiva) and Panch Prayaga( five places there is conjunction of the two rivers) - where the sense of existence of God is omnipresent. Geographically ideally situated, the beauty of nature is manifest in its every nook and corner. Where the spring ensures enthralling beauty, the summer brings vivacious joy and when the season blossoms into maturity, the colour of leaves on the trees turns golden, the wondrous glow and warmth of nature make us forget the tensions of life and provide us a relaxed body, mind and soul.
According to the family history, the land of Odali village was purchased by our ancestors from a lady of Dungri Village. According to the book “Bahuguna Vansh Charit” (Page-237) written by Dr. Ram Prasad Bahuguna, one of our ancestor Shri Asha Ramji (who belonged to the 13th generation of Shri Achyuta Nandji) came from Village Bugani (Near Srinagar, Garhwal) to settle at Odali in 1870 AD. This is also corroborated by a map of Odali Village prepared by Shri T.F. Freeman, Ex. Asstt. Supdt., Survey of India in 1892 AD.
Shri Asha Ramji had three sons, namely Shri Rati Ramji, Shri Siriramji & Shri Jeev Ramji. The offsprings and progeny of the three brothers and their families have now spread their wings, like a grand Banyan Tree (Vata Vriksha) to all corners of the world. The family has now a long chain of talented, renowned persons, like other villages of Uttarakhand. A majority of families here have shifted to places of their employment and now only 18 original Bahuguna families are living here. However, it is happy to note that even though away from our village, all of us are constantly connected to our village, making praiseworthy contribution in the development of the village, and keep visiting our village time and again. Perhaps this the first village in Uttarakhand where the whole village belongs to the progeny of a single individual ancestor and where such a large number of projects are being undertaken without any governmental assistance. In addition, the village is also the abode of about 15-20 families of Shilpkars who were sheltered in our village by our ancestors.
Odali village is situated on National Highway No. 121- Pauri-Pabo-Musagali-Chipalghat-Saankar Sain-Bela-Paithani-Thailisain highway, around 36 kilometers from Pauri. It has a Post Office at Dungrikhal (via Chipalghat), Patti Bali Kandar Shyun, Pabo Block. To the south of our village the river “Paschimi Nayaar” flows down from “Doodhatoli” vide the Puranas, with soft murmuring waves, playful gait- its water as clear as the sky. From the North to the south another rivulet (christened as Dungri Gadna by the villagers) flows down to meet the “Paschimi Nayaar”. Our ancestors had erected a temple of Lord Shiva at this conjunction or confluence of the two sacred rivers. In 2007 the Shri Hari Agastyeshwar Sanskrit Vidyalaya was opened at the instance of all inhabitants of our village to ensure that the Shivalaya built by our ancestors with great efforts and deep religious sentiments continues to serve as a place of worship and prayers by the villagers and the Vidyalaya should also continue serving for the students studying there. The fact that this Shivalaya had turned into a forgotten structure for want of Jogi/Jogins for the last 8-10 years also necessitated this step. There was one more reason for opening a school, viz even if we succeeded in getting a Jogi to settle in the Shivalaya it may still prove to be a temporary arrangement as the Jogi might any time bid farewell to the village- thus causing the same situation to crop up again. However, if a Sanskrit Vidyalaya was opened, then alongwith ensuring the upkeep of the Shivalaya, children could also get educated and employment opportunities could also be created which might stop the mass exit of the villagers since the Vidyalaya is likely to run for ever. We are proud to say that merely within a small period of 2 years the fame and name of this Vidyalaya has spread far and wide. We shall strive to impart education upto post graduate (Acharya) level in the Vidyalaya.
To reach Odali one has to get off the bus at “Bela Bazar” (a market place for about 3-4 villages). Before reaching Bela Bazar one comes across Saankarsain village and market where an Intermediate college also exists. Beyond Bela Bazar, we have to cross a six feet wide jeepable road which leads us to Chaunrikhal. The distance is about 7-8 k.m. The well known indifference of the Govt. has led to pitiful condition of this road as for want of maintenance it has turned into a rough, rugged and non-metalled footpath. From Bela Bazar this kuccha foot path leads you, through an Iron bridge built on the “Paschimi Nayaar”, to the old temple of Mahadev situated near the conjunction of the two rivers as described here before. From here one footpath leads to Odali Village which is about 100-150 meter away from this temple. The other path leads to Chaunrikhal. As for Chaunrikhal, it has an intermediate college and a very old and historical temple of “Mother Goddess Kali (Bunkhal Kalinka), where a huge public mela is held in November-December every year and where animals are still sacrificed at the altar of the goddess. It is believed the one gets ones desire fulfilled by Ma Kali, if she is invoked here with pure heart. The Odali village is surrounded by Dungri, Khanduli and Nanda Villages. To the South, below the village big agricultural fields are situated upto the soft flowing “Paschimi Nayaar”. On the other side viz. to the West evergreen agricultural fields, which have enough water for growing rice (viz. Syaraa ), are seen from “Ailon-ki-Dhar” to Dungri Gadna. It will not be false or exaggeration to say that till 1970-1975 when the village used to get water from the water channels (Kool) made by the villagers themselves, our fields were fertile. But after construction of the so-called Pucca Water Channel by the Govt., water has stopped flowing to our village and these previously fertile lands (Syaraa) now lie barren. We have fond remembrance of the water of our original kucha water channel falling down in the shape of a waterfall on our fields- when the whole village got engaged in planting paddy. Can one ever forget those heart enthralling scenes? Right beneath these rice paddy fields there was a ancient flour mill (Ghat). The repetitive sound emanating from the “Ghat” brought music to the ears and hearts of the villagers throughout the nights. The Ghat is still there in the same place. However we have now become totally indifferent to our land of birth – as otherwise we could have made use of the Ghat to generate electricity. Right on top the village to the North, is the temple of Mother Goddess Kali, and a few steps above this place and the village lies the ancestral abode (Pitri Kuti) of our ancestors wherein their ritual symbols (smriti chinha) are deposited. To the east is Naanda Village and between these two lies, the Primary School. Quite near the school one can see the ancient temples of “Heet Devta, Naagarjaa Devta and Uphraien Devta as also sizable agricultural fields which are spread across up to the Naanda Village.