Terrace or Step farming is a downward sloped section which has been fragmented into series of consecutive flat surfaces. These surfaces are used in vegetation and cultivation of vegetables, crops or flowers. It is an ancient method to stop soil erosion in hills and to utilize the empty lands which becomes a two way benefit for hilly villagers who rarely believe in urbanization.
Most beneficial part of this farming is to put all the manures and water on the upper most surface and it automatically reaches to the lowest surface also. If soil erosion increases then it is decreased by lower surfaces because soil minerals goes to the next surface. Overall it is a best method to preserve soil minerals.
Apart from its scientific and cultivation values it offers picturesque landscapes also which lures the travellers to admire it. A nature lover always stops on these views. Terrace farming can be easily seen on the roadside valleys of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
Here are few Terrace farmings of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh which one should never miss while travelling.
Paddy fields of Dugadda, if you have crossed Dugadda and on the route towards Lansdowne (Uttarakhand) then keep checking these on your right side valleys. It is excessive green during monsoon because paddies are sown. You will find a couple of houses with a natural hilly river in the mid of the farming which acts as a canal.
This view can be seen in the front from the roadside as well as from the top of the same hill after driving few more kilometers ahead.
Cabbage Farming of Kufri (Shimla), this can be seen during monsoon. Generally Kufri visitors do not get this place because it is behind the Kufri village. One has to walk through the village and has to visit the rear section where many varieties of farmings can be seen.
Hilly farmings are lush green only in monsoon because in other season villagers do not cultivate anything. It has two reason behind it, one is, continuous farming leads to decrease of soil minerals, second is, they primarily depend on rainwater irrigation.
Morina Longifolia Farms of Valley of Flowers, these farms can be seen for few months only in an year. Timings of this itinerary starts from 1st June to 31st October for visitors. Valley remain closed for the rest of the year due to heavy snowfall
Morina Longifolia is a multistory flower which makes it a rare species of this valley. Actually this is not a cultivation by humans, it is natural farm which automatically grows every year which attract its visitors.
Alpine Flowery Farms of Valley of Flowers, a second natural farm in the same valley which one can found after trekking a long way into the valley. One has to really trek to the rear section of this valley to find this place. It is worth visiting this farming field because all the trek pains are relieved moment you find this admirable view.
Farming of Neelkanth Valley, It can be easily seen as an aerial view from the parking platform at Neelkanth temple. Visitor can check this while doing Neelkanth tour which is just 30 kms from Rishikesh.
Valley has breathtaking lush green view from the parking platform which is generally missed by the visitors. They just park their vehicles and leave. This can be only seen from the edge point of the parking.
Manglori Terrace Farming, If you are on the trek of Nag Tibba then you will surely get many such farming views. Manglori is one of the villages from where Nag Tibba trek can be initiated. Manglori is fully covered with terrace farming lands.
Farms of Chamoli, generally people get to see this on the journey of Joshimath for Badrinath pilgrimage. It is located just before Chamoli city. This section of the farm is not fragmented instead has fully slope surface for irrigation and cultivation which makes it a different kind of terrace farming.
Doon Valley Farming, this can be easily seen from the Maggi points on the Dehradoon-Mussoorie route. You will get many of these which is a vivid view of the journey. Apart from crop cultivation it has small orchard which makes it a special halting point.
Farming and Helipad, you can find this in Mussoorie valley which can be seen from the hotel windows near bus stand. This farm has a small helipad which is a rarely seen combination. It is a private property therefore has no regular frequency of helicopters otherwise I would have clicked it. But we enjoyed this valley with a cup of tea watching it from the restaurant window.
Farms at Thaata (Pantwari), it is a roadside aerial view from Thaata. It is one of the best farming field in the Pantwari village area from where Nag Tibba treks are initiated. Its beauty lures every trekker to halt here for few minutes. Its awesomeness makes this halting point an amazing place for photography.
Chaubatia Garden, it is an apple orchard which is at a distance of 7 kms from Ranikhet. Though, it is an orchard but has some farming fields too. Apple trees with some paddy fields makes this itinerary a must visit place if one is on the Ranikhet tour. Do not miss it.
Saterkhal Wheat Fields, it is located near Saterkhal which is on the Rudraprayag-Chopta (Uttarakhand) route. It is a long way field which goes along with the road for few minutes. While driving beside it you will surely go slow to enjoy these hilly scenes.
Crops of Devali Village, this can be seen from Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh). You need to visit Devali village by doing a small down trek from the Hotel Dreamland. Just after few minutes you can find Devali village and its cultivated crops.
Bangaon Fields, a large farming field in the Bangaon village area which is also seen from the roadside. This field has canal lines through which irrigation takes place. These kind of halting points makes every journey a hectic free tour. Bangaon is a small village on the Mussoorie-Nainbagh route.
Ranikhet Fields, a huge section of farming land which is located just before few kilometers entering Ranikhet’s Mall Road. It has lots of fragmented flat surfaces which makes this section very different from others. This field has a small temple which makes it attractive for photography.
Farmings of Aunter village, while doing Nag Tibba trek there will be a point where multiple routes meet which is Aunter. From this point a lot of farming fields are seen which makes everyone to look back on these fields at regular intervals.
Tarkeshwar Step Farming, a beautiful journey of 33 kms from Lansdowne has several farming fields. If you want these fields with excess greenery then monsoon is the best season to travel.
Colourful Farming of Pantwari, one more farming field at Pantwari village which is full of natural colours. My eyes poped moment I came across this view. These are endless beauties of endless hills.
Paddy fields of the Nainital Route, one more mesmerizing farming field to capture in the frames. In monsoon paddy becomes the staple food in the hills. Paddy requires lot of water therefore it is planned in rainy season only.
Ukhimath Farming Fields, it is very like Saterkhal farms. Ukhimath is a place where Lord Shiva idols of Madhyamaheshwar and Kedarnath are kept once these temples are closed due to winter snowfalls. Farms of Ukhimath are undefinable in words. I called it a speechless beauty.
Devalsari Village Terrace Farming, this can be seen while going towards Devalsari village from Thatyur (Uttarakhand) after crossing Suakholi. Once you are on the kuchcha road after Thatyur, this beauty starts.
It is a wonderful raw nature to keep yourself isolated from the metro hectic. Imagine this scene with yourself with a cup of tea, coffee or with a beer cane. It can be the most relaxing moments of your life. Give it a try in Devalsari village.
Keylong Barren Lands (Himachal Pradesh), it is 50 kms from Rohtang Pass which provides a huge range of hilly farms in village areas. The beauty of terrace farming is not only in lush green crops, its in barren lands also. It is a rustic look which gives a sense of sand desert. I was there in summers therefore not found any cultivation.
Chopta Farming Fields (Uttarakhand), wheat farms near Chopta gives a wide range of photogenic views. The specialty of this place was the pure oxygen which I felt in just a few minutes of halt. It seems I was inhaling a fresh air with the essence of wheat farming. It was an amazing experience which one should have if travelling to Chopta.
Bhairav Garhi Farming Fields, it is 17 kms from Lansdowne including 2 kms of hilly trek. It offers lush green fields everywhere on the Bhairav Garhi hill. This excessive greenery can be only found during rainy season. I have never seen such green farms anywhere in other hill stations. As per my experience it is the most green hill of Uttarakhand.
Kangra Valley Farms (Himachal Pradesh), it offers variety of crop cultivation like wheat, maize, rice, barley. This section of Kangra has stunning views for travellers and photographers. These valleys are known for its beauty of step farming which generates a large amount of grains.
God created it, Farmers cultivated it, Photographers clicked it.