Mills in Alto Aragón
Village mills in India
of small watermills like the ones of Ainielle
, Aso de Sobremonte
and many more are still very much alive in several parts of the world. There are believed
to exist a few hunderd thousand of such mills in the Himalayas. The examples shown
are from the Indian Himalayas in the Nainital region (Uttar Pradesh). The watermills
there are called gharats
and have many things in common with the
mills in Altoaragón.
The mill hidden in the valley.
The supply channel and the chute is visible.
The water falls 4 to 5 m down to the mill
Open chute brings water to the mill
The mills, like in Spain, are built
with simple technology and local materials (the roof of the mill in Bajun is made of
flattened oil tins). The mills traditionally served the local communities
but now often fall into disuse because of the very same forces
that we've seen at work in the Pyrenees. The owners have gone to the cities
to seek better employment. Industrial mills in nearby towns have killed business
for the smaller village mills. And deforestation caused some water supplies to dry up.
Gharats lack the
familiar pond to store water. They are situated in a region where
getting sufficient water was much less of a problem than in most
parts of Aragón. This is also illustrated by the fact that the
miller here doesn't seem to care about considerable losses in the chute.
The door was locked, but the
mill was running unattended. The mill in Bajun stood still.
Entrance to the mill
- 2008 -
Reinventing the watermill in the Himalayas:
in history, tradition and modern development.
/ Alto Aragón: old watermills
/ Gharats in India