Traditionally, every house in Garhwal and Kumaon, Uttarakhand, used to have a wood carved entrance door. It was a symbol of a person’s riches and success. The larger a person’s front wooden door, with more intricately carved designs, the wealthier they were. Even today, many Garhwal and Kumaon houses have front doors carved with floral patterns, birds, and fish. These front door ornamental wood carvings are called “Kholi” in Garhwali, the local language.
Typically, the first floor of a house is made of intricately carved wood. The traditional miniature window-aperture resembles pigeonholes cut in wooden frames. Wood carving on door panels, windows, and ceilings expresses designs of creepers and floral appearances based on lotus, pomegranates, and grapes, as well as depictions of humans, birds, animals, and other sacred signs and emblems. The designs are usually of Gods and Goddesses, adding to the grandeur of the carved wooden lattice frames.