Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra is celebrated in Uttarakhand which is known as the abode of God. Nanda Devi is considered as the main deity in this beautiful and spiritual place. She is believed to have been the spouse of Lord Shiva and the daughter of the ruler of the mountains. Both Kumaon and Garhwal regions in Uttarakhand worship Nanda Devi; in fact the Yatra is one of the most famous religious events in India. Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra is celebrated every 12 years in Uttarakhand. This sacred Yatra comprise a long route that takes twenty two days for completion. The devotee travels almost 280 kilometers by trekking.
The Nanda Devi Raj Jaat offers an unmatched experience to the tourists, especially
for those who have an interest in religious traditions and the local culture of Uttarakhand. Its sacredness for locals is the same to that of the Kumbh. Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra is considered as one of the most vivacious and bright festivals in the area.
The holy yatra begins from Nauti village in Karanprayag and passes through the elevated glacial lake of Hemkund. The sparkling Homkund Lake is perched at an elevation of 3832 meters above sea level. The route to reach here is via Roopkund Lake, which is also known as a mysterious lake. The sacred tour of Nanda Devi Raj Jat is held to accompany Nanda Devi to Lord Shiva’s home.
History of Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra
The legend behind the Yatra is that Nanda Devi, Lord Shiva’s wife, went away to Nanda Devi Parbat. When the Yatra starts, heavy rain is expected as it is believed that the tears of Goddess Nanda rolls down in the form of rainfall. The Nanda Devi Festival supposedly started during the 16th century and is highly popular in the Nauti, Almora, Nainital, Munsiyari and Ranikhet regions. It is said that the Devi visits her maternal home in Bhado (somewhat around the months of August). The visit of the goddess is celebrated by the local habitats as a time of festivity
Customs and Route of Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra:
The declaration of Nanda Devi begins from the birth of Chausingha Khadu (The four horned Ram). After his birth, the Kunwars of Kansua village used to bring Ringal ki Chantoli (Bamboo Stick), which is a devotional emblem used to cover the seat of Goddess Nanda like an umbrella. A Golden statue of Nanda Devi is positioned in this Chantoli and it is worshipped along with Chausingha Khadu. Right from the moment when the Yatra begins, thousands of pilgrims walk with the Chausingha Khadu in the direction of Homkund. Although, Nauti Village has no temple dedicated to Nanda Devi, but this sacred tour starts from this place. There is a belief among the local people that King Shalipaal grounded the Shri Yantra of Nanda Devi at Nauti Village in the 9th Century.
Chausingha Khadu leads the route, which is followed by the devotees. The local folks songs are sung, rites are performed and homage is paid to Nanda Devi on the whole route. The Yatra reaches Kansua from Nauti. Here, the Ringaal Chatoli is given to the Dyudi priests of Koti Chandpur. Chatolis of 12 thokis priests also join this sacred Yatra. The successors of the royal family of Garhwal perform the rites and rituals in Chandpur Garhi. On the way, more and more devotees join the Ringaal Chatoli. One of the most significant areas on the route of this tour is Kulsari. In Kulsari, there is a Kali Yantra, which is dug in the Temple of Kali. This Yantra is dug out in the midnight of the Amavasya during Raj Jat, for worship. This Yantra remains grounded for the next twelve years. One of the halting spots en route is Nanda Kesari and the Raj Jat Yatra gets the spiritual blessings of Nanda Devi of Kurud. After this, the Chatoli is taken over by the priests of Kurud and the Yatra passes through many temples, and villages. All the while the procession only gets bigger and bigger as more and more devotees join in.
The Yatra then reaches Wan. There is a famous temple of Latoo Devta situated in Wan. Latoo Devta is said to be the brother of Nanda Devi and is worshipped once every year. The doors of the temple remain closed for the rest of the year, and are opened for the pilgrims only by the Nautiyals at the time of Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra. After the prayers are over, the doors are closed again till the next Raj Jat Yatra. Only Nautiyals are authorized to do the rituals inside this shrine and no other person can open or close these doors. More than 110 chatolis and emblems of different Gods are included in the Raj Jat Yatra.
The Yatra becomes a bit restricted and tougher after Wan. Pregnant women, musical instruments and the articles made of leather are not allowed inside Rinakidhar. Rinakidhar is situated ahead of Wan on the way to Gairoli Patal, which is the subsequent halting spot for the devotees.
All the subsequent halting points like Bedni Bugyal, Patar Nachuniya, Kaluwa Vinayak, Bagubassa, Roopkund and Shila Samundar are noticeably tougher and only the fit and enthusiastic devotees can go ahead. The Yatra then takes the devotees to Homkund, a scenic region between Nanda Ghunti and Trishul Peaks. Here, the Chausingha Khadu is set free to proceed towards Kailash as it is said that the Chausingha Khadu accompanies Nanda Devi till the mountain of Kailash. All the remaining rites and rituals are completed in Homkund and all the devotees return to Nauti after completing the rituals. Villagers organize Yagya and Bhagwat at Nauti. In this way, the farewell to Nanda Devi is done and all the people who have taken part in Yatra are blessed by Nanda Devi.
Raj Jat Yatra 2014 will begin on 18th August
Due to the devastating flood and other natural disasters that hit Uttarakhand, Shri Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra didn’t take place in 2012. It was first postponed to 2013 and again postponed to 2014. It is welcome news for all the devotees who want to pay homage to Nanda Devi that the holy Yatra is now going to start in the monsoon of 2014. It is expected that thousands of pilgrims from all over the world, would participate in this year’s event. Apart from getting the Devi’s blessing, it would be a great opportunity for them to explore the geography and culture of this beautiful state.
According to the members of the Nanda Raj Jat Samiti, the sacred Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, 2014 will start on 18th August.
Registration for Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, 2014
According to the deputy speaker of Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha, Mr. A.P. Maikhuri, the registration process of the devotees willing to go for Shri Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra will include a medical examination. Only those who pass this medical test would be allowed to go on the Yatra. An amount of 150 crore rupees was allocated by the state government of Uttarakhand, for the construction of bridges and roads for the sacred journey of Raj Jat. Mr Maikhuri further hoped that the condition of the roads and bridges will become better and the journey will be comfortable for the devotees. He also gave an assurance that all the remaining work will be completed before the start of the Yatra. Much of the infrastructure was damaged in the recent natural calamities. The members of the committee of Raj Jat, stated that the construction work has been satisfactory and that the Yatra would begin on time.
Itinerary for Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, 2014
* August 18- The sacred journey starts from Nauti village and reaches Idabadhani
* August 19- Idabadhani to Nauti
* August 20- Nauti to Kansuwa
* August 21- Kansuwa to Sem
* August 22- Sem to Koti
* August 23- Koti to Bhagwati
* August 24- Bhagwati to Kulsari
* August 25- Kulsari to Chepdnue
* August 26- Chepdnue to Nandkesari
* August 27- Nandkesari to Faldiagaon
* August 28- Faldiagaon to Mundoli
* August 29- Mundoli to Wan
* August 30- Wan to Gairoli Patal
* August 31- Gairoli Patal to Bedni
* September 01- Bedni to Patar Nachaunia
* September 02- Patar Nachaunia to Shilasamudra
* September 03- Shilasamudra to Homkund and Chandaniyaghat
* September 04- Chandaniyaghat to Sutol
* September 05- Sutol to Ghat
* September 06- Ghat to Nauti
Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra holds extreme significance among the Hindu devotees and is the journey is undertaken by thousands of devotees who believe it to be their religious duty. Undertaking this journey provides devotees, a sense of spirituality and peace.
For Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra 2014 fixed departure tour enquire at +91-9212553109