Chamoli District

Nanda Devi Raj Jat
This Google Map cannot be loaded because the maps API does not appear to be loaded

Nanda Devi Raj Jat (yatra) is the most popular festival of Uttarakhand residents, celebrated every 12 years, with a faith of Garhwali and Kumauni people over goddess Nanda (Parvati) as their daughter and deity at the same time.

Uttarakhand, the Dev Bhoomi has mythical stories connected to every rocks, peaks, rivers and villages. Gods and goddesses traded around the Himalayan state in ancient times and left their marks for people to preserve the traditions. The gifted land was just not traded by the divine figures but also lived and blessed. The prominent goddess of Hindu mythology Nanda [widely known as Parvati (of mountains), Gauri (brilliant), Uma (light), Kali (dark) and Bhairavi (terrible)] is believed to be born of Dakshyaprajapati, a King of Garhwal in ancient times. When Nanda decided to marry Shiva from Trishul peak, locals worshipped her as goddess and celebrated her farewell ceremony. Nanda devi raj jat is the festival in which Garhwali people attend the farewell journey (yatra) of Nanda from her maternal village to her in-laws home. Trishul peak is Kailash Parvat, the residence of lord Shiva.

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

Thousands of people participate barefoot in the 19 days long Nanda Devi Raj Jat (yatra) that begins from Nauti village, 25 km away from Karnaprayag, led by a four horned ram who born in any family of the area every 12 years and is believed to be devi Nanda followed by chhantoli (umbrella), multi-colored flags and symbols of different deities. Locals sing jagars and folk songs that describe the grace and event that occurred in ancient times with traditional musical instruments and dances. Passing through different easy and tricky places including Roopkunda where thousands years human skeleton can be seen, the journey ends at Homkund (Shail Samudra) where the Brahmin priests perform pooja, havan, decorate the ram with ornaments, food and clothing and finally, Nanda-the ram, is released to go to her in-laws home. Participants return from Homkund without glancing back at the ram as she leaves towards the glacier.

Roopkunda, in myths, is the lake that erupted from the streams formed while lord Shiva thrust his Trishul (trident) on the ground. Devi Nanda used to see her face in the lake and thus named Roopkund. There is a story related to the existence of human skeleton at Roopkund.

Nanda devi raj jat is a unique trekking where love, affection, emotion are blended with adventure, strength and stamina. If anyone except for locals want to participate in the farewell journey of devi Nanda, the person must prepare her/himself to explore the real Uttarakhand, it’s amazing beauty, culture and tradition, local food and feelings with lots of strength and stamina to walk barefoot through tricky lands and high altitude.

The faith of people remains constant and they still walk barefoot through the difficult and tricky route in cold winter because of some of the mysterious occurrences that do not allow the faith to drain. The birth of four horned ram after every 12 years, the existences of thousand years old human skeletons at Roopkund are the mysteries unanswered.

Yearly celebration of Nanda Devi Raj Jat

Every year on the day of Nanda Ashtami, a smaller yatra is organized in the temple of Kurad, the trekkers pass through Tharali, Nandkesari, Deval, Mundoli, Wann and conclude at Bendi Bugyal. There is a lake at Bedni and on the shore of the lake exists a temple of Nanda. There are numerous temples of Devi Nanda around Uttarakhand. Nauti, Simli, Kurad, Kanswa, Lata, Meeng, Kulsari, Nandkeshari and Gair villages in Garhwal and Almora, Katbhramari, Nainital, Ranchula, Saneti and Magar are the places in Kumaun where the main shrines of Devi Nanda are located. There are various hills, rivers and cities named after Nanda devi, some of which are Alaknanda, Mandakini, Nanda Ghunti, Nandakot (known as Sunanda these days), Nandprayag, Nandakini.

Nanda Devi is the second highest (7817mt) mountain range in India with twin peaks Nanda Ghanti and Nanda Kot. Around Nanda Devi peak, you can have an spectacular view of Nanda Devi National Park.

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra | TREKKING ROUTE

The route of the “Raj Jat” involves 280 km of trekking starting from village Nauti, Read more »

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra | HISTORY

According to the legends, Nanda Devi Raj Jat was started by Jagadguru Shankaracharya. Historians Read more »