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Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

Chamoli, ChamoliGopeshwar, Uttarakhand, North India
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 Description

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra (a holy march) is the longest holy march in India which is turned out every 12 years in the state of Uttarakhand. It is considered the other Kumbh of Uttarakhand like Kumbh Mela at Haridwar which also turns out every 12 years. Next date of Yatra is scheduled from second week of august to 9th, September 2013.

This 18 day long Yatra is done on foot and considered to be the most tiresome and torturous journey in the high mountains by local people. This 267 kms long Yatra starts from village Nauti, tehsil, Karna Prayag, district Chamoli and ends at Hom Kund at the bottom of Trishul Parbat near mount Kailash.

It is associated with the vedic ages anecdote when Goddess Nanda or to be well known to all, Goddess Parvati returns to her parent's home at Himalaya every 12 years after marrying Lord Shiva. Nanda Devi is the daughter of Himavat as per Hindu Puraans. The auspicious journey starts as per hindu calendar month of Bhado Krishna paksha and on Nanda Ashtami the holy ritual take place in all over Uttarakhand mountains to celebrate Goddess Nanda arrival to her parental home.

Earlier, the Yatra procession was sparsed before 15th century. That time soverien preists on the command of King Ajaypal in 15th century, combined the Yatra procession into one, which would follow the certain routes to the famous temples of that time. Since then this Yatra procession follows the certain path of procession. The family members which belong to the erstwhile Royal kingdoms of Himalayan region, flag off the Yatra procession of Goddess Nanda Devi in sacred palanquin or Doli  by lighting the sacred refulgence, which is called Nanda Raj Jot. Goddess Parvati had taken six incarnations out of which Goddess Nanda or Nanda Devi is one of them. In Bhavishya Puran it has also been described that Goddess Parvati has taken six incarnations by the name of Mahalaxmi, Nanda, kshemkari, Shivdooti, Mahatunda, bhramari, chandra Mandala, revati and Harsiddhi. The true place of Goddess Nanda is Koormachal or Kumaon region in the state of Uttarakhand. However, Goddess Nanda also worshipped at Karuli, Kasoli, Narona, Hindoli, Talli Dhoori, Nauti, Chandpur, GairhLohva areas in Gharwal region. The main attraction of this Yatra is a horned sheep which leads the procession till Hom Kund and is considered not to return back to procession after Yatra ends.

The famous Roop Kund also routed in this Yatra and it is belived that the members of Royal family and their courteesans were cursed by Goddess Nanda and died at Roop Kund due to trapping in heavy icy winds and snowfall during between 11th and 12th  century. This is known as Roop Kund tregedy in mountaineering history. The prayers for the peace of souls and tarpan are also offered by accompanying priests for those who lost their lives at Roop Kund.

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