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Adventure
Nanda Raj Jat
Valley of Flowers
Har-Ke-Doon
 

Nanda Raj Jat

280 KM yatra is the longest yatra in the world.

Adventure
Nanda Raj Jat
Valley of Flowers
Har-Ke-Doon
 

Nanda   is    the    daughter    of     Himalayas    and married  to Lord  Shiva who  lives   in    his   abode  in  higher  mountains.  Every year a small Yatra  and every    twelve    years  a   Big Yatra   (pilgrimage)  is     undertaken . The small Yatra is conducted    from Kurur Village to Baitarani and  the Big yatra from  Nauti  village    (said   to   be   the  home   of   parents   of   Nanda)    to     Homekund       at   the       base     of  Nandatrisuli     peak    lead   by a   four   horn   ram. It is sponsored by the Kunwars (erstwhile rulers of the area) that is why called Nanda Raj Yatra .   Whenever a  four  horn  ram  takes    birth  in   the area,  it is    believed   that  the time    has    arrived   for Nanda to go to his in-laws home Kailash   .    Beautifully   decorated  golden  idol  of Nanda is  carried   in  a   Palanquin       by      bear          footed       devotees with colorful 'Chantolis' (umbrellas)   followed     by       procession     of   colorful   folks  carrying  idol   of   local   Gods    upon       their     shoulders,     singing       and  dancing    to    the   musical    tune     of   local   instruments.                The   ram  is   loaded  with  the  goodies  necessary    for    the     journey   of   Nanda.   

Womenfolk  sing emotional farewell songs to send off Nanda as if their own dughter is going to her in-laws home .                

The     280   Km     long     Yatra     passes through     the     beautiful     valley       of magnificent       meadows     of     Bedeni Bugyal frequented by colorful birds like   Monal  and   musk   Deer   with panoramic view of  snow clad peaks of Nandadevi, Trisual,    Chaukhamba      Panchchuli etc. 

'Chantolis' of Almora, Pithoragarh and other areas of Kumaon  assemble  at Ranchula Kote or Kote Bhramari and  joins the main Yatra at a place called Nanadkeshari.  Latu was the the cousin  of Nanda who once, under the influence of some intoxicant created nonsense at the time of her farewell and confined to a temple in Ban village. He is freed only once in the year to meet his sister but his Nishan (Flag) leads the procession.

The   pilgrimage   concludes   on    22nd     day  (Nanda Ashtami)   at   Homekund   at    the foot hills  of   Nanda-Trisuli    peaks    after    crossing over   the    mysterious      ( human  and   horses skeletons  are  lying  there)    Roopkund  cliff.  A  special   puja   is    offered      and       Nanda       is  decorated  in   bridal make-up   and     given     a   tearful    farewell.   The   image of   Goddess is left there and the four horn ram proceeds towards the  peak  on its own  and  devotees     return  to  their  homes  awaiting the next pilgrimage after twelve years. 

Last  Yatra was held during September, 2000. It could not be held in 2012 and 2013. After 14 years it was held in Aug-Sep 2014 in which large no of yatries took part. In fact such big crowds are not good for the health of fragile hills and meadows. People littered lot of plastic and other non-degradable garbage and crashed the delicate grass, herbs, Serbs and flowers under their feet and disturbed the wild life and serenity of the area. We will have to be over sensitive about the eco-system of Himalayas.  Every year there are devastating natural disasters in Uttarakhand, Himanchal and J&K. Only we are respossible for the same.   

Adventure
Nanda Raj Jat
Valley of Flowers
Har-Ke-Doon