Nanda Raj Jat
280 KM yatra is the longest
yatra in the world.
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
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
devotees with colorful 'Chantolis' (umbrellas) followed by
procession of colorful
folks carrying idol of local
Gods upon their
and dancing to the
musical tune of
The ram is loaded with the
goodies necessary for the
journey of Nanda.
emotional farewell songs to send off Nanda as if their own dughter is
going to her in-laws home .
280 Km long Yatra passes through the
of Bedeni Bugyal frequented by colorful birds like
Monal and musk Deer with
panoramic view of snow clad
of Nandadevi, Trisual, Chaukhamba
'Chantolis' of Almora,
Pithoragarh and other areas of Kumaon assemble at
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.
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.