Where there is any paradise on earth it is this , it is this ,it is this. Yes am talking about Uttrakhand. A majestic place which is also known as devbhoomi is one of the most beautiful states of India. The panoramic view of the great Himalayas from various regions , the lush green meadows in the upper region , the meeting of rivers at various Prayags, the age old temples i.e Chardhams and many more countless beautiful places is what Uttrakhand is mainly known for. Also known as Devbhoomi or land of god is one of the most beautiful hotspots in the world.
- As the majority of people in Uttrakhand are Hindu’s so there are many Hindu festivals celebrated here. One such festival is Nanda devi Rajjat yatra or festival. This is the three week long yatra celebrated in every twelve years in the Garhwal and Kumaon district of Uttrakhand. People from Garhwal , kumaon and various parts of India come to participate in this yatra. Here in this yatra goddess Nanda devi is worshipped in different parts of the regions . This yatra covers around 23o km’s distance by foot.
- The jaat or pilgrimage starts from the Nauti village in Karanprayag tehsil in chamoli district and goes upto the height of Roopkund and Homekund with the four horned sheep or “chausingya khadu” which in local language means a sheep with four horns. The centre of attraction of this whole yatra is this four horned sheep as the yatris go with the sheep to the different padavs. This 230 km by and overall 290 km’s yatra is though hard to do but it is priceless and the yatra comes with a very wide gap of 12 years . As the yatra continues from Nauti village it goes through various villages. There is a recognised temple of Ma Nanda devi at village Koti (my nani’s village). At koti a night of programs takes place where the goddess is worshipped whole night and different celebrations takes place. Here in koti Ma Nanda meets her brother Golu devta . The scene is epic as the village is flooded with the devi’s doli, chatolis, and people who attend this rajjat.
The previous yatra was held in August 2014. As the yatris have to cover around 20 padavs of the total distance of 290 km’s this is very tough yatra to do. As this yatra covers various places ma nanda meets her sister in the bhagwati village . In this yatra there comes the lake of skeltons i.e Roopkund where lies hundered of skeltons.
From nauti the yatra proceeds to kansuwa village. Next day the yatris proceed to different padav i.e Sem village. From sem village yatris goes to Koti village and then to Bhagwati village. After bhagwati village yatris goes to Kulsari , chepdue and then to Nandakesari. From Nandakesari the yatra goes to Faldiagaon , Mundoli and the to village Wan. From here the toughness of yatra starts as there are steep slopes , glaciers , and upper himalayan climatic conditions which can be worse so one has to come with full preperation .
From Wan village the yatra goes to Gairoli patal and then to Bedni Bugyals. This bugyals or lush green meadows is one of the most beautiful bugyals of Uttrakhand. The whole place is covered with only lush green grasses. The yatris take rest in this bugyagl. Next day the yatra goes to Patar Nachoniya . After this village or region three most toughest regions starts. Yatris or rajjat walks through snow and glaciers . The yatris goes to Bhagubasa , then to Roopkund where one can find hundreds of skeltons in the lake if the lake is not freezed with ice. From here the yatra goes to Homekund and then finally to Sheela samudra. Here comes the place where the four horned sheep or chausingya khadu is sent off by the hundereds of yatris or pilgrims to her saural i.e at the base of Trishul parvat.
To attend this long yatra one has to reach chamoli district. The closest airport is around 220 km from here named jolly grant airport and the closest railway station is rishikesh station. By road one can reach here by taking NH 58 which is Rishikesh Badrinath highway.
This yatra is very sacred and full of difficult terrains. People who are nature lovers and those who believe in rituals and ceremony are most welcomed to join this yatra. Sending Nanda devi from her Mayaka i.e Nauti village to her sasural i.e Homekund is what the whole Nanda devi rajjat all about. The four horned decorated with ornaments , food and clothing is worshipped . After the havan yagna is over the four horned sheep is freed as this remarks sending ma nanda to her sasural . The four horned sheep then proceeds to trishul parvat and the yatris comes back sending goddess.
This yatra is priceless to do as one can mix with the variety of culture present in Garhwal and Kumaon region. Government should show more effort to take this yatra to the world level . Nanda devi yatra marks the epic history of Uttrakhandi sanskriti or culture.