All those who are interested in culture and are trek enthusiast, the 2013 Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra is a perfect gateway to total bliss. The festival happens once in twelve years so the next one will be in 2024. Its sanctity for locals is equal to Kumbh and it is one of the most lively and colourful festivals in the region.
Nanda Devi Raj Jat is the most wonderful pilgrimage in the High Himalayan peaks of Uttarakhand. It combines obscure faith, mysteries and thrills with a flood of devotees. Like the Khumbh it is organized every 12 years.
Nanda Devi is seen as incarnation of Goddess Parvati and the devotees gather at Nauti village near Karnprayag in Chamoli, to escort the Devi to her in-laws place or the adobe of Shiva, carrying with them the dowry and other gifts. They consider Devi as their daughter who is being seen off to her in-laws place after stay of six months. There is even a big ceremony six months prior to the yatra, to welcome the daughter to her home.
The 280 kilometres and 20 days trek starts from Nauti Village and reaches Homkund on Nandastmi. There are 19 halting places. A deep feeling of faith and reverence for Nanda Devi in Himalayan folk lore reflects the respect held for women in Uttarakhand. The trek passes through some of the most beautiful and some very difficult spots in the region. I was told that a four-horned Ram is born once in every twelve years, and the Ram leads the procession. People do not go beyond Homkund, from where the ram takes the gifts and disappears in the glaciers. Of course, this may be just a fable but the journey itself must be amazing.
|No of Days||Night Hault||Distance(km)|
|Day 1||Kansua to Nauti|
|Day 2||Nauti to Eda Bandhani||10|
|Day 3||Eda Bandhani to Nauti||10|
|Day 4||Nauti to Kansuwa||7.5|
|Day 5||Kansuwa to Sem||17.3|
|Day 6||Sem to Koti||12|
|Day 7||Koti to Bhagoti||11.5|
|Day 8||Bhagoti to Kulsari||15.4|
|Day 9||Kulsari to Chepdue||10.8|
|Day 10||Chepdue to NandKesari||4.7|
|Day 11||NandKesari to Faldiya||7.9|
|Day 12||Faldiya Gaun to Mundoli||7.7|
|Day 13||Mundoli to Vaan||20.2|
|Day 14||Vaan to Geroli Patal||6.8|
|Day 15||Geroli Patal to Patar Nachoniya||6.9|
|Day 16||Patar Nachoniya to Sila Samundra||3|
|Day 17||Sila Samundra to ChandniyaGhat||12.3|
|Day 18||ChandniyaGhat to Sutol||20.9|
|Day 19||Sutol to Ghat||18|
|Day 20||Ghat to Nauti||41.6|
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