How good it feels when weather clears up after a muggy day of hard trekking. Evening view from Baguvawasa at 14,100 fts. Clouds filling up frame very quickly from top left and bottom right corners, sun trying to show its presence in between dark clouds and far enough a color of dusk. The place, just below mysterious Roopkund is known for presence of Brahmakamal, the state flower of Uttarakhand, found only at this altitude..
After two years of postponement the eagerly awaited Nanda Devi Rajjat Yatra will finally take place from 18th August to 6th September this year. The Nanda Raj Jat takes place once every twelve years – the journey starts from Nauti village (Karnaprayag district of Uttarakhand state in India) accompanying a mythical four-horned sheep and Doli and all sorts of gifts for Nanda Devi, who is treated as a daughter revisiting her mother. Last Yatra happened in 2000. Hence it was originally scheduled in 2012 but was postponed due to Malmaas (one inauspicious month) in that year. Hence rescheduled to happen in 2013, again last year it was postponed due to natural catastrophe (flash floods) in Kedarnath area, which created widespread destruction and huge loss of life and property across Himalayan region. Now, if everything goes as per plan, then Yatra will bring cheers to the many.
Nanda devi – the daughter of Kings of mountains, and the consort of Lord Shiva – is the supreme spiritual goddess of the locals of Garhwal and Kumaon region. She visits her maternal dwelling in these Himalayan heights in the Bhadrapad (months of August – September) – and this festive break is celebrated by the natives. The 280 kilometres and 19 days trek starts from Nauti Village and reaches Homkund via the amazingly picturesque Bedini Bugyal, Roopkund (4501 m) and the very difficult Jyura Gali pass (4620 m), on Nandashtmi. The trek passes through some of the most beautiful and some very tricky landscapes in the area. It is said that four-horned ram is born once every twelve years, and this very ram leads the procession. People do not go beyond Homkund, from where the ram takes the gifts and disappears in the glaciers. Once the ram is released, no one looks in its direction and the procession immediately heads back home.
One can attend the ceremony at Nauti village and then proceed to other places of interest before joining the procession again via Wan. It is at Wan that some 300 idols and decorated chhantolis (umbrellas) are assembled and the journey continuous all the way to Homkund.
Besides, Nanda Devi (7816 mts) is also the second heighest peak in India, located in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. The route of Yatra passes through beautiful and mysterious lakes of Roopkund & Homkund and slopes of Bedini Bugyal. Besides Yatra, this route is also considered to a trekker’s paradise for its mesmerizing natural beauty, but it is also tough and challenging. Trekkers around the world dream of going to this area. The Nanda Raj Jat passes through places, that don’t find mention in most tourist maps and well-hidden inlands. This religious trek is meant strictly for the die-hard trekkers. Simultaneously this trek presents one the prospect of exploring a real Uttarakhand – its culture, traditions, people and authentic cuisine.
The Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, which takes place in Uttarakhand state of Himalayan India, once in 12 years and was scheduled for August 29 this year, has been finally cancelled. Since roads and bridges along the yatra path were damaged in the floods in June, and were unsafe to use. It is considered to be one of the longest religious processions in the world. Strangely just twenty days back it was decided that Yatra won’t be postponed. On 26th July it was said that it would be a low-profile event but will happen on schedule. But it seems that after long deliberations with the government and within the community, it was decided that cancelling the Yatra is best possible option in the current scenario.
In few days, a new schedule for the Yatra shall be announced. In the meantime, on 26th August special prayers will be held at all those places from where processions start to join the main Yatra. The main Yatra invariably starts from Nauti village near Karanprayag in Chamoli district. The Nanda Raj Jaat, known as the Kumbh of Uttarakhand, wass slated to be held from August 29 to September 16, 2013. The 280 km and 19-day trek reaches Homkund through Bedini Bugyal, Roopkund and the very difficult Gali pass. Yatra has always been a religious issue and local sentiments are attached with it. Last Yatra happened in 2000. Hence this time it was originally scheduled in 2012 but was postponed to this year due to Malmaas (one inauspicious month) in the last year. Now again it has been postponed this year.
Normally thousands of pilgrims from across the world take part in the Yatra. However, the district administration had warned that they are not in position to handle large gatherings. After the natural calamity and continuous rains and landslides the road network was badly damaged. Due to bad weather administration could not do the minimum preparation needed. Nanda Devi is the supreme goddess of locals of Garhwal and Kumaon region. She visits her maternal dwelling in these Himalayan heights in hindu calendar month of Bhadrapad (August and September) and the festival is celebrated by the natives in every 12 years.
Besides Nanda Devi (7816 mts) is also the second heighest peak in India, located in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. The route of Yatra passes through beautiful and mysterious lakes of Roopkund & Homkund and slopes of Bedini Bugyal. Besides Yatra, this route is also considered to a trekker’s paradise for its mesmerizing natural beauty, but it is also tough and challenging. Trekkers around the world dream of going to this area.