Nanda Devi Raj Jat is a Hindu pilgrimage held every 12 years in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in Uttarakhand, India. The yatra, which is also known as Nanda Raj Jat, is a celebration of the goddess Nanda Devi and her consort Lord Sundardeva. The journey is considered one of the toughest and most sacred in the Hindu religion and attracts thousands of devotees from all over India and the world.
Legends and History of Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra
The Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra is said to have started in the 16th century, when the local villagers of the region began to worship Nanda Devi as their protective goddess. According to legend, the goddess Nanda appeared in a dream to the king of the region and instructed him to hold a yatra in her honor. The king followed the instructions, and the yatra became an annual event. However, over time, the yatra became more elaborate and was held only once every 12 years.
Nanda Devi is considered one of the most powerful and revered goddesses in Hinduism and is said to bring good fortune, prosperity, and protection to those who worship her. The yatra is held in her honor and is believed to bring blessings and fulfill the wishes of those who participate in it. The journey, which lasts for several days, involves the devotees carrying a large statue of Nanda Devi and her consort Lord Sundardeva on a palanquin from the temple in Nauti village to the inner sanctum of the Nanda Devi sanctuary.
The Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra is a cultural and religious festival that brings together people from different regions, castes, and communities. It is also a display of the rich cultural heritage of Uttarakhand and a celebration of the diverse traditions and customs of the region. The yatra is a unique blend of religious devotion, cultural heritage, and adventure, making it a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those who participate in it.
Nanda Devi Raj Jat Route: Spiritual Journey to the Heart of Nanda Devi
The Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra starts from Nauti village, which is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. The journey covers a distance of approximately 180 km. The journey takes the devotees through picturesque mountain landscapes, dense forests, and remote villages. The yatra also passes through several important shrines and temple complexes, such as the Nandadevi Temple, the Roopkund Lake, and the Homkund Temple, all of which hold great religious and cultural significance for the Hindu community. The approximate route of the yatra is as follows:
Day 1: Nauti Village to Rupkund Lake The journey starts from Nauti village, and the first stop is the Roopkund Lake. The lake is famous for its mysterious skeletal remains and is considered a sacred site by the Hindu community.
Day 2: Rupkund Lake to Bhagwabasa The journey continues to Bhagwabasa, which is the highest point on the yatra route. Bhagwabasa is also the site of the Homkund Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Agni, the Hindu god of fire.
Day 3: Bhagwabasa to Nandadevi Temple The journey then moves on to the Nandadevi Temple, which is dedicated to the goddess Nanda Devi. The temple is located in a remote and beautiful location, surrounded by the stunning Nanda Devi National Park.
Day 4: Nandadevi Temple to Martola The yatra then continues to Martola, which is located on the banks of the Alaknanda River. Martola is also the site of several important shrines and temples, including the Martola Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Day 5: Martola to Nauti Village The final leg of the yatra is a return journey to Nauti village, where the yatra ends with a grand celebration and the return of the statue of Nanda Devi and Lord Sundardeva to the temple.
Note: The exact route of the Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra may vary from year to year, and some parts of the journey may be skipped or altered due to various factors such as weather conditions and terrain.
The Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra is a physically demanding journey, and participants must be prepared to face the challenges posed by the harsh mountain terrain. The journey involves crossing high altitude passes, trekking through rough terrain, and camping in remote areas. Despite the challenges, the yatra is considered a pilgrimage of great spiritual significance, and thousands of devotees participate in it every 12 years.
The Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra is a unique and significant celebration of the Hindu religion, culture, and heritage. The journey is a symbol of devotion and a tribute to the goddess Nanda Devi and her consort Lord Sundardeva. The yatra is an opportunity for the devotees to immerse themselves in the rich culture and tradition of Uttarakhand, and to experience the challenges and beauty of the mountain landscapes. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those who participate in it, and a testament to the enduring power and significance of Hinduism in India.
Note: Next Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra can be held around August to September in 2026.