Wednesday, April 9, 2008


NANDA BHAGWATI, the Isht-devi of garhwal and kumaon, Nanda devi raj jat is an important event of garhwal. "nanda raj jat"a nanda is a goddess. and raj jat means royal journey , actually nanda devi raj jat is an event for journey with goddess. the royal family of garhwal conduct the nanda raj jat to please the devi Nnda Bhagwati, in order to seek blessings for happy and prosperous kingdom and the deficit of their enemies. Nanda Devi's relationship with the people is just the same as that of Sita with Mithila.

Gaura is known as the daughter of uttrakhand or daughter of mountain Hiamalya or Himvat, married to the a person who wear leoperd skin , yogi Hindu God Shiva, the God of destroyer. in uttrakhand popularly believed that the goddess visit her mother place(Mait) on Krishan Paksh Bhadon
(2nd week of august). the people of garhwal and uttrakhand celebrate Nanda-Ashtmi, ther are many tample of MA NANDA BHAGWATI.

the event is her maiti(mother's home's people),escort her in a procession to her Sauras or sasural (husbands home in Kailash).procession starts from her mait to sauras. maha raj jat comes after twelve years, and it repalced from hornkund from the tample Nanda Devi,with Birs of Nanda Devi, other God(devtas), also with he Goril Dev of Kumaon and the Lattu Dev of Bandhan are the prominent devtas. with LINGALA CHHANTOLI (special umbrella prepared by local handicrafts).
According to the history the Jat started by
ancestors of the king of Garhwal. The ancient tradition of taking out Nanda Jats among all the Garhadhipatis(kings of garh), was combined by the Raja into a Royal pilgrimage every twelve years. KIng Ajay pal started the jat on 15th century, Since then, the royal family takes the pilgrimage along with their , purohits to seek forgiveness from Nanda Devi, and offer 'Tarpan' for the ancestors who had died at the Roopkund, along with his pregnant wife and courtesans.
However, Carbon 14 dating of the skeletons, done by Crane and Griffin in 1958 proved that the bones found were between, 500 to 800 years old. After the programme for the yatra is chalked by the Kunwars, the prince of Kaunsuva arrives in Nauti to seek the blessings of the goddess and to organise the Jat(yatra).He brings offerings including the Ringal- Ki- Chhantoli, and a four horned ram, which becomes the seat of the idol of the Nanda Devi and is made of gold.

Being the Isht- Devi of the kings of Garhwal the Raj Jat initiates at Nauti. The sub-clans, based on the names of the villages, are fixed as the Chhatolis, who on reaching the next village (Chhantoli in red circle:above picture)

meet the Chhatolis reach the village after covering the pre-set route.These meetings are decided prior to the initiation of the Yatra which are as follows :

  • Chhatoli of Lord Lattu of Bagoli (Brother of the Devi)
  • Chhatoli of the Raj Jat
  • chhatoli of Dewan Khandoori
  • Chhatoli of Barhatkoki
  • Other Chhatolis(many god and goddess)

The Raj Jat does not confine itself only to Garhwal, but to the entire India. This is 18 day long Yatra, spreads the fragrance of customs and traditions of the Garhwal- Kumaon region. The arrangements at the camp set up, are done for the devotees taking care of their requirements during the torturous journey.

  1. Raj Jat Yatra from Kurud
  2. Kurud to Ustoli
  3. Ustoli to Bhenti
  4. Bhenti to Dungari
  5. Dungari to Soona
  6. Soona to Koti
  7. Koti to Nandkeshari

At Nandkeshari, the last stage of the Raj Jat Yatra, it merges with that of the Yatra originated from Nauti, and ends at Homkund. The devotees after the Raj Jat return by the following route:

  • Homkund to Sutol
  • Sutol to Kanoal
  • Kanoal to Wan
  • Wan to Mundoli
  • Mundoli to Lavani
  • Lavani to Bulgurar
  • Bulgurar to Purna
  • Purna to Chidiga
  • Chidiga to Vijaypur Sera
  • Vijaypur Sera to Talwadi Thala
  • Thala to Devrada

four-horned ram

At Devrada, prayers are offers for a period of six months, before the devotees start their journey back to Kurud.

The festivities come to a standstill, when the time comes for the Devi to leave for her sauras (husband's home). Special prayers and rituals are performed and the offerings are loaded on the four- horned Ram just like the things given to a daughter in her marriage are sent. The deity is decorated like a bride, ready to leave for her husband's home. The scene becomes pathetic when the devotees, in tears, bid farewell to the Devi, as if they are bidding farewell to their own daughter. Leaving the image of the Goddess there, the four-horned ram proceeds towards Kailash (Trishuli peak) the abode of Lord Shiva on its own. The trishuli peak is the highest peak of the Nanda Parbat, the highest mountain range in Chamoli district. The parbat, is revered by the people, the women folk believe that the mist around the Nanda Kot peak is the smoke coming out of the kitchen of Goddess Nanda. They get sentimental while they sing songs associated with their revered Goddess, whom they regard as a pampered daughter of their own.


गजेन्द्र बिष्ट said...

Hi friend, you have done a great job for our Uttarakhad, I am from nearby Mundoli village and Roopkund also near from our village. Once I am very happy to see your blog.

Gajender Bisht

Gajendra Bisht said...

dera friends very nice. i proud u.