Maa Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra shows cultural life of people


Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal-Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal is organising an exhibition cantered on the ‘Maa Nanda Devi Raj Jaat’ a ritual adieu to Himalayan Goddess. It was inaugurated by Shri Sheo Shekhar Shukla (IAS), Principal Secretary, Culture, Tourism and Public Relations Department. On this occasion, he said this exhibition reflects the socio-economic and cultural life of the people, their religious beliefs, ritual performances and spiritual-emotional bonding attached with the pilgrimage. 

In this regard Dr. Praveen Kumar Mishra, Director, IGRMS said that the sacred Himalayas, peaks and mountains are believed to be the abode of gods and goddesses with great power of control over the elements of nature. Nanda Devi, the second highest Indian mountain deified as Devi, is the preeminent goddess of Garhwal and Kumaon. The Nanda Devi Raj Jaat is considered one of the toughest pilgrimage covering a long route of 280 kms with 19 halts held around the Nanda Devi Mountain. 

The entire journey is a ritual enactment of bidding adieu to Devi Nanda from her parental home in Nauti village, Chamoli to her husband’s home in Homkund. The Nanda-Jaat is held annually in Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Bagheswar area, where the palki of Devi is taken around in procession. Nanda Devi Raj Jaat is conducted once in every twelve year when a Chau singa Kharu (four- horned ram) is born who is believed to be the incarnation of goddess, leads the Raj Jaat as guide. Local deities and common people of the entire region join in this yatra and enjoy royal patronage.

Regarding this exhibition Programme coordinator of the exhibition, Dr. R.M. Nayal told that a wide range of objects supported with some rare photographs are used to enhance this exhibition focusing on mid Himalayan culture in general and Nanda Devi Yatra in particular.