Uttarakhand Stories

10 Things You Should Know About Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

by Deepak Bisht
Aug 25, 2014

Note: The following Nanda Devi Raj Jat yatra pictures are taken from various Internet sources and name of original owner is not known. If you have copyright or any issue with any of the photos kindly let us know: Contact here

Nanda Devi Raj Jat is a pilgrimage of epic proportions that passes through the mighty Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi Sanctuary. It combines obscure faith in Goddess Nanda, mysteries of nature and thrills of an enduring journey where thousands of devotees from Kumaon and Garhwal region participate wholeheartedly.

1. Once in 12 Long Years

Like the grand Khumbh Mela, Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra is also organized once in 12 years. Due to floods in 2013, the yatra was postponed to 2014. If you are not going for Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra this year then you will have to wait till year 2026.

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra (src: facebook.com)

2. It Begins and Ends at Nauti Village

Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra originates from Nauti village, 20 kms from Karnaprayag. The royal family of Garhwal conducts the Nanda Raj Jat to please the Isht-Devi, in order to seek blessings for a prosperous kingdom and the defeat of their enemies.

Trekking during Nanda Devi Yatra

Trekking during Nanda Devi Yatra (src: facebook.com)

3. Covering 280kms by foot in 19 days

This 280 kilometers long pilgrimage begins at Nauti Village and must be covered by foot. There are 19 halting places during this yatra. A deep feeling of faith and reverence for Nanda Devi in Himalayan folk lore reflects the respect held for women in Uttarakhand.

Bedni Bugyal during Nanda Devi Yatra

Bedni Bugyal during Nanda Devi Yatra (src: facebook.com)

4. Four Horned Sheep (Chausingya Khadu)

Nanda Devi Raj Jat is led by a four-horned sheep, one of the most popular facets of the pilgrimage. It symbolizes the Goddess Parvati. The sheep is one of the main attractions of the yatra and enjoys a strong security cover all along the journey till Homkund, where it is left behind. It is said that the sheep then reaches the forests of Homkund and disappears to reach heaven directly.

Four horned sheep

Chausinghya Khadu (Four Horned Sheep) (src: facebook.com)

5. Worlds toughest pilgrimage

With 19 day trek over forests, mountains, glaciers, crossing rivers with tough climatic conditions and terrain, it is considered one of the toughest pilgrimages in the world.

Trekking during Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

Trekking through tough terrain (src: dailymail.co.uk)

6. Altitude Change during Yatra from 1050 mts to 5000 mts

With drastic altitude change many devotees get affected by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and other health issues. But it is their faith, which helps them overcome all such barriers. At Roopkund and Junargali the altitude almost touches 5000mts above sea level.

Bedni Bugyal during Nanda Devi Yatra

Bedni Bugyal during Nanda Devi Yatra (src: facebook.com)

7. It is ‘Bidaai’ of Goddess Nanda Devi from her maternal home

Nanda Devi is an avatar of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife, revered in Uttarakhand. The Nanda Devi Raj Jat, seeks to celebrate Nanda Devi’s departure from her maternal home (Nauti village) to her husband’s (Homkund).

Devotees during Bidai of Nanda Devi

Devotees during Bidai of Nanda Devi (src: facebook.com)

8. A festival uniting people of Garhwal and Kumaon region

Parvati (Shail Putri), the daughter of Hills and the consort of Lord Shiva, is known as Nanda in Garhwal & Kumaon areas. People from the entire Garhwal division and Kumaon division as well as other parts of India participate in Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra.
There are several Nanda temples situated at all the prominent places in Garhwal and Kumaon like Nauti, Chandpur, Kurur, Devrada, Kulsari, Nandkesri, Lohajang, Shila Samudra, Nandakot, Vaidini, Srinagar, Sink, Devikhet, Nandprayag, Gopeshwar, Helang, Lata Niti and Badrinath. Similarly the Kumaon region include Nanda Devi temples located at Nainital, Almora, Baijnath, Shuwbhgash, Munsiyari, Doonagiri, Jageshwar, Bageshwar and Ranikhet.
People from both the region bring their idols along to be a part of this epic folklore.

Thousands of Pilgrims Participate in Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra

Thousands of Pilgrims Participate in Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra (src: facebook.com)

9. The Yatra covers the Mystery Lake – Roopkund

The yatra passes through Roopkund – A Mystery Lake, where you’ll see hundreds of skeletons. It is believed that once a King took some dancers for his entertainment to this sacred place due to which the goddess got angry which resulted in hailstorm. The people at Roopkund died and the dancers got transformed into stone which can be seen at Patar Nachonia. The skeletons indicate that the average height of a person at that time was 9feet. Strange isn’t it?

Pilgrims in Roopkund Lake

Pilgrims in Mystery Lake Roopkund (src: facebook.com)

10. 19 Halts with schedule for 2014 Nanda Devi Rajjat Yatra

Date Day From To Distance
17 Aug 2014 Sunday Nauti Village
18 Aug 2014 Monday Nauti Village Ida Badhani 10 kms
19 Aug 2014 Tuesday Ida Badhani Nauti 10 kms
20 Aug 2014 Wednesday Nauti Kansuwa 10 kms
21 Aug 2014 Thursday Kansuwa Sem 12 kms
22 Aug 2014 Friday Sem Koti 10 kms
23 Aug 2014 Saturday Koti Bhagoti 12 kms
24 Aug 2014 Sunday Bhagoti Kulsari 12 kms
25 Aug 2014 Monday Kulsari Chepdue (Cheprau) 10 kms
26 Aug 2014 Tuesday Chepdue Nand Kesari 11 kms
27 Aug 2014 Wednesday Nand Kesari Faldiya 8 kms
28 Aug 2014 Thursday Faldiya Village Mundoli 10 kms
29 Aug 2014 Friday Mundoli Vaan (Wan) 15 kms
30 Aug 2014 Saturday Vaan Village Geroli Patal 10 kms
31 Aug 2014 Sunday Geroli Patal Bedni Bugyal 9 kms
1 Sept 2014 Monday Bedni Bugyal Patar Nachoniya 5 kms
2 Sept 2014 Tuesday Patar Nachoniya
– Rupkund
– Juragali
Sila Samundra 15 kms
3 Sept 2014 Wednesday Sila Samundra
– Homkund
Chandniya Ghat 16 kms
4 Sept 2014 Thursday ChandniyaGhat Sutol 18 kms
5 Sept 2014 Friday Suto Ghat 32 kms
6 Sept 2014 Saturday Ghat Nauti 40 kms
7 Sept 2014 Sunday Nauti Village

You can download the complete schedule here: Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra Schedule 2014

Deepak Bisht

Simple Man with Simple Dreams. Promoting Uttarakhand Culture, Language and Tourism. Travel Enthusiast, Entrepreneur and eUttaranchal Co-Founder

2 Responses

Reena Says

Nice Arrival..got to k ow very much about Nanda Devi..Good Job..Keep going..!

akhilesh mehra Says

After clicking the video it is written as gadhwali song while it is a kumaouni song