NANDA DEVI TEMPLE
Known as the “The Destroyer of Evil” Maa Nanda Devi has a beautiful shrine in the cultural city of Almora, just above the Mall Road near Lala Bazaar of Almora. Nanda Devi temple is the center of attraction in the cultural city of Uttarakhand. Perched at the height of 1,642 m, Nanda Devi Temple is one of the most important as well as most visited Hindu temples in the state of Uttarakhand.
Brief History of The Nanda Devi Temple:
The history of the fair dates way back in the 16th century. It is built in Kumaoni architecture within the antechamber of a Shiva temple. The temple is dedicated to the patron Goddess of the Chand dynasty. According to a legend, the fair was initiated by Raja Kalyan Chand of Chand dynasty.
Architecture of The Temple:
Inside the temple, the idol of the goddess Nanda is a huge monument with a stone crown encircled by a wooden roof. Nanda Devi temple is one of the most visited temples in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand state. The interesting thing to notice is stone carving on the wall of the temple with statues of gods and goddesses.
Nanda Devi Fair:
The cultural carnival of Nanda Devi Mela holds immense religious, spiritual and cultural significance. The Nanda Devi fair is held with a great passion, joy, and energy every year.
The festival symbolizes the economic and cultural prosperity of the region. People participate in a small yatra (journey), in which devotees carry the Dola (litter) of Maa Nanda Devi. The term Nanda means prosperity and it symbolizes the prosperity, well being and glory of the region. People worship Maa Nanda Devi with great devotion in the temple.
The temple is decorated like a newlywed bride and the place explodes with a lot of fun and cultural activity during the fair. Many village craftsmen bring a lot of handmade items and clothes to sell from different parts of the country. Many local artists and school children come here to perform live on stage. The temple witnesses the unique taste of culture, religion, spirituality, peace and fun activities at the same time.
Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra:
Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra is a three week long famous festival and a spiritual journey of Uttarakhand organized in every 12 years. This 22 days long journey Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra begins from the village of Nauti, 25 km from away Karnaprayag and ends at the mysterious lake of Roop Kund.
Thousands of devotees from both Garhwal and Kumaon regions of the state of Uttarakhand along with other parts of the country come to join and become a part of this long spiritual yatra (journey). The journey starts from Nauti village of Chamoli district to the high altitude lake of Roopkund. Devotees have to travel around 280 km on foot. The yatra is a perfect blend of religion, spirituality, and fun.
How To Reach Nanda Devi Temple, Almora:
The nearest railway station to Almora is Kathgodam Railway Station, which is 94 km away. Visitors can get a cab or a bus from there to Almora.
The nearest airport to Almora is Pantnagar Airport, which is 124 km away. Nearest international airport to Almora is IGI, New Delhi, which is 352 km away.