Author Topic: Nanda Raj Jat Story - नंदा राज जात की कहानी  (Read 123822 times)

पंकज सिंह महर

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वाणभट्ट ने हर्ष चरित में इस बात का उल्लेख किया है कि महाराज हर्षवर्धन भी नन्दा राज जात यात्रा में भाग लेते थे, श्री शिवप्रसाद नैथानी जी ने इस कथ्य को इस प्रकार लिखा है- "हर्ष युग में ग्रीष्मकाल में उत्तराभिमुख हिमालय का अतिशय प्रचार हो चुका था। हर्ष स्वयं यात्राओं में श्वेतदुकुल वस्त्र पहने प्रस्तानिक सूत्र और मंत्रों के उच्चारण के बीच शिव को स्नान कराकर ब्राह्मणों को दक्षिणा बांट कर शिखा में पीली सरसों रखकर, वृद्धों से प्रस्थान का आशीर्वाद लेकर, नक्षत्र, देवताओं की मनौती कर आंगन में गोबर के लिपे पुते चोंतरे पर स्थापित कलश के दर्शन कर कुल देवताओं का स्मरण कर दांया पांव पहले उठाकर यात्रा के लिये प्रस्थान करता था और अप्रतिस्थ सूक्त मंत्रों का पाठ करते ब्राहमण उसका अनुसर्ण करते थे।

हेम पन्त

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जै भोला, जै भगोति नन्दा, नन्दा उंचा कैलाश की जै.
जै भोला, तेरो चौसिंगिया खाडू, तेरि छतोरि-रिंगाल की जै...

पंकज सिंह महर

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नन्दादेवी पर्वत का एक शिखर त्रिशूली शिखर भी है, जिसके पादतल में होमकुण्ड नन्दा राजजात वैतरणी कुंड (वेदिनी कुण्ड) तक वार्षिक नन्दाजात भी होती है। नन्दा घुंघटी के पादतल में सप्तकुंड देवांगणी तथा नरील बालपाटा इन तीनों थात की नन्दाजात को राजजात में मिलना होता है।
       अल्मोड़ा की नन्दाजात नन्दाघुंघुटी के ही पृष्ठ भाग में नन्दाकिनी शिखर के मूल में होती है। राजजात के समय अल्मोड़ा से नन्दादेवी की डोली तथा कोट अल्मोड़ा देवी मंदिर से नन्दा की असुर संहारिणी कटार खड्ग वाण गांव में नन्दा जात से मिलने के बाद वापस लौट जाती है। कुमायूं और गढ़्वाल के सांस्कृतिक रिश्तों की पहचान का यह एक ज्वलंत उदाहरण है। जो हमारी सांस्कृतिक एकता के गौरव को आगे बढ़ाने में सहायक बनता है, अतीत की इस सांस्कृतिक एकता को अक्षुण्ण बनाने का प्रयास आज भी जारी है।
     इस प्रकार गढ़वाल में नन्दाजात के चार स्थान हैं
१- नन्दिकुण्ड
२- नरील बालपाटा
३- देवांगिणी सप्तकुंड
४- वेदिनी बुग्याल
इन चार स्थानों पर प्रतिवर्ष नन्दाजात जाने की परम्परा है।

पंकज सिंह महर

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कुमायूं मंडल में भी नन्दा जात के कई अवसर हैं जैसे दानपुर जौहार में नन्दाजात आज भी जाती है। नैनीताल और अल्मोड़ा में भादो के महीने में नन्दा का डोला निकाला जाता है और जागर लगाई जाती है, नन्दा की जन्मतिथि शुक्ल अष्टमी के दिन ही नन्दा की डोली विसर्जित की जाती है।शुक्ल पंचमी के दिन यहां की महिलायें विरुड़  भिगाती हैं और दूसरे दिन शुद्ध जल से धोकर नये दूव की डोर धारण करती हैं, ये विरुड़ नन्दा को चढ़ाये जाते हैं। इसी दिन कुंवारी कन्या सोंवा के पौधे से गमरा यानी गौरा बनाती हैं और डलिया में रखी जाती है। डलिया को सिर पर रखकर गाजे-बाजे के साथ गांव में लाया जाता है और गौरा (नन्दा) के जन्मदिन से लेकर ससुराल जाने तक के गीत गाये जाते हैं, गमरा को घर के भीतर रखते समय ब्राहमण विधि-विधान से पूजा करते हैं। पिथौरागढ़ में इस पर्व को आठों कहा जाता है और सारे गांव के लोग आंठों गीत गाते हैं। नवमी के दिन महेश्वर यानी शिव जी को लाया जाता है और उनको भी गमरा के साथ रखा जाता है। उसके कुछ दिनों बाद इन दोनों डोलियों को मंदिर में ले जाया जाता है और अश्रुपूर्ण विदाई दी जाती है, यह भी नन्दा जात का एक रुप है।

पंकज सिंह महर

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Nanda Devi Raj Jat - Nanda Raj Jat, the big pilgrimage of Nandadevi, is unique to Chamoli. It is very old traditional pilgrimage from the time of shalipal in the ninth century. There are no historical records but it is gathered from the local folklores and folksongs (jagori) that Shahipal who had his capital at Chandpur Garhi, buried a tantric instrument at Nauti nearby, and installed his patron-goddess Nandadevi (Raj Rajeshwari) there. The Royal priest, Nautiyal, of Nauti was made responsible for regular worship of the goddess.
 
King Shahipal started a tradition that a big pilgrimage (Nanda Raj Jat) would bw organized every twelfth year to escort Nandadevi to her in-law's place, near Nanda Ghungti peak. When the capital was shifted by Ajay Pal, Kunwar (the younger brother of the king), who gad settled at Kansuwa nearby, was authorised to organize Raj Jat on behalf of King.

Traditionally the Kunwar comes to Nauti to seek the blessing of the Devi to organize the Jat. A four horned ram takes birth in Kasuwa area thereafter. A time schedule is drawn up for the Jat so as to reach Homkund on the Nandastami day in August/September, and Kulsari on the preceding new moon for special worship.

Accordingly the Kunwar reaches Nauti with the four horned ram and ringal-umbrella. The Raj Jat starts on the long round-trek of about 280 kms. with 19 halts on the way, taking about 19 days. Bhumiyal, Ufrai and Archana Devis are worshipped prior to the departure. The golden image of Nandadevi is carried in a silver palanquin and thousands of devotees follow in a long procession.

Great festivities and religious observances mark the Jat wherever they halt or pass through. The procession swells as it advances with various groups joining from far and near with their idols and umbrellas. Special mention may be made of those coming from kurud from Ghat, Lata near Tapovan and Almora in Kumaon. Some 300 idols and decorated umbrellas assembles at Wan, enroute Homkund.

Mass participation and religious devotion are unmatched, for the Jat involves a long and arduous journey over treacherous terrains rising to an altitude of 5335 mts. at Jiura Gali Dhar from a near 900 mts. at Nauti, walking barefoot over snow and moraines and passing through deep forests.
 

 At Shail Samundra the pilgrims see three lights and a streak of smoke just before dawn as a divine beckon.

Surprisingly the four horned ram, loaded with the offerings for the goddess, guides the procession of devotees from the Nauti till it reaches Homkund,near the base of Nanda Ghungti, resting every night near the Nauti umbrella of the goddess. At Homkund it manifests human emotions and tears are seen in its eyes before it leaves everyone behind to get lost towards the mountains, laden with the offering of the devotees for the goddess Nandadevi.

There is a unique custom of keeping everyone's house unlocked in Wan village for the use of the yatris on the Jat day, according to the divine instruction of the goddess Nandadevi, and it is followed religiously. The last NandaDevi Raj Jat was held during August/September 2000. Smaller Raj Jats are organized annually from Kurud village near Ghat, covering a smaller circuit in August-September.
 

हलिया

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पंकज ज्यू को धन्यबाद है इतनी बढि़या जानकारी देने के लिये।

पंकज सिंह महर

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Nanda Raj Jat Yatra-New Millennium's Grand Festival

The Nanda Raj Jat Yatra is organized under the patronage of the descendants of the king of Garhwal. On the auspicious day of Basant Panchami a male descendant of the royal dynasty of Garhwal and resident of Chand Garhi visits Nauti village and worships the famous "Sri Yantra". It is widely believed that Sri Yantra is the breath of Divinity and the world is evolved from this breath. The worship is done with all the Tantric rites and rituals for emission of vital energy and invocation of the spirit of the Goddess Nanda to the gold idol. At this invocation ceremony Goddess Nanda is invited from her husband's Himalayan abode, Nanda Devi mountain, to visit her parental home at Nauti village. Meantime news is conveyed to the prince that a mysterious four horned ram is already born heralding the advent of Goddess Nanda in the village. The ram is brought to the prince's custody. He undertakes full responsibility for its upkeep. The animal is reared and fed with rich fodder for a period of six months when it grows up. Seventeen days before Bhadra Ashtami day in the month of August the adult ram is taken back to Nauti village once again along with a silver palanquin. Preparations are made for undergoing a 22 day long journey. Ornaments are prepared for adorning the ram and precooked food items for the journey.
After staying for six months at her parental home now comes the time for her return journey to her husband's place deep in the Himalayas. On the eve of her departure a huge gathering of pilgrims congregate at Nauti and many devotees participate in a dance called `Nanda Jat Jagar'. The village folk, mostly ladies attired in their traditional dress, and surrounded by a multitude of pilgrims converge in a circle around a fire. Suddenly, like a necromancer the jagaria (singer) slowly and with measured drum beats starts to invoke the spirit of Goddess Nanda. His singing is punctuated by drum beats and the shrill sound of thali. The crescendo builds up and drives the listeners into a trance. Abruptly, the spirit of the Goddess enters one of the ladies amongst the crowd and she breaks into an invocational song in the form of hymns of praise of the illustrious Goddess. In a fit of ecstasy she starts leaping, jumping and dancing and is completely transformed. The Goddess cannot stand the pangs of separation. With tears trickling down her cheeks she laments how poorer she will feel without her friends and relatives who had become part of her life. She will be missing their "sweet radiant faces, bright and glittering eyes and lively humour and sober nature" which used to give her strength to go through the ordeals of life. Not a moment will pass henceforth without their cherished memories. Broken hearted, her passionate expression of grief brings tears to the eyes of the assembled ladies who in their turn also start crying and their incessant sobbing remains unabated and they all feel that the cruel hand of Destiny is mercilessly snatching her away from them leaving them all.
The next day on ashtami (eighth day) the golden idol of the goddess Nanda sitting majestically on a throne is carried by the pilgrims in a silver palanquin. They are led by the mysterious four horned ram. The ram is worshipped as a symbol of the Goddess and is finely dressed and decorated with colorful bangles, ribbons, velvet saddle, jewellery and chunaris (scarves). A procession of men women and children in colorful costumes and glittering silver ornaments accompany the ram carrying huge red flags. They sing devotional songs and dance to the accompaniment of typical uttarakhandi instruments. This rare spectacle of pomp, pageantry and gaiety continues for 22 days traversing through a breathtaking panorama of misty mountainscapes, deep gorges, alpine meadows and dense forests and culminating at Hem Kund lake, at a height of 13200 feet .
There are 18 night halts for this yatra. At every village on the way a local fair is organized which reflects the cultural heritage and traditions of the local people. The local devatas (deities) sitting in cane palanquins are also carried to greet the principal deity, Goddess Nanda, covered under multicoloured umbrellas. At the final point of Hem Kund lake the devotees purify themselves by taking a holy dip in the ice cold water of the lake. A fire is lit in the hearth (Hawan Kund) popularly known as Dhuni. Hawan samagree ( ) consisting of dry fruits, sesame and barley seeds mixed with clarified butter is offered to the Goddess Nanda through the fire God. The deity is worshipped ceremoniously and her blessings are sought by smearing one's forehead with ash from the Dhuni. After paying obeisance to the goddess the four horned ram is worshipped and is asked to bid farewell to all and it walks away alone to the mystical vale -- to the abode of the Goddess and disappears.
The challenge of the elements and the spirit of adventure has attracted a large number of foreign tourists to accompany this yatra. They visit Nauti Village and mingle with the local people while participating in the festival. It is an awe inspiring and overwhelming moment to walk around the age old legendary Himalayan trek that has so much of traditional religious significance. The beauty of the trek is a picture perfect fusion of high mountain valleys, lakes, streams, glaciers and luminous dense green forests and it is a veritable paradise for trekkers. There is plenty to interest botanists and bird watchers and also anthropologists. And the above is merely an eye opener... The the Nand Raj Jat Yatra is a spectacular festival. The reality surpasses the written word. Plan your holiday for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
In the vast amphitheatre of the Indian Himalayas Nanda Devi mountain occupies the central place in the alluring arena of the Garhwal and Kumaun region which has a 70 mile barrier ring on which stand twelve measured silvery peaks over 21000 feet high and which has no depression lower than 17000 feet. Its perpetually snow clad camel humped white summit is the most important peak that soars upto 25,660 feet. This gorgeous silvery top resplendent with the lustre of spiritual aura is highly revered in Hindu scriptures as the abode of Shiva's consort, Parvati. The name Nanda in Sanskrit means "bliss giving goddess" and is worshipped as the supreme deity all over Kumaun in Garhwal

पंकज सिंह महर

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Lohajang
7kms. uphill from Bakargad is Lohajang. One forgets the perils of the ardous trek of 220mts. due to the picturesque views of its natural splendour, on the way to Lohajang.
Bann
Bann is a village located at a distance of 5kms. from Lohajang. The uphill route to the village is lush with tall Birch, Oak and Deodar tress. Inhabited by the Palsi shepherds and farmers the place is prominent as Jasdhaval is believed to be an ancestor of the prince of Kansua and thus originated the tradation of the paying homepage to Jasdhaval at this point.
Bedini Bugyal
Situated near Bann, Bedini Bugyal is a charming green meadow adorned with flowers in a spell binding variety, in full bloom. There is a small lake situated in the midst of this meadow, where Tarpans are offered by the devotees. Situated nearby is a small temple where the devotees pay their obeisance, during their halt at Bedini Bugyal.
Gangotri Cave
This is the cave where, according to the legend Queen Vallabha had delivered a child.
Kaliyuva Vinayak
At an altitude of 3000mts. and 5kms. from Pattar Nachonia, the place offers a view of the Trishul and Nanda peaks. It is here, where the famous stone image of Lord Ganesha, worshipped as Kaliyuva Vinayak is gracefully installed.
The place is known to be filled with brahmakamals, where the flora creates a mystic ambience. Legend says, that the name itself suggests that one has to create an Awas ( a dwelling ) which has to here, for a head of it, lies the deadly precipice, known as juna Gali or the valley of death.
Roopkund
Situated at an altitude of 5029mts. in the interior of the Chamoli district, Roopkund is famous for the mysterious shallow lake of about 2mts., with the rdges covered with snow almost throught the year. After the snow melts, skeletal remains which are believed to be 500-600 year old, many theories explain the findings but none are satisfying. The lake however is nestled amidst a panoramic mountain scenery.
 
 The Royal Journey
After the programme for the yatra is chalked by Kunwars, the prince of Kaunsuva arrives in Nauti to seek the blessings of the goodess and to organise the Jat. He brings offerings including the Ringal -Ki-Chhantoli, a specially prepared umbrella and a four horned ram, which becomes the seat of idol of Nanda Devi and made of gold

Route of the Raj Jat
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 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
Chhatoli of the Raj Jat
Chhatoli Dewan Khandoori
Chhatoli of Barhatkoki
Other Chhatoli

The Raj Jat does not confine itself only to Garhwal, but to the entire India. This 18 day long Yatra spresds the fragrance of customs and traditions of the Garhwal-Kumaon region. The arrangements at the camp set up, are done for the dovotees taking care of their requirements during the torturous journey.
Raj Jat Yatra from Kurud
Kurud to Ustoli
Ustoli to Bhenti
Bhenti to Dungari
Dungari to Soona
Soona to Koti
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
At Devrada, prayers are offers for a period of six months, before the devotees start their journey back to Kurud.


Farewell to the Devi
The festivities come to a standstill , when the timecomes 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 theit own.

 

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The legend of the nanda Devi Rajt is an important event from sprituo-cultural point of view as the shrines of Nanda Devi are scattersd all over the Central Himalayas. The Devi is considered as the Isht-Devi, by the hill folk. 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. Her relationsh with the people is just the same as that of sita with Mithila, similary Gaura is Know to be the daughter of Uttarakhand. Daughter of the king of mountains, Himavat. Gaura was married to ash-smeared, leapord skin wearing yogi. It is populary believed that according to the Indian calendar, During the Krishna Paksha of Bhado (2nd week of August) the Devi visits her mother's place and the event is celebrated with the performance of special rituals and prayers on Nanda Ashtami in the numerous Nanda Devi temples spread all over the Garhwal and Kumaon regions

Genesis of the tradition

The event marks the coming of Nanda Devi to her mother's place (mait). During this time Uttarakhand reverberates with festivities. The event finishes when the people of her maiti (mother home), escort her in a procession is called the Nanda Jat. The entire scene is beautifully protrayed in the folk songs and jagars sung by the woman of Uttarakhand. Such Nanda jats are held in almost all the places in the hills, where there is a Nanda Devi temple. Every Garhadhipatis in the hills took out Nanda Jats to place the Isht -Devi. Every Twelve years the Nanda Raj Jat replaces the annual Raj Jat on the route of Homkund, from the temple of Nanda Devi. The dolis of other devtas also know as the 'Birs of Nanda Devi' also join the Raj Jat..The Goril dev of Kumaon and the Lattu Dev of Bandhan are the prominent devtas.
The Nanda Raj Jat war started by ancestors of Rajas of Garhwal. The ancient tradition of taking out Nanda jats among all the Garhadhipatis, was combined by the raja into a Royal pilgrimage every twelve years. raja ajay Pal (shesh Pal) of Chandgarh started the nanda Raj Jat in 15 century. Since then, the royal family takes the pilgrimage along with their purohit 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.

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Nanda in History

The genesis of Nanda Devi is not very clear. Folk lyrics suggest that Nanda was a princess of the Chanda dynasty of Almora. Some people associate the Goddess with Yog Maya, the daughter of Nanda, who replaced the eighth issye of Vasudev ( father of Krishna ) and who escaped from the hands of her assailant, Kansa and forewarned him of his impending death at the hands of Lord Krishna. There is no mention of Nanda in the Payranas or other scriptures. However, certain later inscriptions mention a Goddess with names similar to Nanda. The Goddess finds mention in Sanskrit literature. Some very old statues found in Mathura show one Goddess as Eknansha. Accordingly, some people believe that the same Goddess was subsequently regarded as Nanda. Naini ( of Nainital) and Naina ( of Himachal Pradesh ) also appear to be variants of the same Goddess. There are ancient temples of the Goddess at about twenty places all over Garhwal. Similar temples are found in Almora region also.


The Legend of Nanda Devi

The history of Nanda Raj jat is associated with king Jasdhaval of Kannauj. It is believed that the wife of king Vallabha was the daughter of the ruler of Chandour ( Garhwal ). Once the Queen was cursed by Nanda Devi and consequently her kingdom became a victim of droyghts, famines and other natural calamities. The royal priest, on assessing the reason, advised the king to participate in the Nanda Raj Jat, ti get rid of the curse. So king Jasahaval, Queen Vallabha, Prince Jadeel and Princess Jadeela, along with a troupe of dancing girls and musicians, arrived in Garhwal and joined the Jat at village Bann. They did not obey the prohibitions, to be observed during the Yatra, defying the norms, the king held dancing sessions. Since then the place is known as Patar Nachonia
( the spot where the festivities were organised). The entourage had to make a night halt at Roopkund, where the Queen delivered in a cave. The irreverance earned the Devi's wrath, causing heavy snowfall and perishing the entire troupe. It is believed that some people had slipped into lake Roopkund and the dancing girls had turned into rocks. This accident is believed to have occured around 1150 A.D. Jasdhaval is believed to be an ancestor of the Prince of Kansua and thus originated the tradition of paying homepage to king Jasdhaval at this point during the Nanda Jat.


The Popularity

Parvati ( Shail Putri), the daughter of hills and the concort of Lord Shiva, is known as Nanda in Garhwal & Kumaon areas. The popularity of the Goddess is understandable, as the highest peak of the district has been identified with the name of the deity, also several Nanda temples are situated at all the prominent places in Garhwal and Kumaon like Nauti, Chandpur, Kurur, Devrada, Kulsari, nandkesri, lohajang, Shila Samundra, 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.

 

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