Chamoli district is the second largest district of
of India. It is bounded by the
Tibet region to the north, and by
Uttarakhand districts of
Bageshwar to the east,
Almora to the south, Garhwal to the southwest,
Rudraprayag to the
west, and Uttarkashi to the northwest. The administrative headquarters
of the district is Gopeshwar.
Chamoli hosts a variety of destinations of pilgrim and tourists'
Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers and Auli.
Chamoli also happened to be a birthplace of "Chipko movement". Chamoli
proved itself "the most spectacular in its natural assets; be it
scenery, valley aspects, water-edges, floristic varieties, dramatic
landform or the climatic cardinalities". The district is also
Bhotiya ethnic group who adhere to Hinduism.
3.1 Assembly Constituencies
5 Culture, fair and festival
6 See also
8 External links
The region covered by the district of Chamoli forms part of the Pauri
Garhwal district of the Kumaon till 1960. It occupies the northeastern
corner of the Garhwal tract and lies in the central or mid-Himalayas
in the very heart of the snowy range described in ancient books as
Bahirgiri, one of the three divisions of the Himalayan mountains.
Chamoli, the district of "Garhwal’’ the land of forts. Today’s
Garhwal was known as kedar-khand in the past. In puranas kedar-khand
was said to be abode of God. It seems from the facts vedas puranas,
Ramayna and Mahabharat that these Hindu scriptures are scripted in
kedar-khand. It is believed that God Ganesha first script of vedas in
Vayas gufa situated in the last village Mana only four km. from
According to Rigveda (1017–19) after Inundation (Jalprlya)
Sapt-Rishis saved their lives in the same village Mana. Besides there
the roots of vedic literature seems to be originated from Garhwal
Garhwali language has a lot of words common with Sanskrit.
The work place of vedic Rishis are the prominent pilgrim places in
Garhwal specially in chamoli like Atrimuni Ashram in Anusuya about
25 km from chamoli town and work place of Kashyap Rishi at
Gandhmadan parwat near Badrinath. According to Aadi-Puran, vedvyasa
scripted the story of Mahabhrat in Vyas Gufa near Badrinath.
Pandukeshwar, a small village situated on the
high-way from where
Badrinath is just 25 km away is regarded as
Tapsthali of king Pandu. In Kedar-khand Puran this land is regarded
the land of lord Shiva.
The authentic script about the history of Garhwal is found only 6th AD
onward. Some of the oldest examples of these are the trishul in
Gopeshwar, lalitsur in Pandukeshwar. The Narvaman rock script in
siroli the chand pur Gari rock script by king Kankpal authenticates
the history and culture of Garhwal.
Some historians and scientists[who?] believe that this land is origin
of Arya race. It is believed that about 300 BC, Khasa invaded
Garhwal through Kashmir Nepal and Kuman. A conflict grew due to this
invasion a conflict took place between these outsiders and natives.
The natives for their protection built small forts called Garhi. Later
on, Khasa defeated the native totally and captured the forts.
After Khasa, Kshatiya invaded this land and defeated Khasa
accomplished their regime. They confined Garhwal of hundreds of Garhi
in to fifty-two Garhi only. One kantura vashudev general of kshatriya
established his regime on the northern border of garhwal and founded
his capital in joshimath then Kartikeypur vashudev katyuri was the
founder of katyura dynasty in Garhwal and they reign Garhwal over
hundreds of years in this period of katyuri regime Aadi Sankaracharya
visited garhwal and established Jyotrimath which is one of the four
famous Peeths established by Aadi Sankaracharya. In Bharat varsh other
these are Dwarika, Puri and Sringeri. He also reinstated idol of lord
Badrinath in Badrinath, before this the idol of
Badrinath was hidden
in Narad-Kund by the fear of Budhas. After this ethicist of vaidic
cult started to pilgrim Badrinath.
According to Pt. Harikrishna Raturi, king Bhanu pratap was the first
ruler of Panwar dynasty in garhwal who founded chanpur-Garhi as his
capital. This was is strongest Garh for the fifty-two garhs of
The devastating earthquake of 8 September 1803 weakened the economic
and administrative set-up of Garhwal state. Taking advantage of the
situation, Gorkhas attacked Garhwal under the command of Amar Singh
Thapa and Hastidal Chanturia. They established there reign over half
of the Garhwal in 1804 up to 1815 this region remain under Gorkha
Meanwhile, the king of Panwar dynasty Raja Sudarshan Shah contacted
east India Company and sought help. With the help of British he
defected Gorkas and merged the eastern part of Alaknanda and Mandakini
along with the capital srinagar in British Garhwal from that time this
region was known as British Garhwal and the capital of Garhwal was set
up at Tehri instead of Srinagar. In the beginning British ruler kept
this area under
Dehradun and Saharanpur. But later on the British
established a new district in this area and named it Pauri. Today’s
chamoli was a tehsil of the same. On 24 February 1960, tehsil Chamoli
was upgraded to a new district. In October 1997 two complete tehsil
and two other blocks (partially) of district chamoli were merged into
a new formed district Rudraprayag.
Religions in Chamoli District
According to the 2011 census
Chamoli district has a population of
391,114, roughly equal to the nation of Maldives. This gives it
a ranking of 559th in India (out of a total of 640). The district
has a population density of 49 inhabitants per square kilometre
(130/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade
2001-2011 was 5.6%. Chamoli has a sex ratio of 1021 females for
every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 83.48%.
Chamoli, carved as a separate revenue district in 1960 out of the
erstwhile Grahwal district, lies in the Central Himalaya and
constitutes a part of the celebrated 'Kedar Kshetra'. The District
Chamoli is surrounded by Uttarkashi in the northwest,
Almora in the southeast,
Rudraprayag in the southwest
and Tehri Grahwal in the west. The geographical area of the District
is around 7520 km2.
Geology The geology of the region shows that the Himalayas are the
young mountains in the world. During early
Mesozoic times, or the
secondary geological period, the land mass now covered by them was
occupied by the great geosynclinal Tethys sea. The probable date of
the commencement of the elevation of the Himalayas is about the close
Mesozoic period, but the unraveling of the story of their
structure has only just begin, and in many cases no dating of the
rocks is yet possible, though they include ancient and relatively
recent crystalline intrusive, rocks and sediments allied to the
peninsular part of India. The section of the range in the district is
deeply cut into by the headwaters of the Allaknanda river, this trunk
stream seeming to have reached a latter stage of development than its
tributaries. This much, however, is known that there has been intense
metamorphosis. In some parts uplift has been considerable since the
mid-pleistocene period, in others there are great stretches of high
but subdued topography and elsewhere there are the deepest gorges. The
direction of folding in these mountain masses is generally North to
South. The geological feature of the district form two major divisions
which lies North and south of an imaginary line extending
east-southeast between the villages of Hilang in Joshimath and
Loharkhet in the adjoining District of Pithoragarh. The Northern
division, which is occupied by higher ranges and snow-covered peaks
consist entirely of medium to high grade metamorphic rocks and is
intruded by later volcanic rocks. The Division to the South, occupied
by ranges of lower altitude, consists essentially of sedimentary and
low grade metamorphic rock also intruded by later volcanic rocks.
Geologically very little is known of the first division which consists
of rocks such as quartzites, marbles and various types of micaceous
schists and gneisses which a few sporadic occurrences of garnet,
graphite, iron, kyanite, mica and vein quartz. The division to the
south of the imaginary line is better known geologically and consists
of rocks such as gneisses, limestone, phyllites, quartzite,
sericite-biotite schists and slates.
Minerals The minerals that are found in the district are the
Asbestos This is of the amosite variety and can be used for the
production of asbestos, cement bricks, laboratory asbestos sheet and
paper, but is not considered to be of economic importance.
Magnestic - This is of an average quality is crystalline in nature,
and is found associated with crystalline dolomites and sometimes with
soapstone. The Magnesium carbonate found here is also of average
quality and its mineralisation has also been reported to occur in the
Soapstone or Steatite - This white saponaceous stone resembling pipe
clay is obtained in as lenticular body and is associated with mineral
pyrites, which adds a color to it, and in places with magnesite. it
can be mined for use as filler in soap and in the cosmetic industries.
In the past various utensils were made of it which, when polished, had
the appearance of marble.
Copper - The copper mines in the district are extensive and of reputed
during the period of
Hindus and The Gorkhas rules. All the rich mines
have since being exhausted and at present they do not offer a fair
field for the employment of capital.
Iron - Small and sporadic occurrence of iron are known to occur in
several parts of district but are of hardly any economic important.
Iron ore, rich in haematite, and magnetic ore, with haematite and
siderite, also occur in the district.
Graphite - In the past this mineral, also known as plumbago, found
mostly in patti Lohba, was used as a dye but no large deposits have
been noticed for a long time.
Gold - Although no gold mines has been discovered in the district, the
sands of Alaknanda and the Pinddar are said to be auriferous to a
Gypsum - This mineral is found on the bank of some river and was used
in the past for the manufacture of saucers and bowls. when ground to a
fine powder it is known as Plaster of Paris and can be used for a
number of purposes.
Lead - Deposits of this metal were fairly numerous in the past but it
is found in somewhat inaccessible places and has long since ceased to
Slate - This dense, fine grained metamorphic rock, which is produced
from a fine clay, can be split into thin, smooth plates and is
quarried throughout the district. It is suitable for roofing purposes,
the thin dark blue slates being somewhat inferior in quality.
Limestone - By burning this mineral, lime is procured which can be
used as mortar. There are two distinct ranges of lime stone hills in
the district, the first, north of the Alaknanda in Nagpur, the second,
running from Lohba patti to the Pinddar and again to the Alaknanda in
patti Bacchansyun in district Garhwal. Reserves of dolomite exists in
the district and tufaceous deposits are also found near several
Building Stone - Stone which can be used for building purposes is
available in most parts of the district. Sand stone is found in
abundance in the lower hills. Gneiss and chlorite schists which are
available throughout the district are frequently used for building
Sulphur - This yellow mineral, also known as brimstone is found in the
district as green sulphate of iron and is obtainable from iron pyrites
and copper mines, its presence being characterised by a small as of
rotten eggs. Sulphur springs also occur in many parts in the district.
Bitumen - The brownish white natural sulphate of alumina known as
Shilajit is found in rocks at a fairly high altitude and occur in
small lumps which generally have an admixture of red sand and
micaceous stone embedded in them. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine and
during the season when there is an influx of pilgrims, it fetches good
income to those who deal in it.
Some other minerals found in the district are Antimony, Arsenic,
Lignite or Brown Marble, Mica and silver.
Physiographically the district, which lies in a region of tectonic or
folded and overthrust mountain chains, has strata are structurally
marked by complex folds, reverse faults, overthrusts and nappes of
great dimensions, all these as well as frequent earthquake of varying
intensity give region to believe that the region is still unstable.
Although any movement or tremor of the Earth's crust in the district
is not produced by volcanic activity, the Chaukhamba peak a pair to be
the crater of an extinct volcano.
As the elevation of the district ranges from 800 mts. to 8000 mts
above sea level the climate of the district vary largely depending on
the altitude. The winter season is from about mid November to March.
As most of the region is situated on the southern slopes of the outer
Himalayas, monsoon currents can enter through the valley, the rainfall
being heaviest in the monsoon from June to September.
Rainfall - Most of the rainfall occur during the period June to
September when 70 to 80 percent of the annual precipitation is
accounted for in the southern half of the district and 55 to 65
percent in the northern half. The effectiveness of the rains is, among
others, related to low temperature which means less
evapo-transpiration and forest or vegetation cover. However, the
effectiveness is neither uniform nor even positive in areas where
either the vegetational cover is poor or / and has steep slopes or the
soils have been so denuded that their moisture absorption capacity has
Rain gauging stations put up at seven locations by Meteorological
department of Govt. of India, represent the settled land mass of
Temperature - The details of temperature recorded at the
meteorological observatories in the district show that the highest
temperature was 34 degree Celsius and lowest 0 degree Celsius. January
is the coldest month after which the temperature begin to rise till
June or July. temperature vary with elevation. During the winter cold
waves in the wake of western disturbances may cause temperature to
fall appreciably. Snow accumulation in valleys is considerable.
Humidity - The relative humidity is high during monsoon season,
generally exceeding 70% on the average. The driest part of the year is
the pre monsoon period when the humidity may drop to 35% during the
afternoon. During the winter months humidity increases toward the
afternoon at certain high stations.
Cloudiness - Skies are heavily clouded during the monsoon months and
for short spells when the region is affected by the passage of western
disturbances. During the rest of the year the skies are generally
clear to lightly clouded.
Winds - Owing to the nature of terrain local affect are pronounced and
when the general prevailing winds not too strong to mask these effect,
there is a tendency for diurnal reversal of winds, the flow being
anabatic during the day and katabatic at night, the latter being of
Chamoli district is crisscrossed by several important rivers and their
tributaries. Alaknanda, traversing a distance of 229 km. before
it confluence with Bhagirathi at
Devprayag and constituting the
Ganges, is the major river.
The Alaknanda originates at a height of 3641 meters below Balakun peak
16 km. upstream from
Badrinath form the two glaciers of Bhagirath
Kharak and Satopanth. The two glaciers rise from the eastern slopes of
Chaukhamba (7140 meters) peak,
Badrinath peak and its satellite peaks.
These peaks separates the
Gangotri group of glaciers in the west. The
major portion of the Alaknanda basin falls in Chamoli district. From
its source up to Hallang (58 km), the valley is treated as upper
Alaknanda valley. The remaining part of the area is known as lower
Alanknanda valley. While moving from its source, the river flows in a
narrow deep gorge between the mountain slopes of Alkapuri, from which
it drives its name. All along its course, it drains its tributaries -
1. Saraswati joins the Alaknanda 9 km downstream from Mana.
2. Khilrawan Ganga joins it below the
Badrinath shrine and Bhuynder
Ganga below HanumanChatti.
3. Dhauliganga meets at
Vishnuprayag above Joshimath. The river
Dhauliganga rises from the Nitti Pass at about 5070 meters. Its valley
lies between the Kamet groups of peaks in the west and Nandadevi group
in the east. The Dhauli takes a northern course at Malari. Between
Malari and Tapovan, it is almost a narrow gorge with perpendicular
cliffs on either side. several thousand meters high. the Dhauliganga
in its turn is fed by GirthiGanga at Kurkuti and Rishiganga 500 metres
4. Downstream small tributaries- Helang, Garud, Patal and Birahiganga
join the Alaknanda between Joshimath and Chamoli.
5. Nandakini, which rises from Semudra Glaciers drainage the western
slopes of Trishul mountains, joins it at Nandprayag.
6. Southeast, river Pinddar joins the Alaknanda at Karnprayag. The
Pinddar river is fed by the Milam and Pinddar glacier from the
Nandadevi group of glacier. The Pinddar river, before joining
Alaknanda, is fed by Kaliganga and Bheriganga.
The rivers of Chamoli district, generally flow with great force in
steep and narrow channels often resulting in excessive erosion and
collapse of the banks.
In 2006 the
Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Chamoli one of the
country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It
is one of the three districts in Uttaranchal currently receiving funds
Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
Culture, fair and festival
The houses in the district have not been built according to any town
planning scheme but have been put up haphazardly in clusters on level
ground at places where water springs are accessible or on the bank of
the river in the valley. The houses are built of stones and are
generally double-storeyed, a few having three to five storeys, the
very low rooms on the ground floor, which are usually 1.8 metres high,
being used for housing the cattle. Each house has in front of it a
courtyard called a Chauk. A mud or stone staircase or a wooden ladder
leads to the upper storey, the roof being of wood. The height of the
upper storey is generally 2.1 metres and the roof is usually a sloping
structures of timber covered with Patals (quartzite slabs), the well
off use corrugated galvanized iron sheets. Generally the upper storey
has a veranda in front of the upper rooms.
The houses in the higher regions are two to three storeys with
balconies all round and paved courtyard in front where people do their
threshing, weaving, spinning and other house hold works. A few houses
have five or six storeys, the topmost being used as the kitchen. At
times the cattle sheds are made at some distance from the villages.
The houses are built in rows of half a dozen or so and strikingly
picturesque in their fort like appearance.
The staple grains consumed by the people of the district are wheat,
rice, maze, mandua and jhanjora, the last three being coarse grains
generally eaten by the poorer sections. The pulses consumed are urad,
gahat, bhatt, soontha, tur, lopia and masor. The
Hindus of the
district mostly vegetarian by habit and preference and although the
Muslims, Christians and Sikhs are generally non-vegetarian, those not
able to afford eating meat daily due to want of fund or local
unavailability often resulting to a vegetarian diet.
Bichhuwas (toe-rings of silver) are worn by married women whose
husband are alive. Keels (small studs) worn on the left nostril, nose
ring (Naths) and ear rings made of gold and hansulis (ornament worn
round the neck), chandanhar (necklaces) and necklaces consisting of
colored beads or rupees or of the teeth and claws of the Panther are
generally worn by women and girls. Silver amulets set with turquoise
are also worn round the neck and arms. Married women wear anklets made
of copper or silver. Churis (Bangles) of gold, silver or of colored
glass are usually worn by women and girls.
Bhotiya women wear this
type of jewellery and articles made of ivory are also worn at times.
Men usually wear rings and some wear gold chain round their neck.
The dress of the people of the district is simple, economical and well
suited for the hill environment. The usual dress for men is a Kurta
(long lose shirt) or shirt, Pyjama (tight from the knee down), Sadri
(jacket), a cap and a knee-length coat, the last named being worn in
winter. Those better off are increasingly taking to trousers and
buttoned up coats. Women often wear the Sari and full sleeved shirt or
Angra (a sort of jacket) in place of a shirt, the well to do wearing
woolen jacket in winter. In the rural areas most of the women still
wear the long full shirt, tight fitting long sleeved jacket and an
Orhni (long scarf for covering the head and shoulders).
Girls students often wear the Salwar (very full pyjama narrow at the
ankle), Kamiz (knee length shirt) and Dupatta ( long scarf for the
head and shoulders). The Bhotiyas who lives at high altitudes
generally wear woolen clothes. The usual wear for the men are pyjamas,
shirt, coat and cap. The women wear gay colored Angras, a Ghagra (long
full shirt), phantu (colored scarf) and a woolen shawl which is worn
so as to make a pocket on each side. Both men and women wear a long
piece of cotton cloth as a tight Kamarband (a sort of belt).
Living in the mountains mostly in places that are not easily
accessible the people of the district have been able to preserve their
culture, folklore, folksongs and folk dances, the last, a distinctive
feature of the district, being seasonal, traditional and religious,
some of the better known being described below - The Thadiya dance,
which is accompanied by song, is performed on Basant Panchami, the
festival celebrating the advent of
Spring, the Mela, another dance, is perform on Deepawali and the
Pandava during the winter after the harvesting of the crop and depicts
the principal events of the Mahabharata. Other folk dances are Jeetu
Bhagdawal and Jagar or Ghariyali. These dances enact mythological
stories, the participants, both men and women, put on their
traditional colorful dress and dance to the tune of drums and
Ransinghas. Another dance performed during the fairs and accompanied
by song is the Chanchari, in which both men and women participate.
Folk songs are usually traditional and are sung particularly by the
women, who work very hard in the fields from morning till night in all
kind of weather. During the month Chaitra the women of the village
gather at a central place and sing traditional song which generally
relate deeds of heroism, love and the hard life which they have to
lead in the hills. In the district, fairs, festivals, religious and
social gatherings are the main occasions for recreation and amusement.
On special occasions people arrange Swangs (open air dramatic
performances) particularly depicting scenes or legends connected with
Shiva and Parvati.
Fairs And festivals
Festivals play an important role in the life of people in the
district, as elsewhere, and are spread over the entire year, the most
important being briefly described below.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the bright half of Chaitra to
celebrate the birthday of Rama. The followers of Rama in the district
observe fast throughout the day and the
Ramayana is read and recited
and people gather to listen to the recitations.
Nag Panchmi is celebrated in the district on the fifth day of the
bright half of Sravana to appease the Nagas or serpent gods. Figures
of snakes are drawn in flour in wooden boards and are worshipped by
the family by offering milk, flowers and rice.
Raksha-Bandhan is traditionally associated with the Brahmanas and
falls on the last day of Sravana. On this occasion a sister ties a
Rakshasutra (thread of protection)- commonly known as Rakhi - round
the right wrist of her brother in token of the protection she expects
to receive from him. Fairs are held on this occasion at Kedarnath,
Karnaprayag and Nandprayag.
Janmastami - the festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, falls on
the eighth day of the dark half of Bhadra. As in other parts of the
state, devotees in the district fast the whole day, breaking their
fast only at mid-night when worshipers throng the temples and
foregather to have a Jhanki (glimpse) of the shrines and cradles
specially installed, decorated and illuminated in homes and other
places to commemorate the deity's birth. A special feature of this
festival is the singing of devotional songs in praise of Krishna in
shrines and homes. The Chhati (sixth-day ceremony after birth) is also
celebrated by the devout. The festival is celebrated with great
enthusiasm at Nagnath,
Badrinath and Kedarnath.
Dushera - falls on the tenth day of the bright half of Asvina and
commemorates the victory of Rama over Ravana, the preceding nine days
being celebrated as Navaratri dedicated to the worship of the goddess
Durga. Ramlila celebrations are held at different places in the
district particularly at Kalimath.
Dipavali - the festival of lights, is celebrated in the district, as
elsewhere, on the last day of the dark half of Kartika when the houses
are illuminated and the goddess Lakshmi is worshipped. Festivities
start two days earlier, with Dhanteras, when metal utensils are
purchased as a token of the desired prosperity, followed by Naraka
Chaturdashi when a few small earthen lamps are lit as a preliminary to
the main day of festival. For traders and businessmen Dipavali marks
the end of the fiscal year and they pray for prosperity in the new
year. On this occasion the people of the district perform mela nritya,
a type of folk dance, a distinctive feature of the district.
Makar Sankranti - is a bathing festival which falls either on 13 or 14
January when people take bath in the Alaknanda and big fairs
(Uttaraini) are held at Karnprayag and Nandprayag.
Sivaratri - falls on the 14th day of the dark half of Phalgun and is
observed in the honour of Siva. People fast throughout the day and a
vigil is kept at night when the deity is worshipped. The Siva temples
are specially decorated and illuminated and large numbers of devotees
offer water and flowers to the symbols and images of Siva and sing
devotional songs in his praise. Big fairs are held on this occasion at
most of the Siva temples of the district particularly at Dewal,
Bairaskund, Gopeshwar, and Nagnath.
Holi - the spring festival, is celebrated on the full moon day of
Phalgun. People start singing Phaags (Songs of Phalgun) during the
nights, long before the festival. A flag or banner is installed at a
central place in the village on the 11th day of bright of Phalgun and
is burnt on the 15th day which is known as Chharoli when ash mark is
put on the foreheads of friends and relatives. The following day is
marked by common rejoicing when, till about noon, people throw
coloured water and coloured powder on each other and in evening visit
relatives and friends.
Many fairs are held in the district, the important ones being
On the 13th day of April every year the big fair known as Bishwat
Sankranti is held in the district. This fair is also mentioned in the
Pandukeshwar inscription of Lalitashuradeva issued in the 22nd regnal
year. It is also held at Ming (14 April), Aser (15 April), Hans Koti
(16 April), and Kulsari and Adbadri (17 April). Another important fair
of the district is the Gaucher Mela held at Gaucher in Karnprayag in
the month of November every year and is attended by number of persons.
Others fairs of importance are the Nautha at Adbadri, Naumi at
Hariyali, Nanda Devi at Bedni, Dattatreya Pooranmasi at Ansuya temple,
Nagnath at Dewar Walla.
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
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 km. 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
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, en route 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
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
1999 Chamoli earthquake
1999 Chamoli earthquake (in India)
Chamoli district at a glance" (PDF).
^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011.
^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population".
Maldives 394,999 July 2011 est.
^ a b
Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the
Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of
Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012.
Retrieved 27 September 2011.
Media related to
Chamoli district at Wikimedia Commons
Chamoli District Map
Places adjacent to Chamoli district
Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Pauri Garhwal district
Cities and towns in Chamoli district
Cities and towns
in other districts
Udham Singh Nagar
State of Uttarakhand
Interim capitals: (Legislative: Dehradun; Judicial: Nainital) Proposed
Legislative Assembly (Interim Assembly)
Council of Ministers
Geography (Mountain peaks
Politics (Statehood movement
Education (Higher education
Udham Singh Nagar
Hindu temples in Uttarakhand
Golu Devta Temple
Baijnath Group of Temples
Mahasu Devta Temple
Chandi Devi Temple
Daksheshwar Mahadev Temple
Har Ki Pauri
Mansa Devi Temple
Maya Devi Temple
Garjiya Devi Temple
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple
Surkanda Devi Temple
Udham Singh Nagar
Moteshwar Mahadev Temple