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Nanda Devi Yatra

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Published on Feb 25, 2011

Thousands of devout pilgrims follow the four horned goat as it leads them up to the glacial tarn of Roopkund where the hundred of skeletons lie, left over from an ancient tragedy - either avalanche or poisoning - no one knows! Men and women in trances, possessed by the devi, dance in mad abandon.
Devotees in Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra. The royal family of Garhwal conducts the Nanda Raj Jaat to please the Isht-Devi, in order to seek blessings for a prosperous kingdom and the defeat of their enemies. In Chamoli Nanda Devi Rajjaat is organized once in 12 years. The jaat starts from Nauti village near Karnprayag and goes upto the heights of Roopkund and Haemkund with a four horned sheep. After the havan-yagna is over, the sheep is freed with decorated ornaments, food and clothings and the other offerings are dischared. 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 sheep 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. The legend is this that Nanda Devi, consort of Lord Shiva left her village and went to the nanda devi parbat. Therefore when the yatra starts, heavy rain occurs as if the devi is crying. This yatra covers many villages and in between the Devi meets her sister in the Bhagwati village.

The Raj Jat Yatra is held annually, in Garhwal. The Raj Jat Yatra is held once in twelve years. This is a study of the once-in-12-year pilgrimage, shot over two months in the monsoon of 2000, following the thousands of pilgrims and thefour-horned goat which leads the procession, from the lower hills to the18, 000 foot high Roopkund Lake (where hundreds of skeletons lie in thestill icy water, untraced but several hundred years old. One story has itthat these are the remains of General Zorawar Singh's army, after they were hit by an avalanche) and the mountains around the outer ring of the Nanda Devi sanctuary. Shot under dangerous monsoon conditions, this is rare footage. Acquired on Digi Beta. Some 15 hours of Digi Beta and 2 hours of Mini DV footage.


This footage is part of the professionally-shot stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and Digital Betacam. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... rupindang (at ) gmail.com and admin@wildfilmsindia.com.

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