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Tourist Information

There are two ways to Karanprayag's Nauti village. One is through Hardwar and second from Kathgodam.

From Hardwar: Important trains connecting Hardwar to other parts of the country are Ujjain Express from Bombay, Bombay Dehradun Express from Calcutta and Shatabdi Express, Mussoorie Express from New Delhi and Dehradun Allahabad Express from Allahabad.

Regular bus services ply between Hardwar, New Delhi, Lucknow, Moradabad, Bareilly etc. Private tourist taxies and coaches are also available for onward journey. Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam also runs its coaches and taxis for all major hill destinations.

Due to close proximity of Hardwar to Rishikesh it is easy to stay in the latter and proceed straight to Karanprayag from there. However if you want to stay at Hardwar the Govt. Tourist Bungalow has double rooms and dormitories. Its tariff suits every pocket.

For reservation write to: The Manager, Tourist Bungalow Hardwar.

There are hourly buses for the 45 minute trip to Rishikesh where there are connections to Karanprayag GMVN Tourist bungalow tourist complex Rishilok is pleasantly situated close to the Ashrams. It has rooms with attached bath and tariff is moderately priced. GMVN Ltd, Govt. undertaking operates conducted tours between Rishikesh and Karanprayag. For details please contact GMVN office.

Karanprayag is only 174 km from Rishikesh.

Accommodation at Karanprayag: all types of rooms, deluxe, executive, ordinary, dormitory, family suite are available in GMVN tourist bungalow Karanprayag. For advance reservation and enquiries for official Nanda Raj Jat Yatra please contact to the Hotel Manager directly or Yatra office Muniki Reti, Rishikesh.

From Kathgodam: Kathgodam is the railhead. There are evening trains from Lucknow, Agra, Howrah and Delhi. Buses ply between Kathgodam and Almora which is 90 km away. Almora is well connected with all the major cities.

For detailed tourist information write to: Regional Tourist Officer, Happy Cottage Complex, Almora.

For reaching Karanprayag you have to catch a bus for Gwaldam town which is 78 km from Almora. There is a tourist rest house at Gwaldam. You can reach Karanprayag the same evening if you catch the early morning bus at 5 a.m. which goes to Srinagar Garhwal and drops you at Karanprayag.

In case you wish to meet the Raj Jat Yatra midway you can catch the bus from Gwaldam to Debal to Mundoli (which you can reach by shared jeep) and drive further north. There are forest rest houses at Debal, Lohajang (just above Mundoli) and Wan. Your Itinerary can be as follows:

Day 01 Almora to Mundoli via Debal -- 103 km by bus or Taxi. 

Day 02 Mundoli to Wan -- 14 km trek. 

Day 03 Wan to Bedni Bugyal -- 13 km trek. 

Day 04 Bedni Bugyal to Bhagupassa - 9 km trek. 

Day 05 Bhagupassa to Shailsamundar via Roop Kund -- 8 km trek 

Day 06 Shailsamundar to Hem Kund -- 6 km trek 

Day 07 Hem Kund to Bhagupassa -- 14 km trek. 

Day 08 Bhagupassa to Bedni Bugyal -- 9 km trek. 

Day 09 Bedni Bugyal to Dedna -- 8 km trek. 

Day 10 Dedna to Mundoli -- 9 km trek. 

Day 11 Mundoli to Almora -- 103 km by bus or taxi. 


 

Nandadevi Raj Jat an Important Religious Event
The otherwise quite & serene mountains of Garhawal reverberates with a flurry of festive activity during the Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, a royal pilgrimage through the precipitous mountains, that has been in vogue since time immemorial. Seeped in deep rooted religious tradition, folklore and mythology, the yatra is associated with the legend of Nanda Devi, a goddess held in reverence by the local inhabitants of the region. Perhaps, it is their faith and intense devotion alone that helps them not only to smile their way through the tortuous trek but also to survive cheerfully even in the harsh climatic conditions.


Nanda Devi Raj Jat Travel

Nandadevi Raj Jat is an important religious event of Chamoli district in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. It involves a long trekking for taking the area's reigning deity Goddess Nanda to her divine destination of Gaungati peak which is believed to be the abode of her consort, lord Shiva. The Raj Jat (originally Raj Yatra - the royal journey) is taken up every 12 years, after eleborate preparations by the descendants of the royal priests now living at village Nauti and royal class of Kunwars living in Kansuwar. The purpose of the 280 kms. Long arduous trek under taken by thousands of devotees is to escort the Goddess to her in - laws place. The Jat resembles the post nuptial rite of ceremonially seeing off a daughter as she leaves for her husband's home with all her personal effects and dowry.

An Ancient Tradition
The event starts off on an interesting note when priests and patrons associated with this ancient tradition assemble and put their heads together to draw a time schedule for the retinue to reach the scheduled spots on the itinerary on specific auspicious dates. The objective is to reach Home Kund on Nandastmi, falling sometime around August - September and Kulsari on the succeeding new moon for performing special rituals related to worshipping of the Goddess.

After performing special worship of the other Goddesses-
Bhumial Devi (Goddeess Earth). Utrai Devi and Archan Devi - all popular deities of the region, he preserved a meticulous record of the Yatra programme to escort Goddess Nanda to her in-law's place after every 12 years. He entrusted his royal priests residing at Nauti the responsibility to execute the Jat with the help of royal patronage and local people. The king also authorized his younger brother settled in the nearby village of Kansava to represent the royal house in this Yatra and help the priest perform all rites and rituals connected with this event.

Reverence and Purity
Since then, the tradition of the Jat has continued to this day. After every 12 years, it originates from Nauti after elaborate rituals. The image of the Goddess and offerings are taken in a procession, accompanied by bare footed devotees. The followers observe self-control. Partaking of food prepared according to prescribed religious instructions only and participate in fervent rendition of devotional songs and dances. The entourage halts at night. People from villages on the way turn up in large numbers, have darshan and make offerings to the deity. Many people join the group and remain with it till the Yatra concludes. The accompanying group of devotees swells with every passing day.

The priests and devotees at Home Kund offer special preyers and rituals and load their offerings on the four horned ram. The goddess is decorated in special bridal make up and is given a tearful farewell. It is a pathetic scene with all the devotees in tears, as if they are bidding farewell to their own daughter, leaving for her in - laws home to meet her husband. The image of the Goddess is left there. The four horned ram proceeds towards Kailash ( Trishuli peak), the abode of Lord Shiva on its own. The peak is a part of Nanda Parvat which is the highest mountain of the Chamoli district and is widely revered by one and all. Women of the area believe that the mist around the Nanda Kot peak is the smoke coming out of the kitchen of Goddess Nanda. So over whelming is their feeling for the Goddess that they become incredibly sentimental and brak into tears while singing the songs associated with their revered Goddess whom they regard as a pampered daughter of their own.

The Popularity
Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati both have been associated with Himalaya which is believed to be the abode of Gods. Shiva is be lieved to reside at Mount kailash while Parvati (Shail Putri) is mythologically regarded as the daughter of the hills. Parvati is also known as Nanda in Garhwal & Kumaon area and the highest peak of the district has been identified with the name of reigning deity of the area.

Nanda in History
The genesis of Nanda Devi is not very clear. Folk lyrics suggest that Nanda was princess of the Chanda dynasty of Almora. Some people associate the Goddess with Yog Maya, the daughter of Nanda, who replaced the eighth issue of Vasudev ( father of Krishna) and who escaped from the hands of her assailant, Kansa and forwarned him of his impending death at the hands of Krishna. There is no mention of Nanda in the Puranas 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. The 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
King Jasdhaval of Kannauj is closely associated with the history of Nanda Raj Jat. It is believed that Jasdhaval's Raj Jat. It is believed that Jasdhaval's queen, Vallabha, was the daughter of rulers of Chandapur (Garhwal). Once upon a time, the queen was cursed by Nandadevi. Because of this, her kingdom became victim of draught, famine and many other natural calamities.

The king's irreverence earned the Goddess' wrath, who caused a very heavy snowfall that night. It was followed a deadly avalanche in which the entire royal entourage perished. Some persons are said to have slipped into the nearby Roopkund lake and died. According to the local legend, the dancing girls were frozen and tuned into rocks that can still be seen arranged in a circle. This accident is believed to have occurred sometimes around 1150 A.D. Jasdhaval is believed to be an ancestor of the prince of Kansua and thus began the tradition of offering homage to Jasdhaval at this point.

Annual Jat
In some areas, there is a tradition of organizing annual Jat as Well. These Jats are slightly different and cover a smaller circuit. Such annual Jats are common in Garhwal-Kumaon areas. At many places. Firs are held and special worship is performed in Nanda temples. Places associated with such celebrations include Danpur, Katyur, Vadhan, Nainital, Almora, Johan, Kurur and Devrada. At Kurur and Devrada. At Kurur, the celebrations continue for several days and Jat is taken upto Vaidnikund.

A Vibrant Culture
Nandadevi Raj Jat is as excellent example of the vibrant culture of Uttarakhand pulsating in a land blessed with superb natural beauty with verdant villages, meandering streams, high mountains, deep gorges and a rich cultural heritage. The festival offers a kaleidoscopic view of the colourful lives of the inhabitants. Visitors are overwhelmed by the feel of the common under - current of spirituality, love and compassion that manifests itself in myriad ways in the area.

BRIEF HISTORY of GARHWAL

Through the ages, the evolution of human civilization in the Garhwal Himalayas has been parallel to the rest of Indian sub-continent. Katyuri was the first historical dynasty, which ruled over unified Uttarakhand and left some important records in the form of inscriptions and temples.
In later period after the downfall of Katyuri’s, it is believed that Garhwal region was fragmented in to more than sixty-four principalities ruled by the Chieftains, one of the principal Chieftainship was Chandpurgarh, which was ruled by the descendent of Kanakpal.
In the mid of 15th century A.D.Chandpurgarh emerged as a powerful principality under the rule of Jagatpal (1455 to 1493 A.D.), who was a descendent of Kanakpal. In the fag end of 15thcentury Ajaypal enthroned Chandpurgarh and succeeded in unifying and consolidating various principalities in the region in to a Kingdom, known as Garhwal. Subsequently, he had transferred his capital from Chandpur to Devalgarh before 1506 and later on to Srinagar during 1506 to 1519 A.D.
King Ajaypal and his successors ruled the Garhwal for nearly three hundred years even during this period they had faced a number of attacks from Kumaon, Mughals, Sikhs, Rohillas.
An important event in the history of Garhwal was the Gorkha invasion. It was marked by extreme brutality and the word ‘Gorkhyani’ has become synonymous with massacre and marauding armies. After subjugating Doti and Kumaon, Gorkhas attacked Garhwal and reached as far as Langoorgarh despite stiff resistance put up by the Garhwali forces. But in the meantime, news came of a Chinese invasion and the Gorkhas were forced to lift the siege.
However, in 1803, they again mounted an invasion. After capturing Kumaon, they attacked Garhwal in three columns. Five thousand Garhwali soldiers could not stand the fury of their attack and King Pradyumna Shah of Garhwal escaped to Dehradun to re-organize his defences. But his forces were no match to the Gorkha might. Garhwali soldiers suffered heavy casualties and the King himself was killed in the battle of Khudbuda in Dehradun.
The Gorkhas became the masters of entire Garhwal in 1804 and ruled the territory for twelve years.Gorkha's rule in the Garhwal area ended in 1815 when the British drove the Gorkhas to the West of Kali river, despite stiff resistance offered by them.
After the defeat of Gorkha army, the Britishers on 21 April 1815, decided to establish their rule over the eastern, half of the Garhwal region, which lies east of Alaknanda & Mandakini river, later on, known as ‘British Garhwal’ and valley of Dehradun. The remaining part of the Garhwal in the west was restored to King Sudershan Shah who established his capital at Tehri. Initially the administration was entrusted to the commissioner of the Kumaon and Garhwal with his headquarters at Nainital, but later Garhwal was separated and formed into a separate district in 1840 A.D. under an assistant commissioner with his headquarter at Pauri.
At the time of independence, Garhwal, Almora and Nainital districts were administered through the commissioner of Kumaon division. In early 1960, Chamoli district was carved out of Garhwal district. In 1969 Garhwal division was formed with its headquarter at Pauri. After carving out of seventy-two villages of Khirsu block of district Pauri Garwhal in 1998 for creation of a new district of Rudraprayag, the district is reached in its present form.

 

Karna Prayag

The confluence of the Pindari River, which arises from the icy Pindari glacier, and the Alaknanda occurs at Karanprayag

Prayag is the name of a place where the confluence of sacred rivers occures.

There is a temple dedicated to Karna, a mythical hero from the Mahabharata, at Karanprayag. Karna was the child of Surya the Sun god and Kunti. Karna worshipped his father here and received boons from him of impenetrable armour and protective earrings, which made him unvanquishable.

Karanprayag is on the main highway between Rishikesh and Badrinath. It is also the starting point for treks to the Pindari Glacier and Roopkund.

 

 

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