Goddess Nanda Devi and the temple at Nauti Village (Chamoli)

Nanda-Devi, also known as the patron Goddess of Uttarakhand, stands tall at the junction of Garhwal and Kumaon region of the state. It is the highest peak in India which is completely within the boundaries of India. At 7,816 metres it is otherwise the 23rd highest peak in the world and the 2nd highest in India (after Kanchenjunga in Sikkim)

Goddress Nanda Devi Temple at Nauti Village , District Chamoli (Uttarakhand)

The legends of Nanda Devi are spread across the mountains of Uttarakhand covering both Kumaon and Garhwal regions. Temples have been built across places to honor the deity and many processions/fairs have been carried out for the last 1200+ years. Nanda Devi evokes the power, the purity and the faith among the people of the hills. She is the protector and the divine force for its people. Nanda Devi is revered in Uttarakhand as a manifestation of Goddess Parvati, the daughter of the hills and the consort of Lord Shiva.

In this post, we talk about the Nanda Devi temple at Nauti village in Chamoli. This is the place from where the famous Nanda Devi Raj Jat (or Yatra) begins its arduous journey once in every 12 years. Nauti is a small idyllic village, located about 24 kms from Karnprayag. The Nautiyal brahmins can trace their origins from this village.

In the 9th century, Parmar dynasty started ruling the Garhwal kingdom from Chandpur Garhi fort, a place this is situated about an hour drive from Nauti (close to the famous Adi-Badri temple). Raja Kanakpal was the 1st Parmar dynasty ruler. One of his successors, Raja Salipal, is credited with building the Nanda Devi temple at Nauti. The concept of local goddess who would protect the rulers and their kingdom was a widely prevalent practice of those times. The concept of Nanda Devi Raj Jat also has its origins from the times of Raja Salipal who himself took the first yatra from Nauti village to Homkund.

The Yatra traverses a foot journey of about 280 kms from Nauti village all the way upto Homkund and back. The yatra route is tough with altitudes going upto 18,000 ft. The yatra is aimed at escorting Nanda Devi (from her mother’s home or ‘Maika’ at Nauti) to her consort’s place (Lord Shiva’s abode near Mount Trishul or ‘Sasural’). To ensure that the goddess’s journey is smooth and that she safely reaches her consort, a 4-horned sheep (it is considered as a good mountain trekker) leads her way to Lord Shiva. The practice is followed till date.

The temple is located about a kilometer ahead of the Nauti village in a quieter part of the township. There is a short-cut (on foot) to reach the temple from the main market area but the way for the vehicle requires a slight detour. The temple is perched at an altitude of 1683 metres above sea level, overlooking the mighty mountains of Chamoli district in the distance. The sound of the temple bells reverberates far and wide as if the goddess is spreading her divine light and blessings to everyone near and far. The temple is managed by the Nautiyal Brahmins ever since the temple was established in the 9th century. The last yatra was held in the year 2014 and the next one is slated in 2026.

The main temple area of Goddess Nanda Devi

The temple priests (also called the ‘Rajpurohits’) manage all the activities and are very welcoming to all the worshippers and visitors. When we visited, the priest was kind enough to do a quick Pooja for us despite the limited time we had and the bad weather that was looming in front of us.

The place does cast a magical spell on you and you do feel that the Goddess is somewhere around you and protecting you. Nanda Devi is a household name in this part of the country and I highly recommend you to stop-by at this temple if you are around in the Chamoli district.

The next-time this place will hit the national news will be in 2026, once again when a 4-legged sheep with escort the idol of Nanda Devi to her consort.

Jai Ma Nanda Devi



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