Nanda Devi cultural Fair and Festival of Uttarakhand
Nanda Devi Mela is one of the most important festivals in Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region and is held at places like Almora, Nainital, Bageshwar, Bhowali, and Kot, as well as the far-flung villages of Johar.
Every year in the month of September, the Nanda Devi Mela (Fair) is Organised in a Grand Way to Celebrate Nandastami. Almora is where the major fair takes place. Since the Chand Kings governed the region, Nanda Devi Mela, also known as Nanda Devi Mahotsav, has been held for either 5 or 7 days. The fair is usually held around the Nandashtami festival, which is celebrated in portions of the state.
Nanda Devi was the family Goddess of the Chand Kings, rulers of the Kumaon region, according to tradition. King Dyot Chand erected the Nanda Devi shrine in Almora in the 17th century. Since then, the Nanda Devi Fair has been held every year to honour the Goddess of Kumaon, Nanda Devi, who represents the region’s economic and cultural wealth.
People take part in the procession that carries Nanda Devi’s dola (palanquin) and her sister, Sunanda. The fair is frequently held near Nanda Devi’s temple. Near the temple, there is a large market selling locally handcrafted products and village crafts, as well as folk singing and dancing. Both Kumaon and Garhwal devotees are present.
People Sing and Dance on old Kumaon and Garhwali Folk Songs. Some regional people and tourists also participate in the performances. All traditional instruments are used in the songs by people who are trained in such folk art. We discussed one to one with one such artist who told us that nobody from younger generation now want to listen these traditional songs. He was worried that the last generation of this art is currently the old people and after that slowly the art will be vanished.
Some Amazing Facts about Nanda Devi Mela:
1. Chamoli, Nauti, Dandidhara, Mussoorie, Ranikhet, Kichha, Nainital, Almora, Bageshwar, Bhowali, and Kot host the Nanda Devi Fair for 5 or 7 days.
2. The event takes place close to the Nanda Devi Temple.
3. The folk culture of the Kumaon region, as well as dance and singing, are on display at the fair.
4. The celebration begins early in the morning and lasts until 9 p.m.
5. The entire celebration is dedicated to the Goddess Nanda Devi.
6. Students from small schools and colleges also perform at the festival to show off their skills. Additionally, local artists’ performances are available to view.
7. The dola (palanquin) of Nanda and Sunanda Devi is carried out on the last day of the fair to be buried in the water.