119th Nanda Devi Mahotsav starts at Nainital

The 119th seven-day Nanda Devi Mahotsav began solemnly in Nainital on Saturday. The feast began ritually in the hall of the organizing body – Shri Ram Sevak Sabha. After that, a group from the organizing body left for the village of Sariyatal near Jyolikot to obtain the plantain stems used to carve the idols of the goddesses Naina and Sunanda. The main guest on the occasion, Deputy Inspector General of Police of the Kumaon region, Nilesh Anand Bharne and special guests Joint Magistrate Prateek Jain, former NS MP Jantwal and Sarita Arya expelled the group with the flag. Speaking on the occasion, Bharne said that the Nanda Devi Mahotsav is part of Nainital’s special identity. The organization of such festivals is very important for the preservation and enrichment of indigenous culture while motivating the younger generation. Various cultural and religious programs were also presented on the occasion. Folk dances and other presentations added to the enthusiasm and cheerfulness of locals and worshipers. Twenty-one saplings presented by conservationist Yashpal Rawat, which will be planted to offset ax plantain in Sariyatal have also been revered on occasion. Shri Ram Chief Sevak Sabha Manoj Sah and General Secretary Jagdish Chandra Bwadi welcomed all on the occasion and briefed them on the history and final details of the holiday.

Joint Magistrate Prateek Jain informed that on September 14 (Ashtami) the idols of the goddesses will be kept for the devotees to pay their obedience and at a time 30 devotees will be allowed to do so one by one. He further informed that an adequate police force had been deployed to the main site – the Naina Devi temple and to various parts of the town of Nainital for the seven-day festival.

After sunset, the Naina Devi temple and the Shri Ram Sevak Sabha building were illuminated as part of the celebrations.

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