Nanda Devi Mahotsav: Goddesses invoked in idols on Nandashtami
The goddesses were invoked in the idols of Nanda and Sunanda with the Pran Pratishtha ritual as part of the Nanda Devi Mahotsav on the occasion of Nandashtami here on Wednesday. Due to restrictions imposed in view of Covid-19, the Naina Devi temple was kept closed to devotees. While many watched the rituals and worship on television at home, many devotees who came to the shrine had to return disappointed after making offerings at the closed gate. The devotees complained that despite the importance of the occasion, the authorities had restricted entry even though the government has been allowing people to enter temples while observing certain conditions.
For the first time in recent history of the 118 year old Nanda Devi Mahotsav, devotees could not pay obeisance to the goddesses Nanda and Sunanda at the temple. The people had to make do with the broadcast of rituals on the local television channels. The rituals began in the wee hours and continued till midnight. Due to restrictions put in place due to Covid-19, the public has been barred from attending the rituals at the temple. After much deliberation, a few journalists were allowed to enter the temple for five minutes after showing their Press cards. However, a number of devotees who had reached the temple were not allowed to enter. They offered incense to the goddesses at the gate of the temple and went back. Some devotees offered prayers to the goddesses from the Tallital view point, Mall Road and Thandi Sadak.
It is pertinent to mention here that this year, no public events are being held as part of the Nanda Devi Mahotsav due to Covid-19. While every year, the temple sees a rush of multitudes to offer prayers, this year the shrine wore a deserted look. Only the chief priest and four others participated in the rituals on Nandashtami this year in the temple.
Thursday, 27 August 2020 | PNS | Nainital