Sunday, 12 September 2021 | PNS | Nainital
The 119th seven-day Nanda Devi Mahotsav began ceremoniously in Nainital on Saturday. The fest was started ritually in the hall of the organising body- Shri Ram Sevak Sabha. After this, a group from the organising body left for Sariyatal village near Jyolikot to get the plantain stems used to carve out the idols of the goddesses Naina and Sunanda. The chief guest on the occasion, police deputy inspector general of Kumaon region, Nilesh Anand Bharne and special guests joint magistrate Prateek Jain, former MLA NS Jantwal and Sarita Arya sent off the group with the flag.
Speaking on the occasion, Bharne said that the Nanda Devi Mahotsav is part of Nainital’s special identity. Organising such festivals is very important for conservation and enrichment of the native culture while also motivating the younger generation. Various cultural and religious programmes were also performed on the occasion. Folk dances and other presentations added to the enthusiasm and gaiety of the locals and devotees. Twenty one saplings presented by environmentalist Yashpal Rawat, which will be planted to compensate for the plantain to the chopped at Sariyatal were also worshipped on the occasion. The Shri Ram Sevak Sabha head Manoj Sah and general secretary Jagdish Chandra Bwadi welcomed all on the occasion and informed them about the history and latest details of the fest.
The Naina Devi temple and Shri Ram Sevak Sabha building were illuminated as part of the celebrations
Joint magistrate Prateek Jain informed that on September 14 (Ashtami), the idols of the goddesses will be kept for the devotees to pay their obeisance and at a time 30 devotees will be allowed to do so one by one. He further informed that adequate police force has been deployed at the main venue- Naina Devi temple and in various parts of Nainital city for the seven day festival. After sunset, the Naina Devi temple and Shri Ram Sevak Sabha building were illuminated as part of the celebrations.