• 47 NANDA DEVI RAJ YATRA Project funded! Time to start the journey!



First of all we would like to say 
It is thanks to your kindness that RAJ YATRA project can happen!

The goal of RAJ YATRA project is to documment the most difficult pilgrimage in the work that happens every 12 years around Nanda Devi mountain. It is a three-week barefoot journey of 164 miles in Indian Himalaya, led by a four-horned ram during a foul weather at the end of the rainy season. Raj Yatra is a very rare event. It will start on August 18th 2014 after a gap of 14 years. This 280-kilometre pilgrimage takes the Himalayan Goddess Nanda Devi from her maternal home to her matrimonial home in Mount Kailash. After traversing rain-swollen rivers, dangerous windswept passes, and terrifying ice fields, pilgrims reach the lake Rupkund, located at 15 000 feet and surrounded by hundreds of human skeletons. They then cross a narrow vertical spot called "the Path of Death" and proceed to the lake of the fire sacrifice, Homkund, where - according to the faithful - the four-horned ram leaves the procession and finds its way, unaided, to the summit of Mount Trishul, which is called Kailash by the local people. A deep feeling of faith and reverence for Nanda Devi in Himalayan folklore reflects the respect held for women. Yatra combines obscure faith, mysteries and thrills with a flood of devotees. 

Now it is time for Martushka and her new collaborator Mukesh Khugsal to start their Nanda Devi Raj Yatra experience. Mukesh is an Indian photographer with roots in Uttarakhand Himalayas, who has deep knowledge of Uttarkhand Himalayan culture and tradition. He will be for sure a great help and will bring to the project very valuable insider's perspective. Let's welcome him to STORIES FROM HIMALAYAS TEAM.

Together with Martushka he is in the middle of preparations for Nanda Devi Raj Yatra. They are extensively shopping but they also have met with the members of the Yatra organizers committee to discuss details of the itinerary. They also went for an event promoting talents from Uttarakhand to meet other people engaged into Yatra organization. Now three very long and eventful weeks are ahead of them. Expect more updates from Martushka and Mukesh upon their return! 

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