WRITTEN by London swaminathan


Date: 18 JULY 2018


Time uploaded in London – 18-31 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5234


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.



Nanda Devi is the second highest peak in India; Kangjenjunga is higher than Nandadevi. Kangjenjunga is the distorted Sanskrit name Kanchana Srngam (Golden Horn or peak) . Sangam Tamil literature literally translated it in to Tamil as Por Kottu Imayam.

The height of Nada Devi is 25643 feet. Nanda Devi is the name of a goddess. It means boon giving goddess.

There are two interesting stories about this Goddess.

The natives maintain that smoke is seen to issue from its summit, which they regard as the kitchen of the local deity. Probably they mean the smoke like white clouds.


The locals believe Nanda Devi is a boon giving goddess and at the same time she can destroy those who stray from the moral path.  The legend of Nanda Devi says that the daughter of a Garhwal chieftain escaped to the mountains and took refuge there. Temples dedicated to her can be found in Almora and other places in Garhwal.


In the hills, there are more stories about British people, who visited  it during their rule. The first commissioner, was stuck blind because he moved Nanda Devi temple near his office in the Badhan Fort to Almora. He did not like the festivities of the temple. He regained his sight only when he begged for forgiveness.


Another version of the story is, “When the British took possession of the Kumaon, the revenue free villages attached to the temple were sequestrated by Mr Traill. In 1818, he was on a visit to Bhotiya Valley of Juhar. While he was passing Nanda Kot was struck blind by the dazzling colour of the snow. People told him unless the worship of Goddess was restored, his temporary snow blindness would remain for ever, and on promising to this effect, his eyes were opened and healed.


In Nepal,  a young virgin is worshipped as Kumari, Goddess. This custom started in the seventh century. King Jayaprakash Malla was ruling Nepal under the guidance of goddess Taleju, hidden behind the screen. One day fascinated by the Goddess, he decided to see her. She became angry and told him that she would appear in the form of a girl in future.

They selected one girl with 32 Divine Marks (shamudrika Lakshanas) as Kumari. All the Kings go to Kumari to get her blessings.  The Kumari is said to embody Goddess Taleju. She has to possess 32 perfections that are marks of Goddess. Before a girl child has been recognised as Kumari,  she is inspected by female attendants for this purpose. They look for clear skin with small pores, even teeth, black hair and eyes, soft hands, a moist tongue, and absence of bad body odour.

A girl does not stay a Kumari for ever. With the first hint of tell tale bleeding (puberty) , the ritual of worship is transferred to a new virgin Kumari and the previous Kumari goes back home. She has to enter family life like any normal girl.

In other parts of India also Kanya Stris (virgin girls)  are worshipped as Goddess, but for a brief period. They invoke Goddesses on those girls and at the end of the day they are treated as normal girls.

Source Book- Himalayan Mysteries, Ganesh Saili



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