Pithoragarh, September 17
Kumaon towns are gearing up for Nanda Mahotsava and other festivities as the programmes have been finalised in Almora, Champawat and Didihat towns.
In Almora, where Kumaon Chand kings brought Goddess Nanda from Garhwal in the 16th century, the Nanda Mahotsawa will begin from September 20 and will last till September 26, when a palanquin of the goddess will be brought in the town before being immersed.
“In Almora, the Nanda festival reflects the harmony between Hindu and Muslim communities as both have been part and parcel of the festival for the past 5 centuries,” said Navin Bisht, a local cultural activist.
In Champawat, the Nanda Devi festivities will begin on September 21 with its inauguration by local MLA Hemesh Kharkwal.
“The glimpses of Nanda Devi will be taken in the town in the morning of September 21 and on September 26. The best image makers will be awarded,” said Tribhuwan Giri, a member of organising committee.
“Besides, various competitions among school kids and bhajan singing at night will also be held,” added Giri.
In Didihat, the Shauka community of Munsiyari, settled in the town, will celebrate Nanda Devi Mahotsawa from September 20 for the next three days.
“A jhanki will be brought out on September 21 in the morning which will be followed by various programmes by school kids during the following night,” said Dushyant Singh Pangti, organiser of the Nanda Devi festival in Didihat.
Besides the Nanda Devi festivals, the people of Gurang Deshpatti of Pithoragarh district will organise the three-day Mosta Manu fair from September 19. The palanquin of Mosta Devta, considered as water deity of the Soar valley, will be brought in the town on September 20.
Political and administrative personalities have been invited by the organising committee on the occasion, said Ganesh Dutt Kandpal, chief priest of the temple.
The district headquarters town of the Soar valley is prepared for the annual Chaliya Mahotsawa, which is scheduled to begin on September 22 at the DS Bisht ground for the next four days. 

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