Maa Tripura Sundari Lalita Mai Temple (at Nalachatti near Guptkashi) – Built approx. 900 Years ago

This group of temple was built approx. 900 years ago in the name of Lalita Mai by some person.

Lord Vishnu idol installed at the Sanctum Sanctorum (garbhagriha) of the temple is fine example of existing Vaishnava parampara and worship, faith towards Lord Vishnu. Boudha Stupa presence is strong evidence of faith towards Bhagwan Budh.

Source: display board

Madhav Prasad Mishra – Priest of the temple since last 13 years further enhanced our knowledge by showing us a stupa known as grave of Raja (King) Nal – husband of Princess Damyanti. He also said – Damyanti temple is nearby. Each year on 14th Jeth (May/June) Sankranti one day festival is held at temple. It is said earlier times there were 360 temples at Nalachatti.

Flattened Rice (Chiwda) Mixture – Lightweight Snack for Trekking

We were at Nalachatti (Narayankoti) near Guptkashi. Just visited Maa Tripurasundari Lalita Mai temple and were roaming inside village. It was morning hours. Balbir Singh Rawat was brushing his teeth. He invited us inside his home. We were offered tea but what more important than tea was – Beaten/Flattened Red Rice also known as Chiwda as snack.

Flattened Red Rice mixed with Black Seasame Seeds and Sugar – I was enjoying chewing it. Good in taste, Aroma and little sweetness as I chew more and more. I was told it is a good snack carry by local mountain people during  jungle visit regularly either to collect leaves or for animals grazing. This snack quench ones thirst, and lighweight to carry. It is much much more tasty if Walnut is also mixed.

Yes, this is for sure one of the lightweight snack for trekking. Will carry next time. Even while chewing one can trek. Good during budget trekking. Fantastic idea. Thank you Balbir ji for enhancing knowledge. Thank you very much.

Mandwa Crop of Uttarakhand

This photo was taken at Nalachatti (Narayankoti) nearby Guptkashi, Uttarakhand.

Mandwa is a grain crop. During winter days it is mixed with whole wheat flour to make rotis.

Good to have with ghee on top specially during Winter days as it is keep ones body warm.

Sri Jakh Devta Temple at Jakhdhar near Guptkashi

7:15 am we started journey from Tapovan, Rishikesh via Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark motorbike. We reached Jakhdhar 5 km approx. further from Guptkashi at 3:15 pm.

Total journey – 180 km approx. Road condition almost good specially after Rudraprayag till Guptkashi – very good but empty road. Mostly locals on road. Tourist nowhere visible after Kedarnath flash flood – year 2013.

View of Chandrashila Peak/Tungnath temple on right side. Kedarnath, Chaukhambha peaks almost in front and thousands feet below holy river Mandakini flowing. Spectacular view during late afternoon hours.

We met Gunanand Devshali – a knowlegable, respectable 70 years old person from Devshal village at a shop in front of temple. Upon query about Jakh Devta temple he shared History as follows:

Jakh Devta is incarnation of Lord Shiva. As per written Samvat 1111 ( minus 57 years = Christian calendar years) on an idol it is believed this temple is much much older than that –  approx. 900+ years old.

Earlier this temple was taken care by 11 villages but now-a-days by 14 villages named as follows:

Narayankoti, Kotheda, Devshal, Hyun, Nala, Rudrapur, Guptkashi, Dewar, Sankari, Semi, Bhainsari, Bansu, Teudi, Khumera.

Priest of Jakh Devta temple is from Kotheda village.

Vishwat Sankranti day i.e., 14th April sometimes 15th April Jakh Devta temple is visited by priest and devotees from nearby villages. Three days before Vishwat Sankranti day all nearby roads and shops are closed. Silver Oak tree wood known as Baanj in Garhwali language is collected by villagers from nearby Devshal jungle. Woodpile is made nearby temple.

On Vishwat Sankranti day woodpile is worship and burn at night. Next day is big festival day during day hours. Thousands of devotees visit temple. Priest along with band baaja via Naranyankoti > Kotheda > Devshal villages visit Jakh Devta temple. After offering prayers the priest walk and jump two three times into last night burnt woodpile and later bless devotees. And thus, the festival ends.

The road closed open around 12 noon hours on Vishwat Sankranti day.

During festival time all arrangements is done by Kotheda and Narayankoti villagers.

In-short this is the temple history and knowledge about festival time – said Gunanand ji.

Thank you very much for enhancing knowledge – said I. Thanks a lot.

We decided to re-visit next day during morning hours. Morning was another beautiful morning when we visited the temple again. The surroundings around the temple – one of the best and beautiful location I have visited till-date.

Fantastic journey I have to say. One should visit. If you wish you may drive further into villages – few meters distance.