Nanda Devi Fair In Almora

Uttarakhand is a land of temples and shrines. Several fairs, mela or mahotsav are organized at these sacred places by the devout natives during their important festivals. These fairs and festivals not only symbolize the spiritual, communal and artistic facets of the populace but also help in sustaining their rich heritage and lively culture.

Nanda Devi Temple, Almora

Since almost whole of Uttarakhand is located in a hilly terrain and the means of communique are fewer, the need for occasional gathering was felt amongst the inhabitants. Ordinary assemblages in the form of weekly markets are held at various places for supply of daily need items while the annual fairs associated with religious thoughts and traditions are held at specific time during the year. These fairs usually held annually are often related to some famous local shrine or deity and are known as Mela or a Mahotsav. Trading, pleasure and religious conviction are readily pooled in these melas, which are doubtlessly a haven in the tedious life of the locales. Out of the innumerable fairs, the most significant one is the Nanda Devi Fair held in various districts of Uttarakhand.


Evidences state that the Nanda Devi Fair was instigated in the Kumaon region during the reign of Raja Kalyan Chand of the Chand dynasty in the 16th century. The fair was initiated to showcase the economic and cultural affluence of different regions and till today it serves as a platform to display the financial and edifying prosperity of a region.

Month and Site of the Fair

Nanda Devi Fair is held on the Ashtami of Bhadra Shukla which usually falls either in late August or early September. The fair is held in the honor of Nanda Devi and people participate in large numbers. Nanda Devi Fair is held in many places in Uttarakhand like AlmoraNainital, Ranikhet, Munsiyari, Bhowali, Kiccha etc. The site of the fair in most cases is the Nanda Devi temple which is located at several places.

Nanda Devi Fair

Nanda Devi Fair, Almora

Nanda Devi is the patron goddess of the Kumaoni people and had been revered in the region since primordial times. She is considered as the demolisher of malevolence. The word ‘Nanda’ means prosperity and well being. Nanda Devi temple in Almora was constructed by Dyot Chand in the 17th century and this temple is the core of the Nanda Devi Fair. The festival spans for almost five days and lots of tourists and devotees flock the region from far away areas. According to the customs, two images of Goddess Nanda and Sunanda are made in a banana trunk. The occasion of Nag Panchmi (the 5th day according to Hindu calendar) marks the beginning of the fair. On Sasthi (the 6th day), the priests mark Kadli trees and then wrap a red & white cloth around it. On Saptami (the 7th day) a goat is slaughtered for the Bali (sacrifice) and then amidst a lot of pomp and vigor, the trees are cut. On Ashtami (the 8th day), the idols of the goddess are revered and again a Bali is performed before them. Then, on the Navami (the 9th day) a procession is taken out around the Almora district carrying the dola of Nanda Devi. The day begins with several cultural activities, folk songs and regional dances. The temple compound reverberates with the sounds of drum beats and performances by the local artists. The fair is fun time especially for the school going kids and the youth. The air is filled with festive and joyous ambience and it’s time for everyone to make merry.

Nanda Devi Festival 2020

Nanda Devi Festival celebrated every year in late August or early September.

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