During much awaited religious adventure Nanda Raj Jat 2014, police personnel had an important role to play. They did what they were supposed to do: guarding both divine and devout and maintaining law and order on easy to treacherous slopes of the Garhwal Himalayas.
They helped people in the need of hour. They respected religious sentiments of the devotees. The personnel also served free food to ensure that the participants could complete daily treks with little problem.
Young and old devotees also zealously guarded ceremonial parasols, palanquins, and symbols. The parasols are specially crafted umbrellas representing village-specific deities. Even devotees argued severely to carry and guard the deities during Nanda Raj Jat 2014. As ferrying the deities during the pilgrimage is a privilege of the few selected ones.
Today’s photo essay showcases the commitment of both devotees and police.
Click on a photo to watch the slideshow.
August 18, 2014. Near Ida Badhani, the priest community and the police make double circle around the ram and the royal chantoli to keep devotees at bay.
August 20, 2014. Kansuwa, Uttarakhand in India. Guarding the Khadu, a rare four-horn ram that leads Nanda Raj Jat after every 12 years, is a source of happiness and pride for both the police and the priest community.
August 20, 2014. Nauti, Uttarakhand. The police try to clear path for the royal chantoli during Nauti to Kansuwa procession.
August 24, 2014. Bridge over Kayur Gadera. The priest community carries Khadu, the divine ram, while devotees try to get a glimpse of four-horn ram, a rare sight.
August 29, 2014. Lohaganj, Uttarakhand. The police ensure that devotees crowding chantolis from different villages of the Garhwal Himalayas do not obstruct the pilgrimage path leading to Wan, the night halt.
August 29, 2014. Lohaganj to Wan. A group of selected people carries Nanda palanquin, a privileged task requiring strength, stamina, and skill.
August 31, 2014. Garoli Patal, Uttarakhand in India. The priest community makes a temporary shelter for protecting the chantolis against the downpour.
September 2, 2014. Pathar Nachauniya, Garhwal Himalayas, India. Two men in uniform (right behind the boulders) keep a close watch on the divine objects and the devotees to prevent the altercation from turning ugly. More than once, Sutol and Wan villages argued about who was the privileged one to carry Nanda palanquin during Nanda Raj Jat 2014.
September 2, 2014. Kaluwa Vinayak, Chamoli, Uttarakhand. Villagers from Sutol and Wan argue over who should carry the Nanda palanquin during Nanda Raj Jat 2014.
September 2, 2014. The police evacuate a sick devotee near Kaluwa Vinayak.
September 2, 2014. Before Kaluwa Vinayak. A police personnel keeps watch on devotees walking the wet narrow trail on the foggy day.
September 3, 2014. The police evacuate and give first aid to an old sick devotee during Homkund-Chandaniyaghat trek.