Friday 10 March 2017

Live the 280 Kilometres of Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra | New Book Review

Written by Anil Singh

Book Review | The Celestial Journey of A Dhyan Who Became Deity Nanda 

We often confess our allegiance to our culture.

We usually try to follow our traditions without fault.

If we're not doing all that, we still love to create common admiration groups among friends to share and discuss the love, nostalgia, longing and child-like admiration mixed with awe, we've in common for our Culture and our roots.

A common culture with its myriad shades provides us a sense of belonging, doesn't it?

Culture, which is essentially a complicated mix of facts, history, customs, traditions and folklore, helps us remain connected to our roots.

Uttarakhand has a rich culture. Not only we, but those who follow the comprehensive Hindu Religion, see Uttarakhand as the “Land of Gods”.

The basis behind this belief is not shruti (knowledge gained and forwarded through spoken word alone). There’re various studies, excavations, fact collations in the past and present which support this claim, if not entirely, then surely in bits and pieces beaded together by faith.

A book about Nanda Raj Jaat Pilgrimage offers you more reason to celebrate Uttarakhand Culture

A resident of Dehradun, Mr. Upendra Chandel, loves reading, writing and devoting some of his productive hours to study various aspects of Uttarakhand. Among his fascinations is the Uttarakhand culture. He keeps penning down the finer details and interesting anecdotes from Uttarakhand culture. If I make a calculated guess then he’s more into Culture of Hill people of Uttarakhand. For the past one year he was researching about Nanda Raj Jaat yatra pilgrimage. Good to see that he has finally penned down a detailed, interesting and engaging book.

The Book

The book is titled, The Celestial Journey of A Dhyan Who Became Deity Nanda. Have a look at the illustration on the book cover.

nanda raj jat yatra trek, nanda raj jaat yatra stories, Book Review The Celestial Journey of A Dhyan Who Became Deity Nanda by Upendra Chandel Dharampur dehradun is a book about experiencing the 280 km long Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra and witnessing the transformation within. nanda raj jaat yatra folklore

As the book cover says, it’s a journey of some celestial transformation.

The book is an interesting mix of research, historic facts, traditions and related folklore, connected together by way of interesting story telling.

The book is sprinkled with much that is not fiction, but interestingly crafted fiction is something which is the essence of the book.

The book's protagonist is a young photojournalist, Sunanda, based in Delhi. Still in her twenties, her professional growth is evident. She's good at her work, knows how to accomplish difficult assignments, is resourceful and has an ability to see the comprehensive canvas in her assignments. No wonder, her employer doesn't think twice before assigning her difficult assignments.

Sunanda hails from Uttarakhand. Her maternal grandmother lives in Rishikesh. The Grandmother is well versed with the Uttarakhand tradition and has a rich unfailing memory of interesting folklore prevalent among Uttarakhand people. She seems to have academic leaning as well.

The book starts from the point when Sunanda’s employer wants her to undertake a comprehensive assignment of famous Uttarakhand Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra. He wants her to trace the Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra trail. The logistics of the 280 Kilometres long research can be taken care of by way of camera crew, trekkers and porters, but how to take the first baby steps? Sunanda knows who to look up to. Who else? Her nani.

Book offers you much more than Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra

When I read the book, I got clueless as to how to define it.

Is it a piece of fiction?

Indeed it’s.

Does it have some facts to enrich a reader?

Yes, it has.

Hence rather than going into how you can define the book, lets talk about the book.

Here let I share with you what you will like about it.

If you have some trekking experience then you will feel what the journey is about.

If you feel some longing and nostalgia about Uttarakhand Hill Folks, you will smile the moment you will read a contextual Jagar couplet (it’s always woven to the context of the fiction). You will find a number of these along with their most accurate equivalent translation in English.

An example for page 93,

“Tab Bodi Nanda jandu chhaoon babaji apna Kavilash,
Dvi dinak aayee tu meri Nanda tein Khayee ni payee.
Tweku tein dona dyura daijo, aaj yakhee rejaa.
Jandu Chhaoon mera maityon mi apna kavilaans
Khoob falyon tumari naat nantaan poot santan.”

[English Equivalent:
Then deity Nanda sough permission from her father
I am going father to my own peak Kailash
My daughter you came here for two days
Neither you ate nor you drank properly.
I wished to give you double gifts, so you stay here for a day.
Then Nanda nervously replied, “I am going, My own people of Mother’s place”.
You prosper along with your offspring, progeny, and descendants.]

You will like the extensive erudition of the author.

The book quotes historic texts and researches whenever the need be.

If you’ve an artistic bend, then you will surely like pencil illustrations therein. Below is one of the many illustrations:

Book Review | The Celestial Journey of A Dhyan Who Became Deity Nanda by Upendra Chandel Dharampur dehradun is a book about experiencing the 280 km long Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra depicted in the illustration.

Over all, the book appears a fine balance of erudition and creativity.

The book has some formatting issues though. But that’s not a big issue keeping in mind the fact that the onus of it doesn’t lie on the author.

How to read the book for maximum value

Keep a pen or a highlighter handy

Read the book fast

Highlight the portions which make you feel nostalgic about.

If you're not a fast reader, read a couple of pages a day; and share and discuss them with your friends.

Ideal For: Readers in their Late 40s and above. In simple, you need to have some experience as to what Living in Uttarakhand actually means.

The book can also be recommended to those trekking and adventure enthusiasts who see a book as just another chapter to this wonderful World.

Happy Reading and exploring!

To purchase the Book, contact:

168 Pages, Rs. 150

Upendra Chandel
C/o Saket Furnitures
68/1 Araghar
Mob. No. 9219870003

[Contact between 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Week Days]


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