Lot needs to be done for Nanda Rajajat

Dehradun: With `Nanda Rajajat`, the unique festival of hills that attracts thousands of devotees due for the next year, authorities here appear to be racing against time to bring things in order before the grand event.

Efforts in this regard have started gaining momentum with MP Tarun Vijay recently kicking off a preparatory march to take a stock of things, apart from various regional organising committees which have already joined in to finalise various modalities.

The festival involves a journey of around 280 kilometres, totally on foot due to the very difficult terrain that disallows reliance on any vehicular traffic. Organisers, however, are faced with the herculean task of infrastructure development and maintenance, especially of those narrow link routes to be taken by the devotees during their journey.

Furthermore, the fact that number of devotees may multiply various times compared to the previous figure of around 20,000 is also giving jitters to them. "There is no arrangement to withhold even a population of 5,000 people. The journey is tough and devotees have to pass through a difficult terrain to reach to the culmination point of Bedini Bugyal. Authorities need to start work on war foot level," says Vijay.

As mythology has it, the route taken by the devotees is believed to be the one taken by Lord Shiva while he was on his way to Kailash Parvat after marrying Goddess Parvati.

A religious extravaganza organised once in every 12 years, `Nanda Rajajat` is also called the `Mahakumbh` of the hills and is often compared with the likes of other such religious events organised in holy Hindu cities of Allahabad, Haridwar and Ujjain.