Kot ki Mai Fair is a grand three-days fair celebrated every year from Panchami to Ashtami of Navratris (5th – 8th day of Navratris) in the month of Chaith. The fair is celebrated in honour of Bhramri devi and Nanda devi.
Where is Kot ki Mai Fair celebrated?
Koi ki Mai fair is celebrated at a high peak located in Gwaldam Marg, 3 km ahead of Baijnath in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
History of Koi ki Mai Fair
It is said that, during the Chand dynasty, the temple of Nanda Devi used to be in Jhalimali Village located below Bhramridevi Temple. At that time Bhramri Utsav used to be celebrated every year during Chaithrastani (8th day of Chaith month) and Nandotsav used to be celebrated every 3 years.
In present days, the idol of Nanda Devi has been shifted to Bhramridevi Temple and both the fairs are celebrated together.
How is Kot ki Mai Fair celebrated?
The puja items for the fair is brought from Nauti which is Nanda Devi’s parental home. On the first day of the fair, i.e. on Panchami a vigil is held which continues till the third day of the fair.
On the third day of the fair (on Saptami), skilled artisans make the idol of Nanda Devi and adorn it. The spirit of Nanda Devi descents on a priest and the event is celebrated with music and songs.A buffalo is sacrificed and the event is celebrated throughout the night by keeping vigil, singing folk songs, and performing folk dances.
The next day, another buffalo is sacrificed after puja rituals. A shobhayatra (parade) is held where the idol of Nanda Devi is carried. On this day, skilled cooks of the village cook 36 different types of food items and offer them to Nanda Devi before the start of parade.
The parade starts with great zeal and vigour where people sing and dance as they go through Jhalimali Village and eventually concludes at Devidhara. During the parade, the priest entranced by the spirit of Nanda Devi is made to dance at different spots and people worship him while asking for his blessings and sanctification.
Significance of Kat ki Mai Fair
Adi Shankaracharya is believed to have visited the Bhramridevi temple of Baijnath in his Uttarakhand Yatra and worshipped and consecrated the idol of Devi. IN recent times, the worship of the devi is known as ‘Kot ki Mai’.