Nainital (Uttarakhand) [India], Sept. 10 : Sunanda Ashtami or the worship of Goddess Nanda was observed with traditional fervor and devotion in Uttarakhand's Kumaon District on Saturday.
The worship of royal Goddess Nanda in the region has been a tradition since the Kumaon kings brought her idol from Garhwal in the 17th century.
The festival began after the statues of Goddess Nanda were installed in the sanctum sanctorum during the wee hours.
However, the age-long custom of sacrificing a goat was not carried out after the Nainital High Court put a prohibition on the ritual.
However, the court has allowed the devotees to bring along the goat and perform the puja. One of the devotees, Sonu Rawat, said that a large number of people throng the temple every year because of their devotion and belief.
Tomorrow, a procession would be held at 11 in Almora and the statues of Nanda and Sunanda would be immersed in the traditional water body at Dobha Naula.
The Nanda Devi festival is also being held in the towns of Ranikhet, Bageshwar, Didihat and Champawat.
Cultural programs were held and devotional fervour was witnessed as the statues of Nanda and Sunanda were installed.