The doors of Latu Devta Dham located in Chamoli district of Devbhoomi Uttarakhand were opened today after the ritual winter recess. The doors were opened by Cabinet Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Irrigation, Govt of Uttarakhand, Shri Satpal Maharaj.
The temple is revered among locals and is popular among tourists. It is believed that Nagaraja is seated in this temple. The temple is a recognition for Latu Devta, the brother of Maa Nanda, who is considered as the Goddess of Uttarakhand. The doors of the temple are opened once a year on Vaishakha Purnima and the priests perform puja with their mouth, eyes and ears covered. In this temple, devotees stand 75 feet away and ask for the blessings. Vishnu Shashtnam and Bhagwati Chandika are recited at the opening of the doors.
Wearing of masks properly, social distancing and sainitization has been made mandatory by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Council. Those coming here also have to bring a COVID-negative report. Along with this, the doors of the holy Yamunotri and Gangotri will be opened on 14 May, Kedarnath kapat on 17 May and Badrinath kapat will be opened on 18 May.
On this occasion, Shri Satpal Maharaj requested everyone to follow the COVID protocol properly, and said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has requested everyone during Kumbh that social distancing, mask discipline, sanitization measures are to be followed and must try for minimum social gathering. I am happy and satisfied that people are supporting our efforts to continue our age-old traditions even amid a pandemic. It is equally important to support the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus so that we can help the lives and livelihood of our people.”
This temple is the Siddhpeeth Latu deity, the brother of the mother Goddess Nanda Devi of the Himalayas. The hallmark of unwavering faith towards Latu Devta is that the temple is crowded with devotees from far and wide. This is the last village halt of the Himalayan Nanda Devi Rajajat Yatra that is completed by foot. Vaan village is the base camp of Roopkund, Bedni Bugyal and Aali Bugyal.