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Nanda Ashtami, or Nandashtami, is an important festival observed in Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal) in the month of Bhado or Bhadrapad (August – September). In 2017, Nandashtami is on August 29. Nandashtami celebrates the visit of Nanda Devi to her mother’s home (mait). Nandadevi is one of the most popular deities in the hills of Uttarakhand. There are numerous temples dedicated to Nanda Devi in Garhwal and Kumaon regions. The festival takes place on the Shukla Paksha Ashtami day in the month of Bhadrapad. 

Nanda Devi is one among the numerous forms of Shakti and there are numerous legends in folklore about her. There is a widespread belief that Nanda Devi is Yoga Maya, the baby girl who replaced Krishna in the prison and escaped from the hands of Kamsa and warned him that Krishna, the son of Devaki, is already born and he will put an end to the terror of Kamsa.

Nandashtami festivities end with Nanda Jat, a ceremonial farewell from her mother’s house.