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Naina Devi Temple in Nainital

Nestled on a hilltop, Naina Devi Temple is counted amongst the 51 Shakti Peeth of the Hindu Goddess. Goddess Naina Devi dwells at the temple in the form of two eyes and thus the name. Devotees from far and near throng at the holy shrine to seek the blessings. They can trek through the steps or choose to reach the sanctum sanctorum through cable car. Upon reaching, one can see a huge Peepal tree and an idol of Lord Hanuman within the complex. Inside the temple, there are idols of Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha on the left and right side of the Naina Devi respectively. In the center, there are two netras (eyes) that represent the Goddess.

History

Many legends are associated with the Naina Devi Temple. As per mythology, this was the place where the eyes of Goddess Sati fell when her corpse was being carried away by Lord Shiva, her husband. Also, it is believed that a Gujjar boy used to take his cattle to this place for grazing. One day he saw that a white cow was pouring milk on a stone. This continued for few days and one day Goddess appeared in his dream to inform that the stone is her ‘pindi’. Boy immediately narrated the entire incident to Raja Bir Chand. Upon confirming, Raja built a temple here. Guru Gobind Singh Ji is also believed to have performed a Yagna over here before starting the war with the Mughals.

Festival and events

  • Nanda Ashtami
  • Navratre