Snuggled on the bank of the Nainital Lake, the Naina Devi Temple Nainital is amongst the 51 Shakti Peeth of the Hindu Goddess. The temple is perched on a hilltop in the lap of the Shivalik mountain range and is one of the most revered shrines of Uttarakhand. Dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi.
Naina Devi Temple comprises the idols of three deities in the sanctum including Goddess Kali, two eyes of Naina Devi, and an idol of Lord Ganesha. 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 a cable car.
This ancient temple is believed to be built in the 15th century which was later destroyed due to a landslide. However, it was rebuilt in 1883 by the locals. The most popular festival of the Naina Devi Temple is Nanda Ashtami which is an 8-day festival in which the statue immersion ceremony takes place from 1819.
Naina Devi Temple is easily accessible from the major tourist destinations as well as cities and towns of the country.
Take a look at the detailed information about Naina Devi Temple Nainital
Mythological Significance of Naina Devi Temple
Many legends are associated with the Naina Devi Temple of Nainital. 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. Goddess Sati married Lord Shiva without the approval of her father Prajapati Daksh due to which he was angry.
To insult Lord Shiva, he organizes a Yajna in which he invites everyone but not Lord Shiva and to which Goddess Sati got angry and set her ablaze. Lord Shiva was deeply saddened by this act and he kept on roaming around while carrying the charred body of the goddess. Sensing the graveness of the matter, Lord Vishnu leaves his Sudarshan Chakra and cuts the body of the goddess into 51 pieces. There are different places where these pieces of the body part of the goddess fall and those places were erected as Shakti Peetha. Naina Devi Temple is also one of the Shakti Peetha.
Also, it is believed that a local Gujjar boy used to take his cattle to this place for grazing, and one day he saw that a white cow was pouring milk on a stone. This continued for a few days and one day Goddess appeared in his dream to inform him that the stone is her ‘Pindi’. The 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 Yajna over here before starting the war with the Mughals.
Entry Fees and Timings of Naina Devi Temple
There are no entry fees for the temple and devotees can visit here without paying anything. The timings of the temple are fixed, which is from 6 AM to 10 PM every day.
How to Reach Naina Devi Temple
Nestled on the bank of the Nainital Lake, the Naina Devi Temple is easily accessible from all destinations of the city. The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport, which is situated at 68 km and it takes almost 2 hours to reach from there.
Kathgodam railway station is the nearest railhead from the Naina Devi Temple, which is located just 34 km away. The cabs, tacos, and buses are easily available from the airport and railway station to Nainital. In the city, tourists can walk to the temple or reach there by taxi. It is situated 300 m from the local bus stand. The temple is well-connected by road from the country and devotees can reach there without hassle.
Things to do and sightseeing around Naina Devi Temple
There are numerous things to do at and near the Naina Devi Temple including the boat ride at Nainital Lake, which is situated near the temple. Shopping is another popular activity to indulge in Nainital. The Nainital Mall Road is famous for candles, wooden items, key chains, and artificial jewelry.
The tourist attractions near Naina Devi Temple where travelers can visit are Tiffin Top, Naina Peak, Snow View Point, and Eco Cave Garden. Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary is another popular place to visit near Naina Devi Temple, which is a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Spot some of the charming birds during the visit to the sanctuary.
Festival and events
The temple is built on a place where the eyes of the Goddess Sati, the consort of Lord Shiva falls. She was the incarnation of Goddess Parvati and the festivals related to her are celebrated here with great zeal and vigor. There are two festivals and one fair which tourists should attend to get glimpses of the rich cultural and traditional heritage of the temple as well as to soak in the spiritual aura of this place. The popular festivals and events held in Naina Devi Temple are:
- Nanda Ashtami
- Navratri Festival
- Chaitra Fair