Naini Devi Temple, a well-known Shakti Peeth of the Hindu faith, is a sacred spot of immense devotion in Nainital. Goddess Naini Devi is the deity of the Naini Devi temple, and two eyes symbolize her. Nainital Lake’s northern end is home to this religious shrine. The Shivalik range of the Himalayas surrounds Nainital. In addition, Nanda Devi, the sister of the Goddess, defends The Naina Devi temple.

The temple draws thousands of devotees from around the globe to take Maa Naina Devi’s blessing. Several shops close to the Naina Devi Temple allow tourists to buy prasad and pooja items for offering while worshiping.

The Goddess Sati’s eyes fell at this location, giving rise to the temple’s name, Naina Devi. Goddess gives her name to The lake town of Nainital, the Naina Devi Temple, and the crescent-shaped Naini Lake. 

History of Naina Devi Temple, Nainital

The Naina Devi Temple was first mentioned in the 15th century. Locals claim that Moti Ram Shah, a devotee, erected the idol around 1842. However, landslides destroyed the temple in 1880. The temple’s construction was completed in 1883 with deep reverence and respect to the Goddess. Since then, the residents believe that the Goddess has shielded them from natural catastrophes. 

Architecture of Naina Devi Temple 

Naina Devi Temple has undergone many alterations since ancient times. The current temple is spread out across a large area at Thalital Lake, which measures 1.5 kilometers long and 150 meters wide. This temple is a popular tourist site since it is located near the lake and surrounded by lovely hills. An arched entranceway stands in front of the temple.

Inside the Naina Devi Temple, an ancient Peepal tree guards the temple and provides shade for pilgrims. Inside the temple, devotees have a darshan of three deities. Lord Hanuman stands guard and bestows blessings on the Goddess as we enter.

The main temple is a square-shaped building with two pediments and a triangular dome on top. Terracotta tiles cover the slopes of the pediments, making them visually appealing. As we approach the temple’s center, we notice two eyeballs portraying Naina Devi. Two lion sculptures depicting the Goddess’s transport guard the inner shrine.

Mata Kali is to the left of Goddess Naina Devi, while Lord Ganesha is to the right.

Towards the lake area, a Shiva Linga is kept on a porch. The hood of a metal serpent protects the Linga. It also features Lord Vinayaka and Lord Hanuman’s idols. The shrine is colored red, white, and yellow to resemble a Hindu temple.

This is a site on the mountainside with a thick pine forest, a large natural lake, and the Nainital town valley. Apart from pilgrims, this makes the shrine particularly popular with tourists.

The Mythological Story of the Naina Devi Temple 

The temple was built on the site where the eyes of Goddess Sati dropped as Lord Shiva carried her after Lord Vishnu chopped her into 51 pieces. The narrative begins with a powerful monarch named Daksha Prajapati, to whom a lovely princess named Sati was born. Daksh started searching for a potential husband for Sati as time passed, and she matured into a gorgeous lady.

However, Sati fell in love with Lord Shiva, whom Daksha did not accept. Regardless, Sati wedded Lord Shiva. Goddess Sati and Lord Shiva learned of a Yajna ritual conducted by her father, Daksha, while transitioning into a married pair. Taking part in the Yajna involved offering something in the sacred fire.

Much to Sati’s dismay, Daksha didn’t welcome Sati and Lord Shiva to the Yajna. Sati attended the Yagna ritual, but an enraged Daksha humiliated the pair. Goddess Sati became enraged and leaped into the Yajna fire, sacrificing herself.

Lord Shiva, unable to face the death of her beloved wife, began performing God’s destructive dance, Tandava. He did not quit despite various Gods’ appeals. Seeing the gravity of the situation, Lord Vishnu chose to utilize his ‘Brahmastra,’ the ‘Sudarshan Chakra,’ to cut Sati’s charred body into 51 pieces.

The Shaktipeeths are the locations where pieces of her body fell. The Naina Devi shrine symbolizes Sati’s eyes. As a result, the devotees worship the Goddess in the shape of eyes in the main temple.

Festivals and Celebrations at Naina Devi Temple

The Kumaon community observes Nanda Ashtami in August and September. Devotees go to the temple on Nanda Ashtami to get the Goddess’ blessings during the eight-day celebration held on the temple grounds. 

The event commemorates the celebration and devotion of Nanda Devi, the highest mountain in the western Himalayas. The sacred flower ‘Brahmakamal’ that symbolizes the harmonious coexistence of man and the environment is worshiped and harvested during this season. The flower has a variety of applications, including fire, medicine, fodder, food, and decorative value due to its beauty. Immersion of Nanda Devi and Naina Devi idols occurs during ‘Visarjan,’ on the eighth day.

During the periods of Navratri and Chaitra, worshippers go to the temple in large numbers to revere the Goddess and receive blessings.

The colorful melas organized throughout the year in the temple premises become the melting pot for the Hindus, Sikhs, and people from various other religions, showcasing a unique sight of the authentic Indian tradition of Unity in Diversity. 

Best Time to Visit and Timings 

The Naina Devi Temple is open for the public year-round. The ideal time to travel to Naina Devi Mandir is during Navratri, between September and October. Shravani Mela, which takes place between July and August, and Chaitra Mela, between March and April. From 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, the Naina Devi mandir is open for the day. The Morning aarti at the Naina Devi Temple starts at 7:00 am, while the evening aarti begins at 7:00 pm. 

How to Reach Naina Devi Temple 

Naina Devi Temple sits on a cliff overlooking Naini Lake. Nainital bus station is just a short distance from the temple. To get to the Naina Devi Temple from other parts of the city, you may take a taxi or an auto. Most pilgrims may also decide to recite Jai Mata Di while walking to the hill’s summit.

The ropeway, which lifts visitors from the foot of the mountain to the mandir for easier access, is another option for approaching the temple. The Palkis used to transport pilgrims are pretty comfortable to ride in. Most pilgrims may choose to climb the hill while reciting Jai Mata Di. The distance is achievable in a half-hour.

The Perfect Place to Stay in Nainital 

Nainital has far more to give than just tourist attractions. After seeing everything that Nainital offers, visitors may rest at one of Shivraj Stays’ two properties. Stay with us and enjoy a wonderful stay in Hotel Shivraj or La Niwasa, located in the lush green valleys of Nainital.

These resorts have garnered great feedback for their road and railway station connectivity. Visitors may experience the sunshine surrounding the hills at daybreak and dusk at these Nainital resorts. The resort’s location also allows tourists to inhale the clean air and rejuvenate. The Shivraj Stays Nainital guest rooms are big and luxurious, with contemporary utilities like a dry kitchenette, AC, heater, couch, tv, refrigerator, microwave, and tea/coffee maker. The hotel in nainital takes every measure to ensure that its guests have a memorable stay.

Read More: 13 Interesting Facts About Nainital

The beautiful city of lakes in Uttarakhand always welcomes its tourists to explore the breathtaking view of the Himalayas and distance them from the chaos of city life.

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