Naina Devi Temple is a major temple among hinduies. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. It is located on the top of a hill in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. The temple of Naina Devi is situated about 7 miles from Anandpore Sahib on Bhakra Nangal rail –line.
For Hindues all over the world it is a sacred place. Throughout the year people visit here to pay homage to Godess Durga. The temple is built over a small yet scenic hill. On Shravan Ashtami, a big fair is held annually at this temple.
It is believed that different body parts of Sati fell on the earth during the time of self-sacrifice. It is believed that Sati's eyes fell at this point and subsequently, a temple was built here to commemorate the goddess. The term 'Naina' suggests 'eyes', so the goddess came to be known as Naina Devi.
In the temple complex, there is huge Peepal tree that is acclaimed to be present from past many centuries. On the right side of the entrance to the main shrine, idols of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha are placed. After crossing the main gate of the shrine, two striking statues of Lions are visible. The main shrine reveals the images of three deities. Goddess Kali can be traced on the extreme left. In the centre, image of Naina Devi is visible, while Lord Ganesha is on the right side.
The temple is situated on Shivalik Mountain and devotees have to cover a distance of above 2 km on foot. It takes for the normal Devotee about half an hour to reach the temple from the foothill.. Now, the facility of cable car has been launched to make to journey easy and enjoyable.
It is believed that Sati (another name of Goddess Parvati) jumped into the sacrificial bonfire. To mourn the death of his beloved wife, Lord Shiva carried the body across the country. Then Lord Vishnu released his Chakra and cut the Sati’s body into fifty one pieces to save the earth from Shiva’s wrath. Parts of her body fell at various places which became sacred worship places for the Hindus. The temple here is said to have been built on the precise spot where Sati's eyes had fallen.The picturesque blue green Naini lake located near the temple is said to be the eyes of Sati.
Near the Shivalik mountain, there used to live a community of Guzars among them was a devotee of durga named Naina he used to take is cattle on to the shivalik mountain for grazing. There was a peepal tree which is existing even today in the temple premises. Naina often observed that milk would flow down from the breast of cows which have not given birth to the babies when they stand under that peepal tree, Naina wondered over this incidence. one day Naina went under that tree and saw that there was an idol of durga beneath the leaves of the tree. The same day Durga Maa appeared in the dreams of Naina at night and said to him "I am Adishakti Durga " you should build a temple at this place under this tree and I will become famous with your name. Naina was a devotee of Durga and in the morning the next day he laid down for the temple. Very soon the information and importance of this place went around in all directions and devotees started powering in for darshan. This beautiful temple is known as Naina Devi Temple since then. There is also a cave near the temple which is known as the cave of Naina Devi.
Fairs & Festivals
Naina Devi welcomes one and all throughout the year .More so, the volume swells on the auspicious occasion of 3 festivals Navratris, Shravani & Chaitra .The Navaratri celebration in Sept –Oct is the largest fair and two more annual melas i.e. Shravani Mela in July-August & Chaitra mela in March-April , attract lakhs of people of divergent religious faith, caste, creed and culture. The colourful melas become the melting pot of Hindus, Sikhs and others-a unique sight of real Unity in Diversity.
How to reach
The temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji is situated on hill top in Bilaspur Distt. Of Himachal Pradesh in India. This famous temple is connected with National Highway No. 21.
Nearest Airport is Chandigarh which is connected with New Delhi by Jet Airways and Indian Airlines Flights. The distance of the shrine from Chandigarh is approx. 100 kms.
Motorable roads connect this shrine from Anandpur sahib & kiratpur Sahib. Taxis can be hired from these places. Distance from Kiratpur Sahib to shrine is 30 Kms of which 18 Kms is drive in the Hills. From Anandpur Sahib the distance is 20 Kms of which 8 Kms is drive in the hills. In the past people used to trek from Kaulan Wala Toba near Anandpur Sahib to the shrine. Frequent State Transport bus services are available from all important cities of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
Once you reach Temple Bus Stand,you have the ropeway option.
Most pilgrims reach to the top of the hill on foot chanting Jai Mata Di. The distance is quite comfortable and can be covered within half an hour.Resting facilities including toilets are available on the way. Facilities for refreshments and cold water are also there. However, it is advisable to bring bottled/mineral water along with you. Lots of new facilities are coming up with the help of Shri Naina Devi Shrine Board.
To date there are no starred hotel facilities available. There is a rest house near the bus stand managed by Himachal Pradesh Government. Recently, a new Dharamshala "Mat Anchal" has come up near the Bus Stand. Reasonable accommodation can be found on the hill top. It is difficult to get accommodation during Navratras.
Bilaspur, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA
Posted By : Vinod Jindal on May 31, 2011
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