Shri Naina Devi Ji temple is situated on the top of a triangular hill known as Naina Dhar hill, in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most visited pilgrims for Hindus and Sikhs in India having mythological associations with Lord Shiva, Devi Sati and Shri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.
As a result of mythological and religious importance of the holy place, it is visited by numerous pilgrims and tourists from all over India as well as from other countries of the world. Many also believe that Goddess Naina Devi cures all the ailments relating to eyes if you visit the temple.
Main temple – Constructed with marble all through, the temple is a glorious shrine to look at. The door on the main entrance is plated with silver having carvings of figures of Lord Sun and other deities. Two beautiful statues of lions are placed at main entry of the temple. The main temple area has three figures. The first one is in the form of a Pindi having two strikingly embossed eyes. This is the figure of Shri Naina Bhagwati. On the right side of it is another figure with two eyes. It is believed that this one was established in Dwaapar Yug by the Paadavas. And on the left side, there is an effigy of Lord Ganesh.
Prayers, known as Aarti and Puja Archana are offered to Devi Ji 5 times in a day with different aartis and bhog on all the occasions.
Attractions near the temple-
Kolan wala Toba is the first stoppage on the way to Shri Naina Devi Ji. The place is very famous for the beauty of blossoming lotus flowers. Near the main shrine, there is also a cave of Shri Naina Devi Ji. This cave is 70 feet long. It is believed that Devi Ji took out both eyes of the demon Mahishasur and threw them on the back side of Naina Devi hills. They fell on different places where there was origination of two wells namely, “Bam ki Bawri” or ‘Jheera ki Bawri” and “Bhubhak Bawri”. Both these together form the Kripali Kund. Khappar Mahishasur is another holy place close to the temple. Devotees take a bath here before offering their prayers at the temple. Kala Johar is one more holy place where pilgrims take bath to get rid of their skin problems. It is also believed that married ladies are blessed with children after taking bath in this water.
Legend and History of Naina Devi –
Shri Naina Devi temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of Hindus. The legends say that Goddess Sati burnt herself in Yagna which became a reason of agony for Lord Shiva who lifted her burning body on his shoulders and started his tandav dance. This view frightened all the Gods in heaven of the huge catastrophe that could take place. As a resolution Lord Vishnu released his Sudarshan Chakra and the body of Goddess Sati got cut into 51 pieces. These pieces fell on different parts of the earth where 51 Shaktipeeths of Hindus got established. Naina Devi temple is the place where her eyes fell down. Naina is a Hindi word for eyes, hence the place got its name ‘Naina Devi Temple’.
Another story linked with Naina Devi temple is related to Shri Guru Gobind Sahib. As per history, in 1756 when Shri Guru Gobind left for his military missions against Mughals, he visited Shri Naina Devi temple. There he did the divine Yagna to seek grace and sanctification of the Goddess. After that he overthrew Mughals successfully with blessings of Naina Devi.
Accommodation and other facilities
The temple trust runs the service of free lunch, breakfast and dinner known as langar. Moreover, you can also ask for meals at any time round the clock absolutely free of cost. The trust has also constructed Patiala Dharmshala near the langar hall with a capacity of 1000 devotees where you can stay without paying any charges. Paid boarding houses by trust include “Matri Aanchal”, “Matri Chahya” and Matri Sharan” dharamshalas having a capacity of 45 rooms and 14 dormitories at very economical charges. Himachal Pradesh govt. also manages a rest house near the main bus stand. Besides these, only reasonable accommodation can be found on hill top and these do not have any luxury facilities.
Shri Naina Devi temple is well connected with airways, railways as well as roadways. Bhakra Dam, Anandpur Sahib, and Govind Sagar Lake are the famous landmarks.
Air– The nearest airport is Chandigarh, at a distance of about 100 km. Chandigarh airport is well connected with Delhi airport and all the other major airports of India.
Rail– Anandpur Sahib is the closest railway station, which is at a distance of 30 kilometers from the temple.
Road– The temple is connected with National Highway 21. The distance by road from Chandigarh is 100 km and from Delhi is 350 km. State Transport bus services have frequent buses plying from all major cities of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to this holy place. Else you can reach the nearest railway station or airport and conveniently hire a taxi from there.
Once you have reached the main bus stop near Naina Devi, there are Palkis that can be taken to reach the pilgrimage. However, you can also reach the shrine on foot. Since the temple is on top of a hill, cable car facility is also there which moves the pilgrims from the road to the hilltop or else one can also climb up the concrete stairs to reach the shrine.
• Location → Bilaspur District – Himachal Pradesh
• Dedicated to → Goddess Bhagwati (Durga)
• Main Attraction → Naina Devi Temple , Bhakra Dam , Bahadurpur Fort, Tibetian Market, Nainital Boat Club.
• Main Festival and Fair → Navaratri – September-October ,Shravani Mela in July-August & Chaitra mela in March-April
• How to reach by Air → the nearest airport – Chandigarh
• How to reach by Rail → Nearest railway station – Anandpur Sahib
• How to reach by Road → The temple is well connected with National Highway 21.