Naina Devi Temple is one of the ‘Shakti Peeths’ and an important religious site of Hindu’s. Located at the northen end of Naini Lake in Naintal, the Naina Devi Temple is one of the most visited place in Nainital. Goddess Naina Devi is the presiding deity of the Naina Devi Temple and represented by her two netras or eyes in the temple.
History of Naina Devi Temple
Having deep roots from Kushan period, famously called up as Naina Devi in Uttarakhand Kumaon region, Naina Devi temple was built in 15th A.D. In 1842, a devotee Moti Ram Shah installed an idol of Naina Devi. Later on this temple again rebuild in 1883 after destroyed in 1880 landslides in Nainital.
Naina Devi Temple Importance
As per Hindu scriptures, Naina Devi Temple represents as one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. The story behind formation of Shakti Peeths relates to Goddess Sati, wife of Lord Shiva. When Goddess Sati unable to bear insult of her husband Lord Shiva by her own father King Daksha, she jumped into fire and burnt her. Devastated and grief-stricken Lord Shiva then took her half charred body. In order to save earth from Lord Shiva wrath, Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu cut Sati in 51 pieces which in turn establishes 51 Shakti Peeths as where the body pieces fall. It is believed that eyes of Goddess Sati falls in Nainital, thus famous as Naina Devi.
During the month of Bhado, Nanda Ashtami Festival is celebrated at the premises of Naina Devi temple. Devotees and tourists from far away places comes for darshan and to join 8 days festival. At the last day of festival, a ceremonial farewell is takes place where Goddess Nanda is accompanied by her sister Naina Devi. After that Visarjan of palanquin carrying Goddesses takes place. Every year a statue immersion ceremony is celebrated here since 1918-19.
Best Time To Visit Naina Devi Temple
One can visit Naina Devi Temple round the year. During divine occasions like Navratri, Shravan Mela and Chaitra Mela, Naina Devi temple is filled with devotees.