Naina Devi Temple is a highly revered Hindu shrine located in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. This temple is dedicated to Naina Devi, a form of Goddess Shakti, and attracts thousands of devotees every year from different parts of the country. The temple is situated at an altitude of around 1100 meters and offers mesmerizing views of the surrounding hills and valleys. In this article, we will explore the rich history, architecture, and significance of the Naina Devi Temple.
History of Naina Devi Temple
The history of Naina Devi Temple dates back to several centuries back. According to legend, a cow herder named Naina was passing through the hills of Bilaspur when he noticed a stone that was emanating a divine glow. Intrigued, he dug up the stone and found a beautiful idol of Goddess Naina Devi. Another story says the same cow herder Naina while grazing his cattle observed that a white cow was showering her milk on a stone. He saw the same thing for next several days. The shepherd boy told about the entire incident to the King of Bilaspur Raja Bir Chand. When the king also saw it happening, he built a temple on that spot and named the temple after Naina the boy.
Over the years, the temple gained popularity among the locals and devotees started flocking to the shrine to seek the blessings of Naina Devi. The temple underwent several renovations and additions over the centuries and stands today as a testament to the faith and devotion of millions of people.
Mythology and Significance of Naina Devi Temple
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Sati’s eyes fell at this very spot where the Naina Devi Temple now stands. The legend says that Lord Shiva carrying the body of his wife, Sati, performed the Tandava dance. Naina Devi is believed to be one of the 51 shaktipeeths where limbs of Goddess Sati fell on earth. It is believed that worshipping at the temple fulfills the wishes of the devotees and bestows them with divine blessings. The temple is considered to be one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India.
Sati and Shiva Story
Sati was the consort of Lord Shiva and daughter of King Daksha. Once king Daksha performed a yagna where he invited all except Sati and Lord Shiva. Goddess Sati however went to the yajna (the fire worship and offerings) despite Lord Shiva telling her not go there. At the yajna Daksha insulted Lord Shiva and Sati which saddened Sati so much that she killed herself. When Lord Shiva came to know of this he severed the head of Daksha from his body. This however did not calm him and picking up the body of Sati whom he loved so much, he started the dance of destruction called Tandav. All the Gods approached Lord Vishnu for help as Shiva was hell bent on destroying the world. To save the world Lord Vishnu threw his sudarshana chakra and cut the body of Sati into 51 pieces that fell on different parts of the Earth. These 51 places are called Shaktipeeths and Naina Devi in Bilaspur is considered one of the places. It is also believed Lord Shiva assumed the form of Bhairava and at every shaktipeeth there is a Shiva idol who is there to protect the devi.
Architecture of Naina Devi Temple
The architecture of the Naina Devi Temple is a blend of traditional and modern styles. The temple complex is spread over a large area and lush green hills and valleys from a height. The temple is built in a pagoda style in the centre and has a beautiful white marble facade. The main entrance of the temple is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures of various Hindu deities. The temple has several halls and rooms, each dedicated to different gods and goddesses.
Festivals Celebrated at Naina Devi Temple
Naina Devi Temple is known for its grand celebrations of several Hindu festivals. The temple hosts a 9-day Navratri festival every year, during which thousands of devotees visit the shrine and offer prayers to the goddess. The temple also celebrates the festivals of Diwali, Holi, and Janmashtami with great enthusiasm. To go to the temple, while a lot of people prefer to trek till the top of the hill on which the temple is located, chanting Jai Mata Di, many take Palkis for a comfortable ride. Facilities for rest and refreshments are available on the way, where tourists can relax for some time and have refreshments.
Naina Devi Cave Bilaspur
The Naina Devi Cave is located just below the Naina Devi temple in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. It is believed that the temple of Naina Devi was originally established inside the cave, and later moved to its current location on the hilltop. The cave is considered to be the abode of the goddess, and many devotees visit it to seek her blessings. The view from this location and vantage point of the surrounding area is beautiful, surrounded by lush greenery and a serene atmosphere, which adds to its mystical charm. There is an iron gate at the entrance of the cave where you have to wait for your turn to enter the cave. The total length of the cave is 70 feet. Inside the cave, there is a small idol of the goddess, which is beautifully adorned with ornaments and flowers. The atmosphere inside the cave is calm and peaceful, making it an ideal place for meditation and introspection. Overall, the Naina Devi Cave is a must-visit destination for those seeking spiritual solace and a connection with the divine.
How to Reach Naina Devi Temple
Naina Devi Temple is located in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh and is easily accessible by road, rail, and air. The nearest airport is the Bhuntar Airport in Kullu, which is around 140 km from the temple. The nearest railway station is the Anandpur Sahib Railway Station, which is around 80 km from the temple. From there, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.
Best Time to Visit Naina Devi Temple
The best time to visit Naina Devi Temple is during the months of March to June and September to November when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. During the monsoon season, the roads leading to the temple can be slippery and dangerous, so it’s best to avoid visiting Naina Devi during this time.
Tourist Attractions in Bilaspur HP
Bilaspur is also one of the beautiful hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. There are so many ancient temples and forts in Bilaspur which were built a long time ago. There are some beautiful scenic places that you can visit. National Highway 3 which runs between Chandigarh and Manali passes through Bilaspur. Some of the tourist attractions in Bilaspur and nearby areas apart from the Naina Devi Temple are as follows :-
Gobind Sagar Lake
Gobind Sagar Lake is a man-made reservoir located in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. It was created by the construction of the Bhakra Dam on the Sutlej River. The lake offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is a popular spot for water sports and fishing. The lake is also a bird-watching paradise, with over 50 species of migratory birds visiting it during the winter months. In summer, you can also view the submerged temples here.
Kandrour bridge is located 8 kilometers from Bilaspur on National Highway No-88 across the river Satluj. Its construction was started in April,1959 and was completed in 1965. The span of the bridge is about 280 meters with a breadth of about seven meters and the height above the lowest river bed below is about 80 meters. This bridge provides a link between Bilaspur, Ghumarwin and Hamirpur district, and is a marvelous engineering feat.
Bhakra Dam is a concrete gravity dam located on the Sutlej River in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the highest dams in the world, standing at a height of 225 meters. There are two dams called Bhakra Dam and Nangal Dam, which are located close to each other, and together they are called Bhakra Nangal Dam. The dams provides water to the states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh. The dam generates hydroelectric power and is a major source of irrigation for the surrounding agricultural lands. The dam is also a popular tourist spot and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Baba Balak Nath Temple
Baba Balak Nath Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu saint Baba Balak Nath, who is believed to have lived in the area in the 8th century. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees every year, who come to seek the blessings of the saint.
Laxmi Narayan Mandir
Out of the many temples in Bilaspur Himachal Pradesh, one of the most famous is Laxmi Narayan Mandir. Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi are the main deities of Laxmi Narayan Mandir. The architecture of this temple is its most eye-catching sight. The temple is made of white marble and wooden pillars. There are idols of other gods and goddesses like Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga, etc.
Rukmini Kund is a pond that was named after a woman called Rukmini, who sacrificed herself for a noble cause. It is said that there was sever draught and famine in Bilaspur area. The King of Bilaspur got his daughter-in-law walled up on the orders of his Kul Devi. It is believed that because of this sacrifice there is nowater shortage in Bilapur area till this day. The water from Rukmini Kund can heal physical ailments. There is also a small temple and bathing area for the devotees. The entire area around Rukmini Kund is surrounded by lush greenery and natural beauty.
Vyas Cave is an old cave on the Sutlej river and is a popular tourist spot in Bilaspur Himachal Pradesh. According to locals, Sage Vyas, who wrote the epic Mahabharata, meditated in this cave for some days. Vyas Cave or Vyas Gufa is one of the most ancient places in Bilaspur. The cave is enclosed with pine and Juniper forests. There is a small temple near the entrance of the cave. The nearby attractions include Kalapani spring, Kali Mandir, Gunji, and Budhi.
Forts in Bilaspur HP
Bilaspur was in ancient times known as Kahlur. Various kings ruled here and constructed their own forts and temples. All of these forts lies in ruins today but are part and parcel of a glorious history. Some of the important forts are as follows :-
Bahadrupur Fort is a historic fort located in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. The fort was built during the reign of the Katoch dynasty by Raja Keshab Chand in the 16th century and served as a stronghold of the rulers of the area. Sadly the fort is now in ruins but still retains its historic charm. Situated at a height of 6200 feet, the site is a popular tourist spot and can leave you enthralled with its beauty and aura. The lush green surroundings with dense forests gives a place a charm of its own.
As Bahadurpur Fort is located in the vicinity of the Bilaspur town, locals and tourists alike visit this place to get a break from their busy life. It is an ideal perfect picnic spot. During winters the place also gets snowfall every now and then. The place also offers trekking options to tourists so they can have an adventurous trip as well.
Bilaspur was in ancient times known as Kahlur, a princely state even during the British India. The Kahlur Fort was built by the ruler of Kahlur Raja Bir Chand who ruled between 697 and 730 CE. Today the fort lies in ruins and only the stone structure is visible. You will see narrow corridors, stone staircases, stone walls, pathways, and the entrance of this ruined fort.
Due to its proximity to Bilaspur, it is often visited by picnickers, history buffs and architecture lovers. Tourists will also find this place amazing with as the view from the top of the fort is just out of this world. One can get a beautiful panoramic view of the hills that are covered in lush greenery under clear blue skies. There are seven other small ancient fortresses in Bilaspur District located at different places at Bacchretu, Bahadurpur, Basseh, Fatehpur, Sariyun, Swarghat and Tiun.
Sariyun Fort is a historic fort located at a distance of 25 km from Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. The fort was built during the reign of the Katoch dynasty in the 17th century and served as a stronghold of the rulers of the area. The fort is now in ruins but still retains its historic charm and is a popular tourist spot. The fort stands approximately 12 m high and its walls are made out of peculiar stones which as per local belief, cannot be used or reused to build any other house. The stone structure of this fort can still be seen in few places. There are stone pillars, a hole for cannons, which is still visible in this fort. There is a small temple of Naina Devi in the fort.
To reach the fort, first you have to drive upto the Kandrour bridge whch is located approx 10 km from Bilaspur town, cross the bridge and from there the fort is about 20 km distance.
Bachhretu Fort which was once a powerful fort in Bilaspur lies in Kot hills Bilaspur. It was built somewhere in the 14th century during the reign of Raja Ratan Chand. This was once a massive fort extending to several kms. You can still see some rooms and sections of this fort even now. The shape of the fort was rectangular built with stones. The walls were estimated to be 20 meters in in height. The thickness of its walls are estimated to have been one metre tapering towards the top. There were numerous rooms inside the fort. Some of the walls of this fort are still intact after all these years. There is a small temple, housing two busts of the goddess Asht Bhuja (eight armed) and some other deities.
From this vantage point Gobind Sagar Lake and other surrounding places look very beautiful. Photographers can capture some stunning images from this area. Those who appreciate visiting historical sites and are interested in architectural wonders of the ancient India can also visit this place.
Accommodation Options Near Naina Devi Temple
There are several accommodation options available near the Naina Devi Temple, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Some popular options include:
Hotel Naina Palace
Hotel Rattan Palace
Hotel Maha Luxmi Palace
Himachal Tourism Hotel
Hotel Ashiana Regency
Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Naina Devi Temple
Dress modestly and respectfully while visiting the temple
Remove your shoes before entering the temple complex
Photography is allowed, but it’s important to respect the privacy of other devotees
Make sure to carry a valid photo ID proof
Don’t consume alcohol or non-vegetarian food near the temple premises
Food Options Near Naina Devi Temple
There are several food options available near the Naina Devi Temple, ranging from local Himachali cuisine to popular North Indian dishes. Some popular options include Chole Bhature, Rajma Chawal, Kadhi Chawal, Dosa, Momos and much more.
Safety and Security at Naina Devi Temple
The Naina Devi Temple is a safe and secure place for visitors. However, it’s important to keep your belongings safe and be cautious of pickpockets and other petty thefts. It’s also advisable to avoid visiting the temple during late hours or alone.
Other Naina Devi Temples in India
Naina Devi is a Hindu goddess who is believed to be an incarnation of the goddess Durga or Parvati. She is worshipped for her protective and nurturing qualities, and is believed to bless her devotees with happiness, prosperity, and success.
There are many temples dedicated to Naina Devi across India, as she is revered as a powerful deity by devotees from different regions and communities. The legend associated with her varies from region to region, but her story is often associated with her role as a protector of her devotees.
Other legends associated with Naina Devi tell of her protecting devotees from evil spirits, defeating demons, and bestowing blessings upon those who seek her help. Her popularity has led to the construction of many temples dedicated to her across India, where devotees come to offer their prayers and seek her blessings. Here is a list of Naina Devi temples in India :-
Naina Devi Temple, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh
Naina Devi Temple, Nainital, Uttarakhand
Naina Devi Temple, Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh
Naina Devi Temple, Almora, Uttarakhand
Naina Devi Temple, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand
Naina Devi Temple, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
Naina Devi Temple, Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh
Naina Devi Temple, Rewalsar, Himachal Pradesh
Naina Devi Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Naina Devi Temple, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
Naina Devi Temple is a place of great spiritual and cultural significance in Himachal Pradesh. The temple’s rich history, beautiful architecture, and breathtaking views make it a must-visit destination for all those who seek peace and solace. We hope this article has given you a glimpse of the temple’s charm and allure, and encourages you to plan a visit soon.
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Is there an entry fee for Naina Devi Temple?
No there is NO entry fee for Naina Devi Temple or any other temple in India.
Can one take pictures inside the temple?
Yes, photography is allowed inside the temple premises but not inside the main sanctum where the idol of the deity is placed. It is also important to respect the privacy of other devotees while doing photography or shooting videos.
What is the significance of Naina Devi Temple?
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi, a form of Goddess Shakti, (Goddess Sati, consort of Lord Shiva) and is considered to be one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India.
What are the timings of Naina Devi Temple?
The temple is open from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day except Navratras and other festival days when the timings could be restricted.
What is the distance between Naina Devi Temple and Bhuntar Airport?
The distance from Bilaspur where Naina Devi is located to Mandi is