Naina Devi Temple Nainital: A Serene Haven for Devotees
Nestled amidst the picturesque hills of Nainital, the Naina Devi Temple is a popular pilgrimage site that holds great significance for Hindus. Dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the temple attracts thousands of devotees every year who seek blessings and solace in its serene surroundings.
History of the Temple
According to the legends, the temple was built in the 15th century by a Chand dynasty king, who was believed to be a devout follower of Goddess Naina Devi. The original temple was a small shrine made of wood and stone, which was later renovated and expanded by the Gorkhas in the 18th century.
Over the years, the temple has undergone several renovations and reconstructions, with the latest being in 1995, when it was completely refurbished with marble and granite to give it a more modern look. Despite the changes, the temple has managed to retain its old-world charm and continues to be a revered place of worship for Hindus.
Architecture and Design
The Naina Devi Temple is an architectural marvel that combines the traditional and modern styles of temple design. The temple's entrance is marked by a magnificent gate adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures that depict various Hindu deities and mythological figures.
As you enter the temple, you are greeted by a large courtyard that houses several smaller shrines dedicated to different deities. The main shrine, which is located at the center of the courtyard, is a beautiful marble structure that houses the idol of Goddess Naina Devi.
The idol of the goddess is depicted with three eyes, which is why the temple is named after her (Naina means eyes). The idol is adorned with precious jewels and is considered to be one of the most revered and powerful idols of the goddess in the country.
The temple's architecture is a perfect blend of traditional and modern styles, with its intricate carvings, beautiful sculptures, and modern amenities like elevators and ramps for the convenience of the elderly and disabled.
Festivals and Celebrations
The Naina Devi Temple is not only a place of worship but also a hub of cultural activities and celebrations. The temple hosts several festivals and fairs throughout the year, which attract large crowds of devotees and tourists alike.
The most famous festival celebrated at the temple is the Nanda Devi Mela, which is held in September every year. The festival is a grand affair that lasts for ten days and is marked by colorful processions, cultural programs, and a bustling bazaar that sells everything from local handicrafts to delicious street food.
Apart from the Nanda Devi Mela, the temple also celebrates other festivals like Navratri, Diwali, and Holi with great enthusiasm and fervor.
Location and Accessibility
The Naina Devi Temple is located in the heart of Nainital, which is a popular hill station in the state of Uttarakhand. The temple is easily accessible by road and can be reached by taking a taxi or a bus from the nearest town or city.
The temple is open to visitors every day from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, and there is no entry fee. However, visitors are required to dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering the temple premises.
The Naina Devi Temple is not just a place of worship but also a symbol of the rich cultural and religious heritage of India. Its serene surroundings, beautiful architecture, and rich history make it a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Nainital.