Naini Devi Temple is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site and one of the fifty-one Shakti Peeths in India. The temple is located at the northern end of the Nainital Lake, in the city of Nainital, Uttarakhand. Naini Devi Temple is famous place in Nainital, Visit during Nainital Local sightseeing. The presiding deity of the temple is Maa Naina Devi or Mata Sati, who is worshipped in the form of her two eyes.
Location of Naini Devi Temple
The temple is situated on a hilltop, which can be reached by a flight of stairs or a cable car from the Mallital area of Nainital. The temple offers a panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding hills. The temple is about 2.5 km from the Nainital bus stand and 35 km from the Kathgodam railway station. The nearest airport is Pantnagar airport, which is about 55 km away.
Timing/Entry Fees Naini Devi Temple
The temple is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm every day. There is no entry fee for visiting the temple. However, there is a nominal charge for using the cable car service, which is Rs. 100 per person for a round trip.
How to Reach Naini Devi Temple
The temple can be easily reached by road from Nainital and other nearby towns. There are regular buses and taxis available for Nainital from Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar and other places. From Nainital, one can take a local bus, taxi or rickshaw to Mallital, where the cable car station and the stairs to the temple are located.
Alternatively, one can also trek to the temple from Mallital, which takes about 30 minutes. The trek is steep and strenuous, but offers a scenic view of the lake and the hills.
Things to Do/Must See Naini Devi Temple
The temple complex consists of a main shrine, where the idols of Maa Naina Devi, Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha are installed. There are also two lion statues guarding the entrance of the shrine. Inside the shrine, there are two eyes on the roof, representing Maa Naina Devi. The devotees offer prayers and flowers to the goddess and seek her blessings.
There are also several shops near the temple, where one can buy prasad, puja items, souvenirs and handicrafts. One can also enjoy boating on the Nainital Lake or visit other attractions in Nainital such as Snow View Point, Tiffin Top, Eco Cave Garden and Nainital Zoo.
Significance of Naini Devi Temple
The temple has a great religious significance as it is believed to be one of the places where Goddess Sati’s body parts fell when Lord Vishnu cut her body into 51 pieces to stop Lord Shiva’s tandava dance. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Sati’s eyes fell at this spot, hence the name Naina Devi (meaning eye goddess).
The temple is also associated with another legend of a cowherd named Naina who found a cow giving milk on a stone. He reported this to King Kalyan Chand of Bilaspur, who ordered to dig up the stone. To his surprise, he found an eye-shaped idol under the stone. He then built a temple at that place and named it after Naina.
The temple is visited by lakhs of devotees every year, especially during festivals such as Navratri, Chaitra Fair and Nanda Ashtami. During these occasions, the temple is decorated with lights and flowers and various cultural programs are organized.
Q: What is the best time to visit Naini Devi Temple?
A: The best time to visit Naini Devi Temple is from March to June and September to November, when the weather is pleasant and clear.
Q: How long does it take to visit Naini Devi Temple?
A: It takes about 1-2 hours to visit Naini Devi Temple, depending on how much time one spends in offering prayers and exploring the temple complex.
Q: Is photography allowed inside Naini Devi Temple?
A: Photography is allowed outside the temple premises but not inside the main shrine.
Q: Are there any accommodation facilities near Naini Devi Temple?
A: There are many hotels and resorts near Naini Devi Temple that offer comfortable and affordable accommodation. Some of the popular ones are Hotel Lakeside Inn, The Kumaon Retreat, The Manu Maharani, Green Roof Hotel and Cygnett Resort Mountain Breeze.
Naini Devi Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the spiritual and cultural richness of Nainital. The temple is not only a place of worship but also a place of beauty and tranquility. The temple is a symbol of the divine power and grace of Maa Naina Devi, who fulfills the wishes of her devotees.