Naina Devi Temple Nainital : History, Activities, Facts, Tips & FAQ.

Naina Devi Temple

Nainital, a city in Uttarakhand, has many interesting places for visitors. Exploring these attractions can be a real delight. One of the main places to visit in Nainital is the Naina Devi temple, which holds great significance for pilgrims. The temple is located on top of Naina hill, on the northern shore of Naini lake. It is dedicated to Maa Naina Devi, represented by two eyes. This temple is considered one of the 51 Shaktipeeths, which are religious sites in Hinduism.

The temple’s history dates back to the time of Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva. When her father, King Daksha, insulted her and Lord Shiva by not inviting them to a yajna, Sati couldn’t bear the humiliation and immolated herself. In grief, Lord Shiva carried her body, and her body parts fell at various places on earth. The Naina Devi temple is believed to be built where her eyes fell.

The temple, initially constructed in the 15th century A.D., underwent renovation in 1883. Behind the temple is a lake that is 167 yards wide and 93 feet deep. The entrance is marked by a large Peepal tree on the left and idols of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha on the right. Inside the temple, there are three deities: Mata Kali Devi, Maa Naina Devi, and Lord Ganesha. Every year, on Bhadrapad Shukla Ashtami, a statue immersion ceremony is held, similar to those celebrated in Maharashtra and West Bengal since 1918-19.

Design of Naina Devi temple in Nainital:

Inside the temple area, a mature Peepal tree stands tall, protecting the temple and offering a refuge to the pilgrims. Upon entering, you’ll encounter Lord Hanuman, bestowing blessings and safeguarding the goddess.

Progressing towards the core of the temple, you’ll find two Nayan (eyes) symbolizing Naina Devi, with Mata Kali on the left and Lord Ganesha on the right. Two lion statues, representing the Goddess’s ‘Vaahan’ or vehicle, stand as guardians at the inner sanctuary.

Mythological Importance of Naina Devi Temple:

The temple’s origin is linked to the story of Goddess Sati, whose eyes fell at this spot when Lord Shiva carried her lifeless body, dismembered into 51 parts by Lord Vishnu. The tale begins with the birth of a beautiful girl, Sati, to the great King Daksha Prajapati. As Sati grew into a woman, Daksha sought a suitable match for her.

Sati, however, fell in love with Lord Shiva, disapproved by Daksha. Despite objections, Sati married Lord Shiva. While transitioning into married life, they learned about a Yajna ceremony held by Daksha. The Yajna involved a sacrificial ritual in the holy fire.

Disappointed that Daksha didn’t invite her and Shiva, Sati still attended the Yajna. However, Daksha insulted the couple, and unable to bear the disrespect, Sati jumped into the Yajna fire, sacrificing herself.

Overwhelmed by grief, Lord Shiva began the destructive dance of the gods, Tandava. Despite pleas from other deities, Shiva persisted. Understanding the severity, Lord Vishnu used his ‘Brahmastra,’ the ‘Sudarshan Chakra,’ to cut Sati’s burnt body into 51 pieces.

These 51 body parts fell at different locations, giving rise to the Shaktipeeths. The Naina Devi temple symbolizes Sati’s eyes, believed to have fallen here. Hence, in the main shrine, the goddess is worshipped in the form of eyes.

Festivities and Events at Naina Devi Temple, Nainital:

In August and September, the Kumaon region celebrates Nanda Ashtami, honoring and worshiping Nanda Devi, the highest peak in the western Himalayas. During this festival, the sacred ‘Brahmakamal’ flower is revered and collected, symbolizing the harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature. This versatile flower serves as fuel, medicine, fodder, and food, while its beauty makes it ornamental.

Devotees seek blessings during Nanda Ashtami, participating in an eight-day festival held within the temple premises. On the eighth day, idols of Goddess Nanda Devi and Naina Devi are immersed in a ritual called ‘Visarjan.’

The temple also attracts a significant number of visitors during Navratri and Chaitra, as devotees come to seek the goddess’s blessings.

Entry Fees and Operating Hours of Naina Devi Temple, Nainital:

There is no entry fee for visiting the temple, and it is open every day of the week from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

How to Reach Naina Devi Temple, Nainital:

Address – Naina Devi Temple, Ayarpatta, Near Naini Lake, Nainital, Uttarakhand, 263002, India

Latitude – 29.3891° N, Longitude – 79.4543° E

The temple is situated at the northern end of Naini Lake in the Mallital area.

By Road: The temple is 3 km away from the Nainital city bus stand, and you can either walk or hire a local rickshaw or auto-rickshaw.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kathgodam Railway Station, which is 35 km away. You can hire a taxi cab from the station to reach the temple.

By Air: The Pantnagar Airport is 55 km away, and upon arrival, you can hire a local taxi cab to reach the temple.

For a streamlined and convenient excursion to the temple and various attractions within the vicinity of Nainital, it is recommended to avail the cab services.

Activities and Places to Explore at and near Naina Devi Temple, Nainital:

Boat Ride: Located on the banks of Naini Lake, the temple offers a picturesque setting and a chance for visitors to enjoy a boat ride on the lake.

Shopping: Explore the Nainital Mall Road for shopping and discover various collections by local artisans, particularly famous for candles.

Nearby Tourist Spots: Visit Tiffin Top (1 km away), Naina Peak (3 km away), and Snow View Point (3 km away) for breathtaking views.

Eco Cave Garden: Experience the perfect blend of nature and human creativity with Eco cave garden  & cave structures depicting the Kumaon wildlife habitat.

Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary: Ideal for bird lovers, Pangot and kilbury bird sanctury offers stunning views and diverse bird species.

Travel Tips:

  • Carry warm clothes, especially if traveling with kids or elderly individuals, as evenings can be chilly.

      • Keep your identity card handy to avoid any complications.

      • For trekking, bring trekking shoes and antiseptic ointment.

      • Use sunscreen during the day to protect against the sun.

      • Ensure hydration and energy by carrying a water bottle, energy drink, and energy bar.

    Interesting Facts:

      • Naina Devi Temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths in the country, symbolizing power and devotion.

        • Its proximity to Naini Lake attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year, making it one of the most revered temples in northern India.

        • Nainital boasts one of the oldest golf courses in the country, dating back to 1926.

        • Within a 1 km radius, there are a Temple, Gurudwara, Church, and Mosque, making it a rare sight in Nainital.

      FAQ Naina Devi Temple, Nainital

      Naina Devi Temple holds great importance for pilgrims and is dedicated to Maa Naina Devi. It is situated on the northern shore of Naini Lake and is considered one of the 64 Shaktipeeths in Hinduism.

      The temple’s origin is linked to the mythological story of Goddess Sati. When her father, King Daksha, insulted her and Lord Shiva, Sati immolated herself. Lord Shiva carried her body, and the temple is believed to be where her eyes fell.

      The temple was initially built in the 15th century A.D. and underwent renovation in 1883.

      Inside the temple, there is a prominent Peepal tree, statues of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha, and three deities – Mata Kali Devi, Maa Naina Devi, and Lord Ganesha.

      Yes, Nanda Ashtami is celebrated in August and September, marking the worship of Nanda Devi. An eight-day festival includes the immersion of idols on the 8th day.

      No, there is no entry fee, and the temple is open every day from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

      By road, it is 3 km from the Nainital city bus stand. For those arriving by rail, the nearest station is Kathgodam (35 km), and by air, the Pantnagar Airport is 55 km away.

      Activities include boat rides on Naini Lake, shopping on Mall Road, and visiting nearby spots like Tiffin Top, Naina Peak, Snow View Point, Eco Cave Garden, and Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary.

      Travelers are advised to carry warm clothes, keep identity cards handy, wear trekking shoes, use sunscreen during the day, and ensure hydration and energy.

      Naina Devi Temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths, and its proximity to Naini Lake makes it highly visited. Nainital has one of the oldest golf courses dating back to 1926, and within a 1 km radius, there are places of worship for different religions.

      Scroll to Top