Shri Naina Devi Ji Temple is connected to NH-21 & is 70 kilometers from Bilaspur, 108 Km from Chandigarh, and 18 Km from Bhakra and 20 km from Anandpur Sahib. It is situated on triangle Hill also known as Naina Dhar hill which is 3535 feet from Sea Level in Distt. Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. Shri Naina Devi Ji Temple has emerged as one of the most reverted center of pilgrims in region for both Hindu and Sikhs. Surrounded by famous land mark of Bhakra Dam, Anandpur Sahib, and Govind Sagar Lake. It is one of the famous 51 Shakti Peeths of Hindus having mythological linkage with Lord Shiva & Guru Govind Singh. Several mythological stories are associated with the establishment of the temple.
According to a legend, Goddess Sati burnt herself alive in Yagna, which distressed Lord Shiva. He picked the corpse of Sati on her shoulder and started his Taandav dance. This horrified all deities in the heaven as this could lead to holocaust. This urged Lord Vishnu to unleash his Chakra that cut the Sati’s body into 51 pieces. Shri Naina Devi Temple is the place where eyes of Sati fell down. Another story related to the temple is of a Gujjar Boy named Naina. Once he was grazing his cattle and observed that a white cow is showering milk from her udders on a stone. He saw the same thing for next several days. One night while sleeping, he saw Goddess in her dreams who told him that the stone is her Pindi. Naina told about the entire situation and his dream to Raja Bir Chand. When Raja saw it happening in reality, he built a temple on that spot and named the temple after Naina’s name.
Shri Naina Devi Temple is also known as Mahishapeeth because of defeat of demon Mahishasur by the Goddess. According to the legends, Mahishasur was a powerful demon who was blessed by the boon of immortality by Lord Brahma, but the condition was that he could be defeated only by an unmarried woman. Due to this boon, Mahishasur started spreading terror on Earth and Gods. To cope with the demon, all Gods combined their powers and created a Devi to defeat him. The Devi was gifted different types of weapons by all Gods. When Mahishasur got mesmerized by the immense beauty of Devi and proposed her to marry him. Devi told him that she will marry him if he would overpower her. During the battle, Devi defeated the demon and took out both his eyes. This urged Gods to happily applaud “Jai Naina” and hence the name.
One more story is associated with Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Ji. When he left for his military campaign against Mughals in 1756, he went Shri Naina Devi and performed a Sacrificial Yagna to seek blessings of the Goddess. After getting the blessings, he successfully defeated the Mughals.
Important Places at temple site
Shri Naina Devi Ji Temple
The temple is created from marble and looks simply magnificent. The doors of first door are overlaid by silver on which beautiful figures of deities have been carved out. The door of main temple is also overlaid by silver and has pictures of Lord Sun and other Gods on it. The main temple has three stone statues. First one is the main figure of Shri Naina Bhagwati in the form of a Pindi having two beautiful prominent eyes. Second figure on the right side also has two eyes and is believed to be established by Paandavs in Dwaapar Yug. There is a figure of Lord Ganesh on the left side. Two statues of lions are present at the main entrance of the temple.
The cave of Shri Naina Devi Ji is 70 feet long and located near the main shrine. Earlier, people used to trek the steep path of 1.25 KMS to reach the temple but the facility of cable car has now facilitated the journey.
It is established by a company from Kolkata and also known as “Rajju Marg”. One can take cable cars from this place to reach bhavan. There are approximately 20 cable cars here with approximate fare of Rs. 35 for one side.
When Devi defeated the demon Mahishasur, she took out both his eyes and threw them on the back side of Naina Devi hills. Both eyes fell on different places where two wells originated later. Both these wells are at a distance of 2 K.M. downside from the temple. One of these is called “Bam ki Bawri” or ‘Jheera ki Bawri” and other is “Bhubhak Bawri”. Another legend about Kripali kund is that it was created by Lord Brahma on the site where skull of Mahishasur fell. It is also called Brahm Kripali Kund.
It is a scared place located near the bhavan, where devotees take bath before going to darshan.
This place is also called “Chikshu Kund”. The skull of Chikshur, main commander of Mahishasur fell at this site. This is a holy place where people take bath to get rid of skin problems, especially children. According to folklore, married ladies are blessed with children after taking bath in its water that otherwise have problems in having kids.
Kolan wala Toba
This place is popular for blooming lotuses and is the first halt in the journey of Shri Naina Devi Ji. There is a sacred pool of water here in which people take bath before going to darshan. Temple trust has invested Rs. 1.25 Crore for the development of this area.