About the Destination:
Shri Naina Devi Ji is a World Famous Pilgrimage situated on the hill top of Naina Devi town in Lower Shivalik Hills. It is situated in Tehsil Swarghat of District Bilaspur. Naina Devi faces Punjab on the South (Anandpur Sahib) and Govind Sagar Lake on North.
Shri Naina Devi Temple is located on an altitude of 1177 meters in Distt. Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh.
Mythology of Shri Naina Devi Ji:
- 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.
- Kapali KundAccording to legends, formation of this pond took place when Goddess Shakti killed a powerful demon called ‘Mahishasura’ and beheaded him with her sword. As the demon was very powerful, she handed over his skull to the creator of world Lord Brahma for inspection of this powerful demon. Thereafter Lord Brahma established his head at this place and hence it is known Kapali Kund.
- Rope Way This rope way is built to facilitate pilgrims visiting Shri Naina Devi ji for pilgrimage. This Rope way was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh in July 1997. The structure has 20 operational cabins and can carry 4 adults in each cabin. The speed of the rope is 3 mtrs/second. It can carry about 800 passengers per hour from each end.The length of the ropeway is 500 mtrs approximately from the lowest Terminal point to the upper Terminal point. It rolls over six Towers erected at various altitudes.
- Children Park (Near Rope way Takeoff site- Gwandal)Rope way Company has developed a beautiful children’s park which is free for everyone to use near Rope way takeoff site in Gwandal. The park is closer the Bharka- Nangal Road with some car parking space available there.The park has various Joy rides and swings for the children and ample space of greenery exists for people to relax or have a small picnic.
- Holy Cave This holy cave is situated at around 250 meters’ distance from the Naina Devi temple. This 50 meter long cave is zig-zag in shape. According to local priests, this cave was place of meditation for saints and earlier Goddess Naina Devi stayed at this place.
- Children ParkThe park is well managed with beautiful greenery, marry-go-round and statues of animals such as lion, elephant and deer etc. This is a descent relaxing place for children as well as adults.
- Kolan Wala TobaKolan wala Toba is situated in Toba panchayat on the boundary of Himachal and Punjab around 10 Kms. from Naina Devi town. This pond has a high level of spiritual value for Sikhs. Many pilgrims use to take bath in this pond before paying their homage to Shri Naina Devi ji. The center of the pond has lotuses, which beautify this pond.
Dear Visitors, another portion of Nature Based Tourism aspects will be covered in my next post. Till then, Stay Tuned, Stay Connected!