Shri Naina Devi Temple, Himachal Pradesh: A Spiritual Oasis in the Himalayas

In this blog post, we explore the historical significance, architectural marvels, tourist attractions, and the spiritual aura that makes Naina Devi Temple a must-visit destination.

Nestled in the picturesque state of Himachal Pradesh, the Naina Devi Temple stands as a beacon of spirituality, drawing pilgrims and tourists alike to its sacred precincts. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the serene Bhakra Nangal Dam, this divine abode is dedicated to Maa Naina Devi, a revered Hindu goddess believed to fulfil the wishes of her devotees.

In this blog post, we explore the historical significance, architectural marvels, tourist attractions, and the spiritual aura that makes Naina Devi Temple a must-visit destination.

Historical Background:

The history of Naina Devi Temple, one of the 51 shakti peeths, dates back to ancient times, with legends and folklore weaving tales of its divine origin. According to popular belief, it is said that the eyes of Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva, fell at the spot where the temple now stands. The temple is thus named after “Naina,” which means eyes in Hindi, and is a symbol of the goddess’s watchful and benevolent gaze.

Within the temple grounds, there stands a revered peepal tree, deemed as sacred as the temple itself. According to beliefs, the original ancient temple was constructed during the 15th century, during the reign of the Kushan empire. Situated 100 kilometres from Chandigarh, this sacred site draws in thousands of devotees annually. Positioned at an elevation of 11,000 metres in the Shivalik range, the temple commands panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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Architecture of Naina Devi Temple:

The architectural splendour of Naina Devi Temple reflects the rich cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh. Built in the traditional North Indian style, the temple’s structure is adorned with intricate carvings and vibrant paintings that narrate mythological stories. The sanctum sanctorum houses the sacred idol of Maa Naina Devi, and the entire complex exudes an air of tranquillity that captivates visitors. Additionally, two lion statues which represent the vehicle, called ‘Vaahan’ of the Goddess, guard the inner shrine.

Spiritual Significance and Festivals:

1. Nanda Ashtami Celebrations: For devout Hindus, a pilgrimage to Naina Devi Temple is considered a sacred journey, believed to cleanse the soul and fulfil one’s desires. The temple witnesses a surge in devotees, especially during the auspicious Navratri festival when the entire region resonates with the echoes of hymns and prayers. This is especially true with fairs being organised during Chaitra, Shravan, and Ashwin Navratri. Pilgrims embark on a challenging trek to reach the temple, making their spiritual journey a test of both faith and endurance.

2. Veneration of Brahma Kamal: This festive occasion includes the veneration and harvest of the sacred ‘Brahma Kamal’ flower, symbolising the harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature. The multifaceted utility of the flower encompasses its role as fuel, medicine, fodder, and food, while its exquisite beauty also renders it ornamental.

Scenic Surroundings:

Beyond its spiritual significance, Naina Devi Temple offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Perched atop a hill, visitors are treated to panoramic vistas of the Bhakra Nangal Dam and the lush greenery of the Shivalik Range. The serene atmosphere and crisp mountain air make it an ideal retreat for those seeking solace and communion with nature.



1. Hidden Cave:

It is said that there is a hidden cave near the Naina Devi Temple, and some believe it to be the spot where Goddess Naina Devi resided in the form of a deity.

2. Natural Spring:

There is a natural spring near the temple called the Naina Sarovar. Devotees consider the water from this spring to be sacred and often take it as a form of holy water.

3. Legend of Gurdas Mann:

There’s a popular local legend that the famous Punjabi singer Gurdas Mann had a divine experience at Naina Devi Temple, which inspired him to write the song “Ki Banu Duniya Da.”

4. Sacred Tree:

There is a sacred tree near the temple premises where devotees tie threads as a part of their prayers, seeking the fulfilment of their wishes.

Govind Sagar Lake

Tourist Attractions Around the Temple:

Apart from the temple itself, the vicinity boasts additional attractions for tourists.

1. The Bhakra Nangal Dam, one of the largest gravity dams in the world, is a marvel of engineering that beckons history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

2. Anandpur Sahib: A significant Sikh pilgrimage site, Anandpur Sahib is about 20 kilometers away from Naina Devi Temple. It is known for its historical and religious importance and hosts the Hola Mohalla festival, attracting devotees and tourists.

3. Chintpurni Temple: Located about 150 kilometers from Naina Devi Temple, the Chintpurni Temple is dedicated to Goddess Chinnamastika and is a revered pilgrimage site. It attracts devotees seeking blessings and spiritual solace.

4. Govind Sagar Lake: While visiting Naina Devi Temple, you can also explore the Govind Sagar Lake, created by the Bhakra Nangal Dam. The lake is an excellent spot for boating and offers serene views of the surrounding hills.

5. Ropar Wetland: Situated around 100 kilometers away, the Ropar Wetland is a haven for birdwatchers. It’s a Ramsar Wetland site and home to various migratory birds, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.

6. Shivalik Fossil Park: Located in Suketi, near Nahan, this park is home to a unique collection of prehistoric fossils. It provides insights into the geological history of the region and is an educational stop for those interested in paleontology.

7. Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve: A treat for bird lovers, this reserve is dedicated to the conservation of Himalayan birds. It offers a chance to witness diverse avian species in their natural habitat.

8. Chamunda Devi Temple: Positioned about 150 kilometers from Naina Devi, the Chamunda Devi Temple is another sacred site surrounded by picturesque landscapes. It is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda and holds cultural and religious significance.

Travel Information:

First, there is no entry fee for visiting the temple. One can go on any day of the week between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm.

For those planning a visit to Naina Devi Temple, it’s essential to consider the practical aspects. The nearest major town is Bilaspur, and the temple can be reached by road. The trek to the temple, while demanding, is a rewarding experience for adventure seekers. Additionally, accommodations are available in nearby towns for those wishing to extend their stay and explore the region thoroughly.

Accessing the Naina Devi Temple:

The temple is perched on a cliff, seamlessly connected with NH-21, and is positioned approximately 70 km from Bilaspur, 108 km from Chandigarh, 10 km from Bhakra, and roughly 20 km from Anandpur Sahib.

By Flight: The nearest airports facilitating access to the Naina Devi shrine are Chandigarh and Bhuntar, situated approximately 131 km and 135 km from Bilaspur, respectively.

By Rail: The closest broad gauge railway station is Kiratpur Sahib, while the nearest narrow gauge railway station is Shimla.

By Bus: Positioned on National Highway No. 21, the temple is easily reachable by bus from Chandigarh to Bilaspur via Kiratpur.

Visitors can approach the temple via stairs from the bus terminus, and a cable car facility is also available from the terminal. An alternative route for light vehicles and cars, located approximately 1.5 km from the main temple, is also provided for convenience.

Final Thoughts:

To summarise, Naina Devi Temple in Himachal Pradesh stands as a testament to the spiritual and cultural wealth of the region. Its historical significance, architectural brilliance, and breathtaking surroundings make it a destination that caters to both the soul-seeker and the avid explorer. As you embark on a journey to this sacred hilltop abode, may you find not only the blessings of Maa Naina Devi but also the peace and serenity that permeate the very air around this divine sanctuary.

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