india, kumaun, spirituality, temples, traveldiary, Uncategorized, uttarakhand

Naina Devi Temple

Between the tranquil hills, along the serene and beautiful lake is located a place of immense peace and spirituality which is the abode of goddess Sati and is the preserver of the entire city, called as the Naina Devi Temple.

Naina Devi Temple

This temple situated near Naini lake is said to be amongst one of the 51 Shakti Peeths and is worshipped in the form of Naina (eye) of Goddess.

The legend states that the lake was formed by the left eye of Goddess Sati which dropped here while his consort Lord Shiva was carrying her corpse in his back and was wandering with rage and anguish. In meantime Lord Vishnu cut the dead body with his sudarshan chakra and the parts of the body fell apart in different places.One such place is Nainital where this temple is located.

Temple was built by Lt. Mr. Moti Lal Sah in year 1684 but due to a massive earthquake the temple was decimated.

The present day temple is said to be reconstructed by Lt. Mr. Amarnath Sah, the son of Lt. Mr. Moti Lal Sah.

It is said that goddess herself appeared in his dream and guided him to the exact location where the idol was buried during the catastrophe.

At present the temple’s maintenance is looked after by the “Shri Ma Naina Devi Amar Uday Trust”.

The temple has idols of Lord Hanuman, Goddess Saraswati, Radha-Krishna, Bhairav,Nav Grah and Shivling along with the idol of Ma Naina Devi.

Every year on the auspicious occasion of Nandashtmi, which generally falls during August or September, special religious ceremony is organised at this place and a week long fair is held in the city in which various cultural programs are organised. People from far flung places participate in this procession to seek the blessings of mother goddess.

Apart from this, Durga Puja is also organised in Dusshera which is also a important religious event of this temple.

Location-

Temple is located in Mallital,Nainital aside the beautiful Nainital Lake and is easily accessible.

A place with a calm and composed essence for the spiritual as well as mental rejuvenation of one’s soul,mind and body.

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Sarovar Nagri”The Lake City”

Nainital is also known as Sarovar Nagri or the Lake City of Uttarakhand. The cool climate of the place with scenic attractions and landscape attracts innumerable domestic as well as foreign tourists throughout the year. The pleasant weather and the natural beauty rejuvenates one’s soul, mind and body and creates a sense of belongingness and love for the place.

It is one of the famous hill stations of India, which is known for it’s famous Naini (eye shaped) lake located at an altitude of 1938 metres above sea level. Nainital falls in the lesser himalayas or the Himachal ranges of the northern Himalayan region of India.

LEGEND-

It is said that the Lake is in the shape of eye because the left eye of sati, the consort of lord Shiva, dropped at this place while he was carrying the corpse of Sati throughout the world.

Here, she is worshipped as a patron deity Naina Devi. It is one of the 64 SHAKTI PEETHS or religious sites of the Hindus.

TRIVIA-

The first Britisher who came here was G.W Trail in 1823. He was the commissioner of Kumaon but the credit of discovering Nainital goes to P.Barren, a sugar merchant from Shahjahanpur in 1841. He built the first house in Nainital known as PILGRIM LODGE. However, the process of urbanization was started in 1841 by the governer of Kumaon G.T Lushington. In October 1855, the commissioner’s office was transferred from Almora to Nainital and after 1857 Nainital assumed importance as an important centre of education for British children. In 1862 Nainital became the summer seat of the North-Western Provinces and in 1892-93 it was declared as a district. By the end of the century it had became well known as a tourist centre owing to its rich biodiversity and scenic beauty.

Nainital also offers a lot of activities to visitors from boating, sight seeing, hiking to adventure sports like paragliding and rock climbing. Apart from this, entertainment facilities like cinema hall and Playstations are also available.

The High Court of Uttarakhand is also situated in Nainital.

MARKET-

Nainital market is divided into two major parts i.e, Tallital and Mallital, which are divided further into Bada Bazar,Tibetan market,etc.

While going from Tallital to Mallital there are two roads one is known as the lower mall and the other one is known as upper mall road,shops are located from tallital to mallital alongside the upper mall road.One can go from tallital to mallital on foot or through rickshaw,boats and by personal conveyance or taxis

HOW TO REACH-

Nainital is situated 34kms from the nearby railway station Kathgodam and has good road connectivity to every other place.

Some of the prominent sites to visit are-

1.Shri Maa Naina Devi Temple

2.Tiffin top

3. Cheena peak or Naina peak

4. Camel’s back

5.Kilbury

6.Pangot

7.Governor’s House

8.G.B pant High Altitude ZOO

9.Botanical garden

10.Snow View

11.Cave garden

12. ARIES Observatory

Apart from these there are numerous nearby places to visit like Sukhatal, Saritatal, Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiyatal, Kainchi,etc.

Each of these places will be covered by me from time to time…..

Stay connected…..

bliss, india, kumaun, saints, spirituality, temples, uttarakhand

Kainchi dham…

Kainchi dham(temple),the centre of spirituality and peace is the must visit place in the vicinity of Nainital.

The place is full of positive vibes which pacifies the soul and spirits of the person visiting the Dham.

The ashram was built by the worldwide recognized saint “Shri Neem karori Maharaj ji”.

Shri Neem karori maharaj ji-

He was a great saint said to be the incarnation of Lord Hanuman.Maharajji taught many people. These teachings continue to this day. The teachings are very subtle and literally a knock on the head. Maharajji’s teachings seem to have been totally individual. Each devotee would have the answer or the help they needed in the way that was best suited to their needs. When devotees remembered Him, Maharajji would rush to them to help and protect them. This seems to be going on to this day.

He has innumerable devotees not only in India but worldwide.

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, once visited Kainchi Dham to meet Neem karori Maharaj. However, he could not meet Maharaj ji because he had dematerialized before his arrival. It is said that he got the vision of Apple while his visit to Kainchi dham.Steve jobs suggested Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder of Facebook, too to visit Kainchi dham,when his company was facing hard times.

At present the maintenance and supervision of the dham is undertaken by the “Shree Kainchi Dham Mandir Trust”.

Kainchi Mela-

The Kainchi mela(fair) in Kainchi is one of the special attractions organised every year on 15th june,the prathista diwas(the idols of gods were consecrated on this day in different years).

More than 100000 devotees visit the temple on this occasion to seek the blessings of maharajji and are served with Malpua(pancakes) in prasadam.

Special arrangements for the successfull organisation of the fair is done by the trust and the local administration.

How To Reach-

Kainchi dham is situated at a small village Kainchi which is just 8 kms from bhowali and 19 kms from nainital in Nainital-Almora road at the banks of river Shipra.

One should spend time in kainchi dham for mobilizing inner peace and a sense of positivity and calmness in oneself.

Jai hanuman…

Jai Guru Dev…..

bliss, india, kumaun, spirituality, traveldiary, uttarakhand

Hike to Hidimba dham

On the auspicious occasion of Republic day, we decided to visit one of the less popular temples of Uttarakhand, Hidimba Dham.This temple is located on the top of the hill at Sattal, Nainital.

How to reach-

To reach Hidimba Dham, one has to reach Sattal which is just 32kms from nearby railway station Kathgodam and just 22 kms from famous hill station Nainital.

From there, one has to further hike approximately 1.5kms on Hidimba Parvat to reach Hidimba Dham.

Hidimba dham-

The Dham(temple) is located on the top of Hidimba Parvat surrounded by a dense forest which has thousands of trees of various varieties including some medicinal plants.

The place has a sense of tranquility and a spiritual aura which attracts devotees from not only the country but outside the country as well.

The place is resided by the famous Saint “Shri Vankhandi Maharaj ji “.

Shri Vankhandi Maharaj-

He is a great Saint and an environmentalist. He is the person behind the luxuriant flora of Hidimba van(forest). He came here in 1978 and since than he has resided at this place for last 40 years.

He believes in the coexistence of man,flora and fauna as a family.

Ashram-

Ashram offers a stay to devotees and saints who come to visit dham.

There are few rooms available for residing. If you’re residing there you should abide by the ashram’s rules and regulations.

Ashram has electricity connection. But,there is no uninterrupted supply of water as the place is at a height. But still ashram has a tank through which water is pumped through electric motor. Still water is scarce at this height and should be used wisely and judiciously.

Walls of the ashram are beautifully adorned with hand made murals.

As we visited it on the Republic day, we were served with jalebi which was specially prepared with desi ghee,one such i have never tasted before.

Wood is used as a fuel for preparation of food here, which gives its unique taste.

One can experience the serenity and simplicity of life as it is a place away from the hedonistic world and it’s positive energy attracts towards the beauty of environment.

kumaun, traveldiary, uttarakhand

Continuation to call from Goddess Mahakali…

Continuing on the insight of my journey to Mahakali temple in the previous post.

On 19th january 2018, after visiting Mahakali temple we moved forward to visit the famous Patal Bhuvneswar cave temple which is just 14 kms from Gangolihaat.

Directions-

While coming from Gangolihaat, one has to cover a distance of 6 kms to Guptadi, from here he has to take a right turn and another 8 kms to Patal Bhuvneswar. While reaching closer to Patal Bhuvneswar, one can feel that he is approaching the himalayas, as the way treats one with a tantalizing view of the lofty himalayan peaks.

Bhuvneswar village-

It is a beautiful village with the sight of the magnificent and splendid Himalayan range in front of it. One can feel peace and serenity after entering the calm and composed valley, miles away from the hassles of hectic city life.

the CAVE-

The cave has a narrow tunnel like opening leading towards another cave. The cave is in the form of Sheshnaag (seat of lord vishnu) extending from its mouth to the tail,consisting of Lord Shiva and 33 koti (33crores) types of Hindu gods and goddesses.

The cave has four dwars named Randwar,Papdwar,Dharamdwar and Mokshadwar.It is said that Randwar was closed after the great battle of Mahabharata ended and Papdwar was closed after the death of demon king Ravana.At present two gateways Dharamdwar and Mokshadwar are still open which can only be found by the pure soul.

Inside the cave the rock cut inscriptions of ‘tongue of kaal bhairav’, ‘twisted neck of hans’, ‘saptrishis’,’headless idol of lord Ganesha’ and many other wonderful figures can be found.

The cave is fully illuminated by electrified lights, with supporting chains to help while crawling inside the entrance. It is 160m long and 90 feet deep in dimensions.

Legend-

It is said that this cave was first opened by RAJA RITUPARNA in TRETAYUGA.He was led by Sheshnaag and saw the marbles of Lord Shiva and 33 koti gods and goddesses inside the cave.

It is said that after his visit, the cave was closed for ages with a slight prediction in the Skandpurana that it will be reopened again in Kaliyuga. Aadi Guru Shankaracharya in Kalyug, during his visit to Himalayas re-discovered this cave. Since then regular worship and offering are being done at this place.

Returning back-

After the excursion was complete we left the place at 11:30am and reached our destination Bhowali (Nainital) at 4:15pm via Almora.

We took a small halt for tea and snacks at Sheraghat, a small village which is located on the banks of river sarayu.

As this was the unexpected,unimagined and unplanned trip. I believe it to be the call from goddess mahakali….

Jai mahakaali…

traveldiary

Call from Goddess Mahakali…

I was busy reading the novel, “The Immortals of Meluha”, by “Amish Tripathi” on 18th of January, 2018, when i suddenly received a call from my friend.

He offered me a road trip to HAAT KALIKA temple located at Gangolihat in the district of Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand).

I quickly agreed, packed my bag and was ready for a 168 kms long journey. We began our trip via Dhari route at 4:45 pm and reached our destination at 10:15 pm. We took a small halt for dinner at a dhaba 70 kms before Gangolihaat.

Gangolihaat has an average elevation of 1,760 metres (5,773 feet). The town is situated on a hill top. The region is surrounded by two rivers – Saryu and Ramganga, which merge at Ghat, at the foothill of the region. These two rivers appear like a garland on the shoulders of mighty Himalaya. It is these two rivers that lend the name to the region -Gang (River in local dialect) + Awali (Garland) making Gangawali, which became Gangoli later on and Hat were the main markets/ gathering place for local people in past. Which combined to make the name of Gangolihat.

We found a hotel near the bus station and went to bed at midnight after having a small conversation about the place with the hotel staff . After a brief sleep, we woke up at 6 AM and were ready to visit the HAAT KALIKA temple to take the blessings of goddess mahakali.

‘Haat Kalika Mandir’ was chosen by Adi GuruSankaracharya for installation of one of theShakti_Peethas. It is believed that the Original Goddess Kalika Mata, which is supposed to be in West Bengal, shifted her place from Bengal to Gangolihat.

This Temple is very famous all over India, specially among Indian Armed Forces.The goddess Mahakali is the designated goddess of the Kumaun Regiment. Kumaun regiment has created an Army Rest House near the Temple for Army Personnel, who visit Gangloihat often to seek blessings of the Goddess.

After performing religious ceremonies(puja), we visited a young saint who was sitting behind the dhuni which was in front of the temple under the ashram(room). We were offered a cup of tea.

The saint was a young man who had taken joga (follows asceticism) with a magnificent brilliance in his face and locked hairs.

After a while we heard the ringing of the bells as it was the time to offer bhog(food) to goddess and the young saint advised us to join the ceremony as well.The ceremony lasted for about 10 minutes and then the remaining food was distributed among the devotees as prasadam. After receiving prasadam from temple we decided to visit the nearby Patalbhuvneswar temple which was just 14kms away from mahakali temple.

……to be continued

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Uttarakhand Polls 2k17

So, uttarakhand closed it’s elections with 68% voting today for 69 constituencies.

Now it’s the time to wait for results and see who is going to be the next chief minister.

But more important is to see what will happen to the condition of state. Will the new government  take notice of the problems of the citizens or will it be one more term of fake promises.

Let’s hope for the best and wait for 11 march….