Naina Devi, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, India

Deities: Goddess Naina Devi
Location: Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh
Built in: 1880
Built by: Raja Bir Chand
Importance: One of Shakti Pithas
Best time to visit: July to September
Altitude: 3,995m
STD Code: 01978

“O! Mother, you always prevail in heart of every individual in form of Wisdom, Wealth and Strength. Please shower your blessings on us.”

The most notable place of worship in the district is the temple of Shri Naina Devi. It is one of the 51 ‘Shakti Pithas’. Situated 60 km from Bilaspur district in Himachal Pradesh, Naina Devi Temple is one of the highly venerated Shakti Temples in India. The charming hill resort of Nainital gets its name from the Goddess Naina Devi. A temple dedicated to the deity stands here. The Naina Devi temple is situated atop Naina hillock in Nainital.

The word Naina is synonymous with Sati’s eyes. Since then, devotees started visiting this temple. On the right side of the temple there are idols of Lord Hanuman Ji and Ganesh Ji. After reaching the main entrance of the temple, there are two statues of lions. Inside the temple, devotees have darshan of three deities. On the extreme left is Mata Kali Devi, the centre representing two Netras or eyes is Maa Naina Devi and to right side is idol of Lord Ganesh.

History:
There was a peepal tree which is existing even today in the temple premises. Naina often observed that milk would flow down from the breast of cows which have not given birth to the babies when they stand under that papal tree, Naina wondered over this incidence. One day Naina went under that tree and saw that there was an idol of durga beneath the leaves of the tree. The same day Durga Maa appeared in the dreams of Naina at night and said to him “I am Adishakti Durga” you should build a temple at this place under the peepal tree and I will become famous with your name. Naina was a staunch devotee of Durga and in the morning the next day he laid down for the temple. Very soon the information and importance of this place went around in all directions and devotees started powering in for darshan. This beautiful temple is known as Naina Devi Temple since then. There is also a cave near the temple which is known as the cave of Naina Devi.

Legend:
The attractive lake of Nainital is said to be the eyes of Sati, wife of Lord Shiva. Sati had jumped into the sacrificial fire to escape the humiliation of her husband by her father, King Daksh. Then Lord Vishnu unleashed. His Chakra and cut the Sati’s body into fifty one pieces to save the earth from Shiva’s wrath. All the fifty one places – where parts of Sati’s body fell.It is believed that Sati’s eyes fell at the place where this temple is situated. Therefore, this temple is called Naina Devi.

To mourn the death of his beloved wife, Shiva carried her mortal remains across the country. The parts of her body fell at various places which today are sacred places of worship for Hindus. It is said that the shimmering green waters of the Naini Lake is a reflection of the emerald green eye of Sati. ‘Naina’ means eyes which symbolizes the eyes of Sati. On the northern side of the lake is built a temple dedicated to Sati and is called the Naina Devi temple.

Festival:
Naina Devi welcomes one and all throughout the year. There are 3 festivals Navratris, Shravani & Chaitra.

The Navaratri celebration in Sept -Oct is the largest fair and two more annual melas i.e. Shravani Mela in July-August & Chaitra mela in March-April , attract lakhs of people of divergent religious faith, caste, creed and culture. The colourful melas become the melting pot of Hindus, Sikhs and others-a unique sight of real Unity in Diversity.

Other important temples in Himachal Pradesh:
Baijnath Temple
Jwalamukhi Temple
Bajreshwari Devi Temple
Masroor Rock Temple
Kathgarh Temple
Lakshami Narayan Temple
Chaurasi Temples of Bharmaur
Hadimba Temple
Bijli Mahadev Temple
Prashar Temple
Bhima Kali Temple
Hatkoti Temple

How to reach:
by Air: The nearest airport is at Shimla, 85 km away.
by Rail: The nearest broad gauge railhead is at Kiratpur Sahib (65 km), while the closest narrow gauge railway station is at Shimla.
by Road: Well-connected by the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway-21, Bilaspur can be reached by bus conveniently from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, etc.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Chandi Devi Temple, Haridwar, Uttaranchal, India

Deity: Chandi Devi
Location: At the top of Neel Parvat, Haridwar
Built in: 1929 A.D
Significance: One of the Siddha Peethas
Best time to visit: October to March
STD Code: 0133

Located atop Neel Parvat, Chandidevi temple is one of the most ancient temples of north India. This is a Siddhapeeth (holy places where one’s wishes are fulfilled). Chandidevi along with Mansadevi and Mayadevi temple form a Siddhapeeth triangle in the holy city of Haridwar.

The main deity is said to have been installed in the 8th century by Adishankaracharya.Goddess Chandidevi has been fulfilling wishes of millions of devotees for thousands of years. In the earlier days, people used to reach the shrine by trekking through the steep path, which incorporates bit difficulties. With the passage of time, a ropeway has been made for the convenience of the pilgrims. This ropeway takes around 20-25 minutes to reach the temple complex. In this manner, people can also enjoy the panoramic view of the natural beauty. Every year, this temple receives millions of people from far and near. Pilgrims come to this holy shrine to seek blessings from the Goddess.

Legend:
Demon kings Shumbh and Nishumbh had captured the kingdom of Lord Indra and thrown out gods from heaven. After intense prayers to gods, incarnation of power and strength, Chandika Devi appeared from the cells of the body of Goddess Parvati. She assumed the form of an exceptionally beautiful woman and Shumbh desired to marry her. On being refused, Shumbh sent his demon chief Chanda and Munda to kill her. Kalika Devi born out of Chandika Devi’s anger killed them. Shumbh and Nishumbh then tried to kill Chandika Devi but were slain by the Goddess. Thereafter Chandika Devi is said to have rested for a short while at the temple location. Surprisingly, the two peaks near the Neelkanth mahadev temple in this mountain range are called shumbha and nishumbha. 200 metres from Goddess Chandidevi temple, the temple of Anjanadevi, mother of Hanuman is located. The temple of Mansa Devi is exactly on the other side of the hilltop. It is said that Mansa and Chandi, the two forms of Devi Parvati always reside close to each other.

Other important places in Haridwar:
Har-ki-Pairi: The most important and sacred bathing ghat of Haridwar, is also the site of Kumbh festivals. Ganga Aarti performed every evening is worth attending.

Bhimgoda Tank: Associated with the Pandavas, of Mahabharata, the tank is said to have been created by a blow of Bhima’s knee.

Gurukul Kangri University: An old institution known for following the traditional Indian system of imparting education. The university precincts also house Ved Mandir Museum with many archaeological exhibits.

Beauty Point: 2 km. On the way to Mansa Devi Temple, it is a vantage point with wonderful views of Haridwar and its forested surroundings. Temples and Ashrams There are a large number of temples and ashrams in Haridwar.

Mansa Devi Temple: on top of Vilwa Parvat, accessible also by ropeway carriage.

Manav Kalyan Ashram: the temple here depicts all the 24 avatars with Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna in ardhnarishwar form.

Bharat Mata Mandir: 6 km, devoted to Bharat Mata or Mother India. Its eight floors are decorated with scenes and images of events and people associated with the country.
Pawan Dham: has Hanuman temple made of pieces of glass.

How to reach:
by Air: Jolly Grant Airstrip, is located at Dehradun, which is 35 kms away.
by Rail: It is connected to all the major cities of India by trains.
by Road: Haridwar on highway No. 45 is connected to all major centres in the region and other parts of the country by well-maintained roads. One can easily reach Chandi Devi Temple by taking local Buses, Rickshaws, Tongas or by hiring Taxis from Haridwar.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Ambaji, Danta, Gujarat, India

Deities: Goddess Ambaji
Location: Ambaji, Gujarat
Significance: One of the 51 Shaktipeeths.
STD Code: 02749

Ambaji is a census town in Banaskantha district in the state of Gujarat, India. It is situated at a distance of approximately 65 kilometers from Palanpur and 45 kilometers from Mount Abu and 20 kilometers from Abu Road near the Gujarat and Rajasthan border.

Ambaji is an important temple town with millions of devotees visiting the Ambaji temple every year. It is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths.The original seats of Ambaji mata is on gabbar hilltop in the town. Ambaji town is known for possessing mines which produce fine quality marble and granite.

Shri Arasuri Ambaji Mata temple is the origin of the Supreme Cosmic Power of the Universe. This Temple is one of the Shri Adhya Shakti Devi. The Goddess is a manifestation of Shiva’s consort, Parvati. Ambe Mata is the Adya Shakti- the primordial female power, the Mother Goddess.

The Great Miracle of this Holy Place is that there is no idol or picture in the Nij Mandir of Shri Arasuri Mata Ambaji, but a simple cave like Gokh in the inner wall, in which A Gold Plated Holy Shakti Visa Shree Yantra, having kurma back convex shape and 51 Bij letters there in, like that of the original Yantras of Nepal and Ujjain Shakti Piths, is ritually installed in such a way it can be visible for devotion, but it was never photographed in past nor in future.

The Main Temple of Ambaji with a big Mandap has a Holy Gokh of Mataji in the Garbhgruh, in front of huge Chachar Chowk carpeted with beautiful marbles near Yagnashala. All the ritual worships of Ambaji is performed in Chachar Chowk The Temple has a glorious Suvarn Kalash Shikhar, shining at 103 feet height on the top of the temple, weighing more than 3 tones as a whole The Holy Long Flag of Ambaji and Trishul.

The newly constructed Main Temple Nij Mandir is worth seeing all time for its holy significance in Shaki Sampraday – the worship of the supreme power of cosmic energy and is also for its wonderful carvings on artistic renovation displaying an Indian traditional culture.

In the total area of about 20 meters X 9.50 meters as a whole in place of the above shown old Havan Shala, new Havan Shala is developed and below this Havan Shala in the Chachar Chowk. The temple is attracting many pilgrims from all over the world. The temple is very famous and is of considerable importance to Hindus.

It is believed that the heart of Goddess Parvati fell here. On the Gabbar Hill the footsteps of Goddess are imprinted. The imprint of her chariot is also found here. It is believed that the tonsure ceremony of Lord Krishna also took place here. Ambaji temple has a golden yantra made jointly with the yantra of Nepal Shaktipeeth at Ujjain. There are 51 shlokas on the yantra.Lacs of devotees visit the temple every year especially on Purnima days culminating into a large mela on Bhadarvi Purnima. Goddess Ambaji Mata has been fulfilling wishes of her devotees for thousands of years.

Festival:
Posh Sud Purnima, i.e. the fifteenth day of the Full Moon Day of each month of Posh as per the religiously believed to be the Birthday of Mata Arasuri Ambaji. Hence it is celebrated with joy at the instance of Shri Arsuri Ambaji Devasthan .Trust by all the people and devotees of Ambaji, coming from all over the world.

Mainly on this holy festival of Poshi Punam, A big Satchandi Yagna is performed by the temple trust in a quite traditional manner with all the Vedic rituals and Mata Ambaji is worshiped with Om Havan and Annakoot, in which Mataji is offered with different kinds of Foods, Fruits and Pakvan and Prasad are distributed to all the devotees and the poor people.

In Ambaji, there are Four Navratri Festivals, namely Sharad, Vasantik ,Maha & Ashadh, ritually celebrated as per the Shakti Sampraday Traditions, and other worships, in Yagnashala of the Chachar Chowk, which is decorated and illuminated with colourful lightings from all corners, during this period of Navratri. The devotees also enjoy Devi Darshan and Traditional Garba Dances.

Nearby important Places:
Mount Abu – 45 Kms
The hill resort of Mount Abu on Aravallis is magnificent land of sages and seers. The major attractions are Nakki Lake, 1000 years’ old Dilwara Jain temples, Head Quarters of Brahmkumaris Foundation etc.

Ahmedabad – 180 Kms
Ahmedabad, once associated with Mahatma Gandhi, is renowned as a great textile and commercial centre. The major attractions are Jama Masjid, Kankaria Lake, the Shaking Minarets, and Rani Rupwati Masjid etc.

Palanpur – 65 Kms
Palanpur is a former princely state ruled by Nawabs. The major attractions are palaces of the Nawab, Balram Mahadev temple etc.

Adderess:
Shri Arasuri Ambaji Mata Devasthan Trust
Temple Trust Office
Ambaji Temple Complex
Ambaji, Pin: 385110
Taluka: Danta
District: Banaskantha
Gujarat
India

Tel: (Office) 0091-2749-262-136, 264-536

Email: info@ambajitemple.org
Web Address:
www.ambajitemple.org

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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