Naina Devi temple is located in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. It is about 70 km of distance from Bilaspur. The temple is among 51 Siddha peethas of India. It is a major pilgrim site for Hindu and Sikh people. During Navratras, people from all over India and abroad visit the place which increases manifolds.
According to the legends, Devi Sati sacrificed her life by jumping into the Havan fire. The Havan was organized by her father King Daksheshwar. After her sacrifice, Lord Shiva carried the dead body of Devi Sati and was moving around the universe. Then Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra cut the body into 51 parts. Out of which the eyes fell on this place.
Another story is linked with a shepherd named Naina. Once grazing his cattle he saw a white cow showering milk on a stone. The same incident was observed by him for the next few days. He saw Mother Goddess in his dreams after a few days. She told him that the Pindi is her idol. The boy narrated the whole incident to King Bir Chand. He verified his story and then built a temple dedicated to Naina Devi at that place.
Mahishpeetha is another name of Naina Devi temple. Demon Mahishasura was killed by the Devi here. According to the legends, Mahishasura was a powerful demon and was given the boon to live forever by Lord Brahma. There was one condition that he can be defeated by an unmarried girl. The demon Mahishasura started troubling the earth and deities after getting the boon. All the deities then combined their powers and created a Devi who could defeat the demon Mahishasura. Different types of weapons were offered to Devi by the deities. Mahishasura was mesmerized with the beauty of the Devi and proposed her to marry him. The Devi said she would marry him on one condition if he could defeat her in the war. During the war, the demon was defeated by the Devi and she took out both his eyes.
Another story is about Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Sikh guru. He started his war against Mughals in 1765. He then performed a very big Yagna there at Naina Devi temple and sought the blessings of the Devi. After seeking the blessing Guru Gobind Singh Ji defeated the Mughals.
How to Reach:
Air: The nearest air stations are Chandigarh and Bhuntar. They are located at 131 km and 135 km from Bilaspur.
Rail: Nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Shimla. Nearest broad gauge railhead is at Kiratpur Sahib.