– Dr A Pranesh
Naina Devi temple is located on the top of a hill, in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 100 kms from Chandigarh and 20 kms from Anandpur Sahib and can be reached by road almost till the top. But one has to climb about 100 steps to reach the temple. There is also a cable car facility from base of the hill to the top.
As per legend, goddess Sati, self immolated in the yagna performed by her father Daksha. Then Shiva destroyed Daksha yajna and carried sati’s corpse in grief. Hence Lord Vishnu dismembered Sati’s body into 51 pieces. Where ever her body parts fell on earth, those places are called Shakti Peethas. Here in Bilaspur district, eyes of Sati had fallen and hence called Naina devi.
Another story is related to a Gujjar boy called Naina. While he was grazing his cow, he saw his white cow showering milk on a stone. Subsequently Devi in his dream told that the stone is her Pindi form. Then the Gujjar boy told the dream to King Bir Chand who personally saw the cow showering milk on the stone. So immediately the King built a temple on that spot and named it as Naina devi after the Gujjar boy.
Naina devi temple is also known as Mahisha Peeth. There was a demon named Mahishasur, who was powerful because of a boon from Brahma, that he could be killed only by an unmarried woman. Due to this boon, he was tormenting every one. Then gods and sages requested Devi to kill the demon. When Devi went to kill Mahishasur, the latter was mesmerized by Devi’s beauty and requested Devi to marry him. Devi told him that she will marry him if he could defeat her in a combat. Obviously a battle took place between them and Devi killed the Demon. Then all the sages and gods happily applauded Devi by saying Jai Naina and hence the name.
Jai Maata di