Naimisaranya is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Vaishnava worship. It is mentioned as a place of great importance in the several Hindu Puranas. The Ram Charit Manas makes a mention of Naimisaranya. Naimisaranya is also mentioned in Various Puranas like Matsya, Skanda, Vayu and Shiva Puranas.It is said to be the place where several Rishis have worshipped the Lord. It is also a Swayam Vyakta Kshetra .
Not only among Vaishnavas but among Shaivaites, this place is a famous pilgrimage locations. It is believed that the knowledge about divine powers and earliest form of prayers and rituals were first learnt at this location.
Main Deity:- The main deity worshipped at Naimisaranyam is Maha Vishnu. The Lord here is worshipped in his Forest incarnation as aranya=forest in sanskrit.
Location/Architectural Details:- Naimisaranya is located in the Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh. The Purana mandir (temple) is dedicated to Suka muni (who has a parrots beak). On the hillock, there is a huge statue of hanuman with Ram and Lakshman on his shoulders. The two water bodies, Gomati and Chakra Teertha, flow through this town. The Chakra Teertha is one of the holy tanks in Naimisaranya. A dip in this Teertha is considered very sacred.
Chakra Teertha in Naimisaranya
History:- It is believed that Sage Vyasa taught the Vedas and Puranas to his disciples at this location. Romaharsha, a disciple of Vyasa also recited the Puranas here. Rishi Suka was the son of Somaharsha.
According to history, the sages wanted to have an auspicious place to do penance. Shree Vishnu started rolling his chakra (wheel) and asked the sages to follow it. He asked the Sages to top where the wheel stops. After a while, the wheel broke down and that place came to be known as Naimisaranya where Nemi = outer circle of the wheel.
Another story is that in Kaliyuga, Lord Brahma the creator has foretold the sacred and holiness of this place Naimisaranya. It is also believed that the great sage Dadichi gave up his human form at this location so that his body can be used as a weapon to destroy evil. The Pandavas have also visited this temple and the sage Tulsidaas wrote the Raam Charit Manas at this location.
Specialty :- The main feature of Naimisaranya are its "tapovanams" or prayer forests. There are 9 different Tapovanams named,
Dandakaranyam,Saindhavaranyam,Jambukaranyam,Pushkaranyam,Utpalaranyam,Badrikaranyam, Gurujangalaranyam,Aruputharanyam and Naimisaranyam.
The great sages of India like Suka muni and Vyasa muni paid their respects to the lord at Naimisaranya.
Naimisaranya Hanuman Temple
Devi in Naimisaranya
Places of worship:-
Vyasa Gaddi:- This place is located about a kilometer from Chakra Teertha among a dense forest. It is believed that anybody who recites/hears the Vishnu Shahasranaam or Bhagwad Puranam, can have all his wishes fulfilled.
Suta Gaddi:- The Gaddis are places that have been dedicated to the sages Suka and Vyasa. At Suka Gaddi there is an ancient Banyan Tree (Vata Vruksha).
How to Reach:-
By Rail:- The nearest rail head is Sitapur. It is well connected from cities like Allahabad and Lucknow.
By Air:- The major airport is at Lucknow.
By Road:- This place is about 90 km from Lucknow, the state capital. Regular buses can take you to Naimisaranya.
Nearby Places to Visit:-
Srinivas Perumal Temple