The sanctity of religious beliefs remains as one of the major reasons behind India’s rich cultural heritage. As a result, temples have remained as some of the most beautiful structures that one can witness in our country. Uttarakhand is already known for its holy beauty, but embedded into this state is Nainital, a divine haven that is mostly famous for mountains and lakes, but doesn’t shy away when it comes to flaunting its beautiful temples as well. Are you ready to explore them? Here is a list of the mesmerising temples in Nainital for you to explore on your next escapade to Uttarakhand.
6 Best Temples In Nainital
Here are the most famous holy shrines and sanctums in the city of Nainital that you must visit during your trip. Make your itinerary according to this list of temples in Nainital so that you do not miss out on any one of these during your trip.
1. Naina Devi Temple
Located on the banks of Naini Lake, the Naina Devi Temple is considered as one of the most revered temples of India, as well as one of the top tourist spots in Nainital. Of the fifty-one Shakti-Peethas that are spread throughout our country, this temple is believed to be one of them, making it a popular choice for several devotees from all over India. According to beliefs, the temple is built on the land where Devi Sati’s eyes had fallen. The word “Naina '' means “eye” and as it indicates, is dedicated to Goddess Sati’s eyes.
Though this enchanting structure has a sad past, where it was constructed on the lake’s upper edge in the 15th century and then destroyed by a landslide in 1880, it continues to be a place of serenity, peace, and calmness. Synonymous to Goddess Sati’s eyes, the word “Naina” resonates amongst the hundreds of devotees as well as tourists who visit this temple every month. Upon crossing the main entrance, visitors are greeted by a Peepal tree on the left, and the idols of Lord Ganesh and Hanuman on the right.
Location: Ayarpatta, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263002
Timings: 6 AM – 10 PM
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2. Hanuman Garhi Temple
Another popular name that often comes up in the list of temples in Nainital is the Hanuman Garhi temple, situated in the gorgeous Nainital-Haldwani route. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this temple is believed to have been established by Neem Karoli Baba, a local saint, in the early 20th century. Set atop at 6,410 ft. High, the Hanuman Garhi temple has Lord Hanuman’s idol portrayed with splitting his chest, depicting his eternal love for Lord Ram and how he resides in his heart.
Situated close to the Shitla Devi temple as well as the Ashram of Bapu Lila Sah, this temple presents the perfect view, paired with the beautiful sunsets and sunrises. The lush green valleys and towering hills make this the perfect tourist spot, with devotees crowding on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Location: Sai Nagar, Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh 224123
Timings: 5 AM – 12 PM and 4 PM – 9 PM
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3. Pashan Devi Temple
An age-old shrine, the Pashan Devi temple of Nainital has quite the firm devotee base. Pashan Devi is considered as the Goddess of the stone-pelters and is worshipped by the many devotees as the representation of Goddess Durga (Nav Durga). The entire temple is made out of stones, and the idol is a stone structure as well, showcasing the religious background history of the temple. The Naini Lake is situated quite near to this particular temple, which makes it quite the tourist spot too.
One of the main attractions of this temple is the “Akhand Jyoti”, some eternal flame that has existed ever since the temple was first formed. As this temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, it is very famous for sindoor and sarees and is visited by thousands of devotees each year. As a ritual, the devotees pour water, which touches the feet of Devi’s idol and then peacefully flows into the lake.
Location: Tallital, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263002
Timings: 6 AM – 7:30 PM
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4. Mukteshwar Temple
One of the most popular shrines of the state, the Mukteshwar temple is almost 350 years old. Established as a devotion to Lord Shiva, this temple is located on the outskirts of Nainital in Mukteshwar, and at its highest point as well. Devotees and tourists from all over the country flock to this temple each year, as it is considered to be one of the eighteen significant temples devoted to Lord Shiva.
This breathtaking temple is said to be the home of Shri Mukteshwar Maharaj Ji and is home to deities of Lord Ganesha, Vishnu, Brahma, Parvati, Nandi, and Nandi. The elevated location of the temple also makes it a picturesque destination for tourists to click beautiful pictures, and the trek up to the hilltop is filled with forests and fruit orchards, making it a definite treat to every visitor. Besides, this temple is also considered as a great spot for practising meditation and attaining self-peace.
Location: Link Road, Simyal Gaon, Nainital, Uttarakhand, 263138
Timings: 7 AM – 7 PM
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5. Kainchi Dham Temple
If you’re looking for calmness, peace, and divinity, there are very few places that can beat the mesmerising Kainchi Dham temple, located amidst the Kumaon mountains. Surrounded by serenading mountains, forests, and a peaceful river flowing alongside, the temple is said to have been established by Neem Karoli Baba, who is believed to have been an incarnation of mighty Lord Hanuman itself. This temple gets its name from the scissor-like shape of the location, as its located right in between where the two hills intersect.
Kainchi Dham temple is quite famous among tourists for its picture-perfect location and beauty, but it is also popular amongst the devotees who often say that they feel the presence of mighty Lord Hanuman and Karoli Baba inside the temple. This temple reached its epitome of popularity in 1973, when Steve Jobs (ex-CEO, Apple) visited India, seeking peace and answers to his questions. He meditated in this temple and went back enlightened.
Location: Nainital – Almora Road, at a distance of 9 Km from Bhowali
Timings: 5 AM – 4 PM
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6. Golu Devta Temple
Another temple that is highly revered by the locals of Nainital is the Golu Devta temple, located on the Ghorakhal hill and accompanied by the Bhimtal lake’s view. This temple is dedicated to the Golu Devta, who is said to be Lord Shiva’s incarnation and is also revered as the God of Justice by the local devotees. What makes this temple unique, is the rituals that it’s devotees follow. Here, you have to come with prayers written on a piece of paper, and then leave it in the temple.
Moreover, the entire temple is filled with a plethora of bells, which signify the prayers of the devotees being answered. According to beliefs, every time a devotee writes a prayer and has it answered, a bell is hung in the temple, dedicated to this. The Golu Devta Mandir is merely 4-5 Km away from the famous Bhowali market and can be travelled easily on foot.
Location: GB Pant Hospital Premises, Ramsay Hospital, Nainital, Uttarakhand
Timings: 6 AM – 8 PM
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These are some of the most renowned temples in Nainital that make up some of the major tourist attractions in this city for pilgrims and travelers alike. Other than seeking blessings, you can also explore the unique architecture of these famed sanctums and find tranquillity and bliss here. So, which of these holy shrines will you visit on your Nainital vacation first?
Frequently Asked Questions About Temples In Nainital
Q. Which is the most famous temple in Nainital?
A. The city of Nainital is renowned for its breathtaking views of mountains, lush green meadows, and lakes that instil a sense of peace in everyone. However, it is also a big tourist spot, thanks to the many beautiful temples it houses. Though there are a number of temples to visit, the most popular one is the Naina Devi temple.
Q. How far is the Naina Devi temple from Nainital?
A. The temple is a 3 minutes walk of 450m, via the Mall Road.
Q. How many steps are there in the Naina Devi temple?
A. The Naina Devi temple consists of a total of 130 steps to climb, in order to reach the main area of the temple.
Q. What is the total number of days required for properly exploring Nainital?
A. To fully explore Nainital, you will require a total stay of two days and one night, which shall be enough. If you wish to explore nearby places, you can include one or two more days in your stay.
Q. What is the best time to visit the Nainital temples?
A. Usually, people travel to Nainital in order to avoid the annoyingly hot weather in most parts of India. Hence, a great time to visit the Nainital temples would be in the months of March, right till June.
Q. What to explore in Nainital other than temples?
A. Nainital’s temples are some of the main attractions for any tourist. Other than those, you can also visit other popular spots such as the Mall Road, Naina Peak, Snow View Point, Eco Cave Gardens, Tiffin Top, and the Naini Lake.
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