Alwars were the Vaishnava saints of Tamil Nadu. They were a group of 12 saints who were a great followers of Lord Vishnu. Together they became famous as Alwars. These saints not only created devotional poetry on Lord Vishnu but also travelled across to spread the Vaishnava tradition.
In the course of time, Alwars created 108 shrines for Lord Vishnu. They listed 108 places in their work Nalayira Divya Prabhandam and named it as Divya Desam. According to that, Lord Vishnu at these holy places will be most powerful and fulfills all the wishes of the devotees who visit. It is believed that, devotees who visit these places are also believed to attain Moksha (liberation).
Most Divya Desham Kshetras (places) are located in the state of Tamil Nadu. Some are situated in Andhra Pradesh and North India. In this article, we are discussing about a place listed as a Divya Desham. This holy place is believed to be one of the powerful abodes of Lord Vishnu in North India.
Ram, Sita and Lakshman
Yes, the name is Naimisaranya (Naimeesharanya), a place which is also mentioned in the epics like Mahabharatha. Naimisaranya is a holy town on the banks of Gomti river in Uttar Pradesh. Locally, Naimisaranya is also called as Nimsar. This place is located on the way in between Sitapur and Khairatabad.
A journey of around 32km from Sitapur or a 42km travel from Sandila Railway Station will take us to Naimisaranya. This sacred place is around 90km from Lucknow.
Naimisaranya Temple houses the self-manifested figure of Lord Vishnu. It attracts many devotees across the several regions. One main attraction of Naimisaranya is the temple pond.
When you observe, the Kalyani or the temple pond it would generally be in the shape of a square. Interestingly, the Chandra Kund (Kalyani) at Naimisaranya is round in shape. According to the legend, the Chandra Kund was created by Lord Vishnu's Sudarshan Chakra (wheel). Hence, this pond is round in shape.
A religious gathering - Harikathas
Another legend is about Dadhicha Rishi and Lord Indra. Once Lord Indra requested Sage Dadhicha to sacrifice his life so that he can create a powerful weapon out of the sage's bones. Sage Dadhicha agrees on one condition. Sage Dadhicha wanted to visit all the sacred rivers as his last wish. So, Lord Indra is said to have filled the water of all holy rivers in Chadra Kund. Hence, this temple pond is considered as sacred.
Other places in and around Naimisharanya
Sitapur, Dadheecha Kund, Vyas Gaddi, Dasaswamedha Ghat, etc. are some of the important places in and around Naimisharanya.
Timings of Naimisaranya Temple
Naimisaranya Temple should be visited before 6 in the evening as it won't be open after that.