Thursday, January 8, 2009

Naimisharanya (Neemsar)

Namisharanya (or Neemsaar, the name with which it is known today) is a small town in the Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh. It is on the Lucknow-Delhi National Highway No-24.

I got the oppertunity to visit this sacred place a few times and hence thought to write about it. It is about 88 KMs from Lucknow. We took Lucknow-Sitapur National Highway 24. After about 50 Kms from Lucknow, one need to take the left turn to get state highway at a place called Siddhauli. Namisharanya is about 38 KMs from Siddhauli.

All those, who have heard the "Satyanarayan Vrat Katha", must have heard about Naimisharanya. That story was first recited at Naimisharanya. This story is in the Skand Puran.
"..skand puraane..reva khande..Naimisharanye teerthe...."

According to the Hindu traditions, Vedas were divided into four parts and "Puran" were written by Rishi Ved Vyas at Naimisharanya.

Mishrikh, near Naimisharanya, holds its religious significance due to the belief that Maharshi Dadhich donated his bones to Devatas for making Vajras. The Hatyaharana Thirtham here at Mishrikh is of great importance; where Rama is believed to have bathed to purify himself of the sin of having killed Ravana.

Mishrikh is about 11 KMs from Nainisharanya towards Sitapur.

Temples around Chakra Tirtha (beware of priests here)
Sitapur was established by the king Vikarmaditya after the name of Lord Ram's wife Sita. In modern terms, the history of Sitapur is closely associated with that of the rest of Awadh. The district figured prominently in the Indian rebellion of 1857, when the native troops quartered in the cantonments fired on their officers, many of whom were killed, as were also several military and civil officers, with their families, in attempting to escape.

Sage Shring did penance here
According to Puranic Traditions in the ancient times, being oppressed by the religious degeneration of the Age of Kali (Kali Yug), sages went to Lord Brahma and requested him to tell them the way of redemption. Lord Brahma then released a ‘Chakra’ or the ‘Wheel of Cosmic Order’ and directed them to follow it up to a place where its axis (Nemi) would disintegrate and fall, that place would be most sacred for penances and sinful kali will have no access there.

Chakra Tirtha
The Nemi of that wheel or Chakra fell at a spot which came to be called ‘Chakra Teertha’ or the holy bathing place in the shape of the sacred ‘Chakra’ and the surrounding forest area came to be known as Naimisharanya or the forest of Naimish to which sages retired for spiritual and religious life.

This sacred place further went on to attract innumerable pilgrims through ages especially on holy occasions such as Amavasya, Nava Ratra etc.

Chakra Teertha is one of the most important holy places in Naimisharanya. The devout pilgrims take a holy dip in ‘Chakra Teertha’ before proceeding to other holy places of Naimish such as the Lalita Devi Temple and others.

Seat of Sage Vyasa
Mother Goddess Lalita Devi had done penance here and her abode in the form of a temple is there. It is significant to note that in offering his worship to Lalita Devi, Adi Shankaracharya recited his famous ‘stotra’ (devotional prayer) called “Lalita Panchakam”.

Around the Chakra Teertha, there are temples to Chakranarayana, Ganesh, Ram, Lakshman here.

Seat of Sage Soota
Nearby there is a shrine to Veda Vyas, known as Vyas Gaddi. Here Rishi Ved Vyas devided Vedas in four parts and also wrote Purans. There is also the Puran Mandir. The Mahabharat was recited here for the first time, and Naimisaranya is mentioned frequently in both the Mahabharat and the Ramayana.

At Soot Gaddi, sages Soota and Shaunak had discourses.

Manu and hios wife Shatrupa did penance here.
Nearby at Sri Hanuman Garhi, Large statue of Lord Hanuman is situated. According to popular belief after killing Ahi Rawan, Hanuman appeared here with Lord Rama and Lakshman at this place from "Pataal" .

Venkateshwara Temple
Tirumangaialwar of the 9th century CE has sung of Naimisaranyam in Tamil in a total of 10 verses, as one of the abodes of Vishnu. Tirumangai Alwar refers to Vishnu as 'Naimisaaranyattull en Taai'. An Ahobila Madam and a Ramanuja Kootam in the Sree Vaishnavite tradition are located here.

Venkateshwara (Balaji) Temple
There is a beutiful Venkateshwara (Balaji) temple in construction here. It is more famous here as South Indian Temple.

Lalita Devi Temple
One thing which I felt is pilgrims here should avoid themselves from so called "Guide" and "Panda". They try to extract money. I suggest that pilgrims should just concentrate on their worship and Meditation. There is no one in between Lord and devotee. Lord likes only pure heart and devotion!!

How to reach here:
Neemsaar can be easily approached from Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. A lot of Taxis and buses are available at regular interval.

From Lucknow the route is via Sitapur Highway. Then at Sidhauli, a diversion to left has to be taken. This state road is not that wide and has a few potholes but managebale.

There are many temples, including, Chakra Teertha, Lalitha Temple,Vyasa Gaddi, Hanuman Garhi etc. I have heard that a new temple dedicated to Venkateshwar has also been constructed there.

Naimisharanya is very small town and there are not many good options to stay there. In recent times a few accommodation options have come up. One can stay at Balaji Temple guest house or at Sai Mandir. As this place is very close to Lucknow so I suggest that Lucknow is better to stay.

One thing I want to state that please do not listen to what priests and other say to you. Concentrate to your prayers. They may ask donation and, may try to distract you. Just concentrate on your worship and dont listen to them. Naimisharanya is getting a bad name because of these people.

As I told earlier also, it is a very small town (or rather village),so not many regular direct buses are there from Lucknow. People who go by Bus from Lucknow, They need to take the bus from "Kaiser Bagh" Bus stand at Lucknow. Take any bus going towards Sitapur, get down at"Sidhauli", then take samll auto etc to reach Neemsaar.

Otherwise reach Sitapur and then from there find out any Bus or auto etc. Best way in my view is to hire a taxi from Lucknow (If you are with family or friends).

I felt that it is a very powerful place for meditation but lack of maintenance of the temples and place as well as influence of money has taken its toll on this otherwise wonderful place of worship.


  1. Hi Alok,
    Nice informations about Naimisharanya. All stories have been given here and hope will be useful for people to understand the importance of this place. We are planning to visit this place from Delhi.


  2. wonderful. i am going to this place with my parents by road from faizabad.
    these informations are very helpful.
    thank.keep it up.

  3. Naimisharanya (Neemsar)is a place which can not be compared with other pilgrimage places in the country

  4. hi,i am ankush dixit plz contact me in the below number if anyone want to know more about "Naimisharanya (Neemsar)"

  5. One may also visit this blog for more details of Naimisaranya or Nimsar or Neemsar or Naimish:

    We visited the place during last year in November, 2011 and once again in November, 2012.
    One of the most important and missing information in the above blog is about Balaji Temple. The temple of Lord Venkateswara was built at Nimsar just opposite to the Police Station, Nimsar about 15 to 20 years ago. The idol is magnificient and is a replica of Lord Balaji at Tirumala.

    Those who are not fortunate to have Lord's Darsan at Tirupati or Tirumala can peacefully have at Nimsar Balaji temple. Special poojas and kalyanams are performed twice a year during February and November every year.

    During our visit to the Temple between 3-11-2012 to 5-11-2012 we had a wonderful experience of the Darshan of Lord Venkateswara. We have attended all the celebrations like:
    1) Satyanarayana Vratam
    2) Homams (performed on each of the above days)
    3) Abhishekham with all rituals and same procedures followed at Tirumala.
    4) Kalyanotsavam (Similar to Tirumala)

    The Balaji temple at Naimisaranya has also more than 30 rooms for peaceful stay at nominal rents. Free food is provided for all the devotees. All the rituals are performed meticulously with utmost shraddha and devotion and without compensating in any ritual. We had wonderful Spiritual experience during our stay. Performing rituals at Nimsar is many more times holier when compared to Tirumala as Nimsar itself has a sacred importance in all the Yugas. Whereas Tirupati/Tirumala has attained importance only in Kali yuga. With nominal Donations we can participate in all the rituals quite satisfactorily. A Kalyana Mandap is also being planned at Nimsar Balaji temple within three years from now. Donations are accepted for the constructions.

    There are other places for stay like Sai Mandir, Modi Bhawan etc at nominal rents.

    For further details of Nimsar one may contact me at 9313140065.

  6. We just returned from visiting Naimisha. There are loads of accommodations available there. For the past 3 years, lots of constructions have happened and most of them at at the price range from Rs. 250/- to Rs 350/- per day per room (this is as of October, 2012).

    One of the best places that I liked, in terms of cleanliness and facilities is accommodation by Sai Mandir. This is walking distance to Gomati river and Balaji Temple. The cost as of Oct, 2012 is Rs.250/- per day per room which includes free food.

    You can book in advance by talking to Mataji @ Sai Temple:
    05865 251500

    Or you can also talk to Sri Ramesh ji who is in charge of the temple and facilities: 09573268434. He keeps travelling, so you might not meet him at Naimisha, but he will be able to provide all required details.

    There is no power from 7 PM till 7 AM in entire Naimisha. Sai Mandir has inverter connected to all the rooms. But the no of hours they provide the inverter depends on the demand.

    Enjoy your visit.

  7. it is very nice reading about neemsar from this blog - after reading I visited the place in last week of august 2013 - it NICE peaceful ( far away from city life ) close to nature and spirituality

    Thanks to all

    Awdhesh Kumar

  8. Balaji Mandir Phone Numbers: 05865-251274, 09415766122 (Room rent as on 25-03-2014 (approx. Rs.400/- per day)

  9. Tks for nice infmn.kotayya t hyd telangana

  10. Thanks a lot to all for giving very useful information. I too visited nymisharanya and everything covered by all here in.

  11. Great!
    Useful information on Naimisharanyam. Planning a trip shortly. How's the weather by the way? Which is the best time to visit?

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  13. All of a sudden my thoughts gone to wards Naimisaranya recently as my age is fast approaching to 73 rd year from 21/9/16.Yesterday I contacted Sri Ramesh ji who in turn given another number having information related to Sai mandir.I desire to stay there from 20/9/16 to31/10/16 alone and to spend my time for few hours in completing srimadBhagavatham,Telugu publication 2 volumes published by Geetha Press ,Gorakhpur.I had a talk with some one who assured me to talk with Matha ji concerned and inform me with in 5 days on my contacting by phone.In the meanwhile I am trying to get a confirmed ticket from Vizianagaram to Naimisaranya journey tickets to and fro.I will be happy if any one advises me a good place to stay peacefully,happily most economically,having no problems related to accommodation,bath room,environment that favours to complete reading of religious book like Sri mad Bhagavatham,neat and clean food to eat,coffee and tea to drink,near by hospital to consult ,ATM to utilise in case of necessity,near by Gomathi river and important Mandirs or lakes or ponds at Naimisaranyam town ship,in case it is not really an Aranyam.

    1. Rao Garu, contact details evvagalara. Ramarao

  14. There are lot of accomodation now at Neemsaar. It will also be convenient to stay at Lucknow. Neemsaar is juat about 80 KMs from there.

    At Neemsaar, One of the best places in terms of cleanliness and facilities is accommodation by Sai Mandir. This is walking distance to Gomati river and Balaji Temple.

    You can book in advance by talking to Mataji @ Sai Temple:
    05865 251500

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