Somewhere about 90 km away from Lucknow in the Sitapur district lies a small town named as Naimisharanya, breathing in silence on the banks of river Gomti. It is sometimes popularly called out by other names as ‘Naimisha’ and ‘Neemsar’ by the local people, is mostly visited by the saints and pilgrims from different parts of the country. It is regarded as a spiritual place when Lord Vishnu himself walked around this place in the pursuit of killing some demons.
Naimisharanya also got an honorary mention in the Hindu epic ‘Mahabharat’ telling it a holy place in India that is one of many reasons why saints and pilgrims come here every day. There are many religious stories that surround this place like Lord Vishnu killed many demons at this place, Lord Brahma’s Maya Chakra struck this very place, Sages Swayambhuva Manu and Satrupa had performed a rigorous penance at this place for almost 23000 years, Lord Rama also performed the Aswamedha Yaga over her after killing Ravana, etc. So, Naimisharanya earned its spiritual badge because of many such stories and there are many such reasons why this place has been regarded by a faithful admiration by the people of India.
Apart from these religious stories, it is also said that when Lord Rama asked of evidence about his sons from his wife Goddess Sita then, it was this place where Goddess Sita decided to take a spiritual refugee into the hands of mother earth. The famous Hindu epic ‘Ramcharitmanas’ by Maharishi Valmiki was adapted in a literary composition here at this place. And according to Mahabharat, Pandavas also visited this place during their exile period. To sum it up, the town has gone through many spiritual journeys and there may be many stories that haven’t been discovered yet.
If the stories by the legends are to be believed then, there is a saying that goes around this town that many centuries ago Lord Vedvyasa wrote 4 Vedas, 6 Shastras, and 18 Puranas here at this place. He also preached those Vedas to his favorite disciple Maharishi Gemini. And above all, the knowledge about the benediction of human beings was also imparted here at this place. So, the significance of this place never lost with time but percolated down through successive generations and is seem to put great importance during a spiritual journey now also by many pilgrims.
There is a famous temple named after the town’s name which receives the greatest number of pilgrims round the year. The temple is also counted among the list of Vishnu temples which are self-manifested. The temple has a holy tank named as Chakra Kunda and it is believed that if a person takes a holy dip in the water of that tank on a new moon day then, many of their medical problems just vanish. The town also celebrates festivals like Diwali, Dussehra, Makar Sankranti, etc. with great fervor and pomp. Apart from this famous temple, there is a popular circularrotation of the path of about 16 km filled with around 108 Vishnu temples on which many pilgrims walk down barefoot.
The town receives numerous numbers of pilgrims every year who come down here with faith and wishes. Saints wander around this place frequently and there is small event performed her every day where verses from Vishnu Charithraare spoken loudly. And it is believed, if one hears those verses once or twice then, he may able to attain salvation after death. So, force yourself on a journey of self-discovery and who knows that you may find wonder here at this place.