Naimisaranya (Tirunaimisaranyam)

One of the 108 Temples & Celestial Abodes of Vishnu revered by the Tamil hymns of the Alwars of the 1st millennium CE

Location: Naimisaranya (Uttar Pradesh)
Vada Naadu)
Vishnu: Devarajan (Sree Hari),
Taayaar: Pundarikavalli (Harilakshmi)
Theertham:Chakra Theertham
Paasuram :Tirumangaialwar
Vimaanam:Sree Hari Vimanam
Travel Base:Lucknow

Temples of the Gangetic Plains

Description Vishnu is is considered to be an Aranya Swaroopi, or in other words, the forest of Naimisaranyam, hallowed earlier on by the discourses on the great epics of India, by Vyasa Muni and Suka Muni - is considered as a manifestation of Vishnu and held in reverence and worship. The forest is considered to have been the abode of 60000 sages. Naimisaranyam is located at the junction of the roads from Sitapur and Khairabad, 20 miles from Sitapur and 24 miles from the Sandila railway station,, 45 miles north of Lucknow in Uttarpradesh. Naimisaranya is also known as Nimsar or Nimkhar and is located on the left bank of the river Gomati. This place has also been visited by Sankaracharya; Surdas resided here

Legends: : The word Naimis has been spelt in two ways - Naimis and Naimish. The Vayu Purana and the Bhrammanda Purana state that that Bhrama sent out a manomaya wheel (chakram) after worshipping Shiva, and that this wheel after moving around reached Naimisaranya where its rim was shattered, and that the sages following this wheel bright as the sun, stopped at Naimisaranya and settled here and so did several of the sacred thirthams (rivers).

The Varaha Purana says that the entire army of Danavas was destroyed at this place in one nimisha, hence the name Naimisharanya.

Naimisaranya: A more recent work the Ain I Akbari describes Nimkhar as a large fort and a religious resort with the Bhramavartakundh tank  with a strong ccurrent, which ejects anything that is thrown into it. This work also speaks of a natural stream held in reverence. It also speaks of the sand taking the natural shape of Shiva.

The reservoir mentioned here is the Chakra Theertham, where the wheel of Bhrama fell. It is also the place where Vishnu flung his discus at the demons. The chakra theertham is hexagonal in shape. There are other sacred tanks such as the Pancha Prayag, the Godavar, Kasi, Gangotri and Gomati.  The Gomukhi river flows here.

Temples: There are temples to Chakranarayana, Ganesh, Ram, Lakshman here. Enroute to the river, there is a shrine to Veda Vyasar. There is also the Puran Mandir. The Mahabharat was recited here, and Naimisaranya is  mentioned freqeuntly in both the Mahabharat and the Ramayana.  The chakratheertha is considered very holy, and a dip here on Somavati Amavasya is considered to be sacred. The chief temple here is that of Lalita Devi. Large crowds collect here on new moon days.

The parikrama fair, begins at Nimkhar and ends at Misraka; crows collect here in the bright half of the month of Phalguna, and visit Korauna, Haraiya, Sakin, Dahi, Gomati and Deogaon and a few other sites and visit Nimkhar and Misrikh. Misrikh houses the Dadichi Kund. Legend has it that sage Dadichi gave up his material body, so that his bones could be used in th preparaption of a missile to destroy demons. The Hatyaharana Thirtham here at Misraka is of great importance; where Rama is believed to have bathed to purify himself of the sin of having killed Ravana.

Tirumangaialwar of the 9th century CE  has sung of Naimisaranyam in chaste 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.

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