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Naimisharanya or Naimish is an ancient place of pilgrimage and of Sanskrit learning which has attracted sages, scholars and laymen from  times immemorial. According to some scholars, it is mentioned in the 'Rigveda', the most ancient literary monument of the Indo-European languages. In the Puranas, it is considered as one of the principal places of pilgrimage along with Prayag, Pushkar, Kedar, Setubandh and Gokaran and also it is mentioned in 'Skand Puran' and above all in the 'Shrimad Bhagwat Puran’. According to the  latter’s preamble, it was recited to an assembly of 88,000 sages led by the sage Shaunak at ‘Naimishe-animish-kshetre’ meaning Naimish, the abode of Lord Vishnu called by his name Animish. It is mentioned in Valmiki’s Ramayana and also in later literary and religious literature such as the epic ‘Raghuvansham’ of the renowned ancient Sanskrit poet Kalidas and in the popular Ram Charit Manas considered to be the Bible of North India composed by the medieval Hindu saint-poet "Tulsidas".
Naimisharanya is a Hindu Spiritual and intellectual centre with the famous temples of the Goddess Lalita Devi, Hanuman Garhi and holy places like Chakrateerath, Dadhichi Kund, Vyas Gaddi, Soot Gaddi on the banks of the river Gomti. It is believed to have been the meditation centre of about 88 thousands of saints. The Mahabhrata was composed by Ved Vyas in this forest. A dip in the river Gomti at this spot is considered to be very sacred ritual. 9 km away is the Dadhichi Kund in Mishrit. The story goes that, on the request of Lord Indra, the Rishi Dadhichi after having bathed in the waters of this well had sacrificed the mortal remains of his body and presented the bones to Indra so that he could create a thunder stroke (Vajra) powerful enough to kill Britrasur.
The temples are fascinating not only as artistic expressions of the past but also as living religious institutions.
WEB MASTER - J.S.Computers Infosys, Lucknow.