Naina Devi Temple
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
As of the 2001 India census, Naina Devi had a population of 1161. Males constitute 63% of the population and females 37%. Naina Devi has an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 75%. In Naina Devi, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The Temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji is situated on a hilltop in the Bilaspur Distt. of Himachal Pradesh in India.It was built by a Gurjar Shepherd. The temple is connected with National Highway No. 21. The temple at the top of the hill can be reached via road (that curves round the hill up to a certain point) and then by concrete steps (that finally reach the top). There is also a cable car facility that moves pilgrims from the base of the hill all the way to the top.
The 2008 stampede
Sunday, August 3, 2008, proved to be catastrophic day for this temple as at least 123 people died (many of them women and children). There are conflicting reports about the cause of these deaths. One report states that they were due to people falling down the cliff after the guard railing broke. Another report claims that they were due to rumors of a fight at the temple causing panic. And another states it was due to police who hit the fleeing worshippers with canes to get them to continue moving.
This happened in the holy month of Sawan, and the Temple's being a Shakti Peeth (place of strength) meant that there were as many as 3000 devotees present. According to the Times Online, 50,000 people were expected to attend Naina Devi during the day of the stampede, as part of a nine-day festival which had just started.
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "'Scores killed' in India stampede". BBC News Online. 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
- "'India temple stampede'". CNN. Retrieved 2008-08-03.[dead link]
- Page, Jeremy (2008-08-04). "More than 100 die in Indian temple stampede". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
- Sahib, Anandpur. "Stampede at Naina Devi Mandir, 125 feared killed". Himvani. Retrieved 2008-08-03.[dead link]
- Naina Devi travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Naina Devi website
- Online Pictorial Tour of Maa Naina Devi Dham