|Type||Dravida and Nagara(mix)|
Shri Naimishnath Vishnu Temple, also known as the Naimishnath Devaraja temple or Naimishnarayan Temple or ramanujar kot Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu and lakshmi located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in naimisharanya town in sitapur district. It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham by the 12 poet saints called the Alvars. The temple is believed to be of significant antiquity with contributions at different times from the ruling kings. The temple is counted as one of the eight temples of Vishnu that self-manifested and is classified as Swayamvyaktha Kshetra. The holy teerths Chankra Kunda and gomati river are associated with the temple and it is a pilgrimage centre where people take a holy dip during festive occasions.
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Indra, the king of the devas, was once driven out of Devaloka by an asura named Vritra. Vritra was granted the boon that he could not be killed by any weapon that was known till the time of the boon; additionally that no weapon made of wood or metal could harm him. On the advice of the god Brahma, Indra performed penance to the god Vishnu at the Naimish forest for 2000 years. Pleased, Vishnu appeared before Indra and revealed that only the weapon made from the bones of the sage Dadhichi would defeat Vritra. Indra requested the sage for his bones; the sage aceded the request and sacrificed his life. Indra created the vajra (thunderbolt) from the sage's spine and slew Vritra.
Location and Architecture
Naimisaranya is located at the junction of the roads from Sitapur and Khairabad, 32 km from Sitapur and 42 km from the Sandila railway station, 45 miles north of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. Naimisaranya is also known as Nimsar or Nimkhar and is located on the left bank of the river Gomati.
The Vishnu Temple has south indian architecture from outside with one small gopuram and from inside it has north indian architecture. It has a gold coloured garud stambh facing lord vishnu garb griha with garud murti engraved in it. It has small sabha mandap connected with garb griha. There are three garb grihas dedicated to vishnu,lakshmi and ramanujacharya. All the three garb grihas are aligned adjacently.
The mool garb griha of vishnu has one up-garb griha which opens into main(mool) garb griha, here lord vishnu murti is black in colour , probably made of black stone, he is in standing posture facing garud stambh,it is the main achal vigrah and there is a chal vigrah of vishnu beside achal vigrah which is also present in standing posture with the chal vigrah's of sridevi(lakshmi) and bhudevi standing beside him.All the chal vigrahs are brown in colour , probably made of copper. Lord vishnu murti is always covered in silver ornaments.
In lakshmi shrine, there is a small murti of shri mahalaxmi(pundarika valli) also known as naimish-lakshmi ji which is also brown in colour,probably made of browm stone which is also an achal vigrah. There are two other devi's white coloured murti's standing beside in left and right side of shrimahalaxmi murti. Shri mahalaxmi vigrah is always covered in red clothes and silver ornaments. The laxmi shrine is located in left side of vishnu shrine. There is also a shrine of ramanujacharya in right side of vishnu shrine. All the shrines have steel gates. The Temple is nearer to Hanuman garhi Temple.
This place has also been visited by Sankaracharya and the famous poet, Surdas resided here. Sage Suta (or Maharshi Suta), the author of 18 puranas is believed to have lived here and presented his sayings to the sages. The central deity is believed to have presided over the forest and hence the puja (rituals) are done to the forest.
The temple is counted as one of the eight temples of Vishnu that self-manifested and is classified as Swayamvyakta Kshetra. (Seven other temples in the line are Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple, Bhu Varaha Swamy temple, Tirumala Venkateshvara Temple, and Vanamamalai Perumal Temple in South India and Saligrama(muktinath Temple), Pushkar(varah temple) and Badrinath Temple in North India). Naimishnath vishnu temple is revered in Naalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Thirumangai Alvar in ten hymns. The temple is classified as a Divya Desam, the 108 Vishnu temples that are revered in the Vaishnava canon.It is one of the 5 major vashnavite temple located in the state of uttar pradesh along with Ram janmbhoomi Temple(ayodhya),Krishna Janmbhoomi Temple(mathura),Kamtanath Temple(chitrakoot) and Beni Madhav Temple(prayagraj).
Every new moon day, a large number of people purify themselves with a dip in the holy well. If the new moon falls on a Monday, it is believed that a holy bath in the well and offering to the nearby deity Lalita will wash away all the sins committed in their lifetime.
Naimisharanya Chakra Tirth is an anomaly as it is a river which flows in a circular motion, the water originates from an underground source and is mentioned in many of the Vedas.
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