On the edges of the Naini Lake, stands the Naina Devi Temple, a famous Hindu pilgrimage site in Nainital. According to the legends, Naina Devi temple came into existence when Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of Sati, and her eyes fell to the ground where the temple currently stands. The town, the lake, and the temple borrow its name Naina (eyes) Devi temple. Finding its ways from Kushan period, popularly known as Nanda or Naina Devi in the Kumaon region, an ancient temple is understood to have been built in 15th century AD, which might have been destroyed by a landslide. Later in 1842, the first Naina Devi idol was installed by Moti Lal Shah. However, in 1880, the temple was completely ruined because of the landslide. Soon, the temple was rebuilt again in 1883 by locals.
Inside the temple, there is a vast courtyard, towards its left is a sacred peepal tree and to the right is the temple where idols of Lord Ganesh and Hanuman are installed. The main entrance of the temple has two lion statues posted outside. Inside the main sanctum, one can do darshan of three deities- Kali Devi on the extreme left, the centre representing two Netras or eyes is Maa Naina Devi and towards the right is the idol of Lord Ganesh.
The temple attracts thousands of travellers and dwellers during the Nanda Ashtami, a grand festival that runs for eight days in the premises of Naina Devi temple. Every year a statue immersion ceremony is celebrated here since 1819-19. Other festivals like Navratri and Chaitra attracts a massive crowd. The reach the temple one can easily walk from the main bus stand of Nainital or can take a rickshaw to Mallital bus stand, followed by a 300 m walk.