Naimisharanya is a Hindu Spiritual and intellectual centre with the temples of the goddess Lalita, Dadhichi Kund, Vyas Gaddi, Chakratirth and Hanuman Garhi. It situated on the banks of the river Gomti. It is believed to have been the meditation centre of about 60 thousands of saints. The name Naimisharanya has originated from the fact that a sage by the name of Gourmukh had within seconds burnt to ashes a demon. The Mahabhrata was composed by Vedavyas in this forest. A dip in the river Gomati at this spot is considered to be very sacred ritual. 9 km away is the Dadhichi Kund in Mishrik. 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 powerful enough to kill Britrasur. It is believed that Hindu pilgrimage is incomplete without a visit to Naimisharanya.
Naimisharanya finds mention in several Puranas. The Vayu Purana states that in the Satya Yuga the sages wanted to perform a huge yagna and requested Brahma to guide them to an appropriate location. Brahma created a huge wheel, which he called Manomaya Chakra. After dedicating the wheel to Shiva he released it and told the sages to follow it. He instructed them to hold their sacrifice at the place the wheel broke. The wheel landed in a forest and as predicted it broke. This forest came to be known as Naimisharanya. Naimi means circumference of a wheel and Aranya means forest; together meaning the forest where the circumference of the wheel broke. When the wheel broke there was a huge fountain of water in the shape of a Shiva Linga and the forest was in danger of being flooded. The sages were in a panic, but the mother goddess Shakti appeared and stopped the flow of water. The Varaha Purana provides an alternative legend. It states that Vishnu once destroyed the entire army of Asuras in a second at this place with his Chakra. Nimish means an instant and Aranya means forest; together meaning the forest where the demons were destroyed in a second.
There is a huge hexagonal pond called the Chakra Kunda or Wheel Pond, which is said to be the place where the Manomaya Chakra landed rupturing the ground. Because of the emergence of Shakti at Naimisharanya, it is a famous Shakti Peeth with a temple dedicated to a manifestation of Shakti known as Linga Dharini Shakti. There is also a Vyasa Peeth associated with Veda Vyasa and Dadheechi Kunda associated with the renowned Sage Dadheechi.
90 km from Lucknow in Sitapur district. It takes 3 to 4 hours to reach there from Lucknow. on Sitapur- Balamou branch line. From Sitapur Cantt one can get to Naimisharanya by train. Bus, autos and taxis are also going there from Lucknow. There are two trains from Sitapur at 13:20 and 17:20 hr for Naimisharanya. It take about l hr to cover 39 km.