Nainital is referred to in the ?Manas Khand' of the ?Skanda Purana' as the Tri-Rishi-Sarovar, the lake of the three sages , Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha, who were reputed to have arrived here on a penitential piligrimage and finding no water to quench their thirst dug a hole and siphoned water into it from Mansarovar lake in Tibet.
The Second important mythological reference to Nainital is as one of 64 ?Shakti Peeths'.These centres were created wherever parts of charred body of Sati fell, when Lord Shiva was carrying around her corpse in grief. It is said that the left eye (Nain) of Sati fell here and this gave rise to patron deity of town Nainital. It is said that the lake is formed in the emerald eye shape . Naina Devi temple is located at the northern end of the lake. Thus name of Nainital derivated from Naina and the Tal (Lake).
Nationalised banks which have foreign exchange conversion facilities are - State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Allahbad bank. Nainital is famous for its candles, woolens, woodcrafts and handicrafts. Main Markets are Mallital Bazar, Nallital Bazar, Tibetan Market and a the markets near Naina Devi Temple.
Surrounded by the hills and dense pine forests, Nainital has a moderate climate even in summers. The temperature rarely goes beyond 25°C in the day, while in winter it gets very chilly. Often mist, dark clouds and rains obscure a bright sunny day. During the monsoons, between July and September, Nainital experiences heavy monsoon showers, with temperatures dropping abruptly.
Bhowali: It is 1706 meters above the sea level and 11 KMs. away from Nainital.This is a road junction serving all the nearby hill stations from Nainital. Bhowali is famous for its scenic grandeur and as a hill fruit mart , Bhowali is also known for its T.B. sanatorium established in 1912.
Sat Tal: At a distance of about 23 Kms. from Nainital at an altitude of 1370 mts. Sattal is a unique, unforgettable spot having cluster of lakes placed amidst the oak forest. It is comparable with Westmoreland of England. As one approach toward Sattal first lake is old Nal Damyanti Lake. On moving ahead there is the ashram of Stanley Johns an American Missionary. Next lake is Panna or Garude lake.As we move down there is a cluster of three lakes , these lakes are Ram,Laxman and Sita lake.
Bhimtal: It is about 22 Kms. from Nainital and 11 Kms. from Bhowali at an altitude of 1370 mts. The pride of Bhimtal is a beautiful lake which offers magnificent vistas for tourists. The lake is larger than Naini lake. Tourist enjoys here boating in lake. There is an island amid lake a restaurant is located atop it. Tourist visit here by boats. The distance of island from lake shore is 91 mts.There is a 17th century Bhimeshwar temple complex along the 40 feet high dam . The local bus stand and taxi stand is situated near it. One road from Bhimtal leaves for Naukuchiatal while the another one goes to Kathgodam 21 Kms from here.
Photo of Nainital
Naini Peak, Nainital
Naukuchiya Tal: It is 26 Kms from Nainital and 4 Kms from Bhimtal at 1220 mts above sea level.A pretty deep clean lake with its nine corner is a captivating site.Length of lake is 983 mts. ,breadth is 693 mts & depth 40.3 mts.It is within an enchanting valley offering an opportunity of angling and bird watching.There is ample scope for rowing ,paddling or yachting.
Kainchi Dham: On the Nainital - Almora Road , 9 Km from Bhowali and 17 Kms from Nainital is a modern pilgrim centre. This place has achieved recognition owing to the ashram of the famous Neem Karoli Maharaj. Kaichi is a term used for two sharp hairpin bends of the motor road in local dialect hence the name. It has no relation with scissors. Mukteshwar: Mukteshwar this beautiful place is 2286 mts in altitude and 51 Kms. from Nainital. Surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forest it was developed by the Britishers as research and education institute (IVRI) in 1893. It is the celebrated scenic spot overlooking long ranges of Himalaya.An old temple of Lord Shiva exist on the top of a rock.
Ranikhet: A hill station, idyllic in its charm, Ranikhet with its majestic pine trees, is 60 Kms. from Nainital. According to popular belief this spot had won the heart of Rani Padmini, queen of Raja Sudhardev . She chose this scenic place to her abode & since then, it has come to be known as Ranikhet, literally "Queen's Field" . At an altitude of 1829 mts. above sea level, this hill station is undoubtedly a tourist's paradise. The scented mountain breeze, fresh & pure, the singing of birds, the panoramic view of the Himalayas, the sights, sounds and smells leave the onlooker spellbound. Weaving an instant spell on the visitor Ranikhet draws visitors all the year round.
Kausani: Nestling among thick dense pine forests, atop a narrow ridge and separated from the towering mountains of the Nanda Devi range by low, medium mountains ; at Kausani the grandeor of the Himalayan scenery comes alive. The view of the snow covered Trishul & Nanda Devi is so clear that one gets a feeling of the snown being within touching distance. Its ethereal sunrise & a 300 kms. wide view of the Himalayan range have attracted thousands of visitors to this place time & again. Eulogised by poets & philosophers, this scenic & beautiful spot offers so much all the year round, sightseeing, history, pilgrimage and complete relaxation .
Attractions and Places to Visit in Nainital
Tallital and Mallital: The lake in the middle of the city is the main attraction of Nainital. The lake at south end is called Tallital and at north end is called Mallital. The city of Nainital is developed around this lake. The lake offers yatching and cool boat rides in its waters. A unique feature of the lake is that it hosts the only Post Office on a lake bridge in whole world. An evening walk on the road, on the banks of the lake, gives an unforgettable experience.
Sattal: Literally meaning seven lakes is a group of small lakes nested together, about 23 kms from Nainital at an altitude of (1370 MT) still untouched by modernisation, one can see the natural beauty at its best.
Naini Peak: Five kilometres from the lake lies the Naina Peak. It is the highest peak bordering the lake. A popular picnic spot, the peak offers a panoramic view of the resort and a stunning view of the Himalayas including Nanda Devi and the mountains on the Tibetan border.
Hanuman Garhi: Three kilometres south of Tallital lies Hanuman Garhi, where there is a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The place is also a good spot for viewing the sunset.
Naukuchiatal: About 4 kms from Bhim Tal lies the mystique lake with 9 corners. Surrounded by dense forested hills on all sides it provides solace from the maddening rush of the plains.
How to Reach Nainital
Air: The nearest airport to Nainital is Pantnagar, abut 70 Km away. Pantnagar is conected with Delhi and Lucknow airports by regular flights.
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Kathgodam (35 km) which is connected by trains from Delhi, Howrah, Mumbai, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. The narrow gauge trains come from Lalkuan which is 55 kms from Nainital.
Road: Nainital is connected to the cities of Uttaranchal by the extensive roadways network. The city is connected to NH 87. Regular buses run from Delhi, Agra, Dehradun, Haridwar, Lucknow, Kanpur & Bareilly. Besides, luxury coaches are available from Delhi for Nainital. Distances of some major cities from Nainital are Almora- 64 Km, Kathgodam- 34 Km, Bareilly- 140 Km, Lucknow- 400 Km, Agra- 403 Km, Delhi- 310 Km, Dehradun- 300 Km and Haridwar- 245 Km.