Nanital also is known as the “Lake District of India” is one of the most gorgeous hill stations in North India. Surrounded by hills on three sides Nainital is located around the lovely lake Naini Tal. There are several legends connected with the place. According to one, Nainital has received its name from the Goddess Nairena while the other story says that when the Goddess Sati lost her eyes, she was being carried by Lord Shiva and a lake was created. This lovely small town is surrounded by seven hills, commonly known as ‘Sapta-Sharing’ – Ayarpata, Deopata, Handi-Bandi, Naina, Alma, Lariya-Kanta and Sher-Ka-Danda. The grand mountains and the sparkling waters of the lake add an enormous lot to the beauty of the town.
Commonly known as the “Lake District of India“, Nainital is one of the most attractive hill sites in North India. Enclosed by mountains on three sides Nainital is located around the beautiful lake Naini Tal. This lake resort is located at a height of 1,938 meters.
Nainital has the benefit of being located in the vicinity of several different lesser-known hill stations that are connected through all season motorable streets. Vantage points around Nainital offer a panoramic view of Himalayan peaks on one side and the plains spread out on the other. Narrow wooded lanes through forests of oak, pine and deodar are great for short refreshing walks. The older parts of Nainital also preserve colonial vestiges, including sprawling bungalows, public schools, churches and the old Christian cemetery.
On entering the head of the town where the highway from the plains meets the central Mall at Tallital, one gets an interesting view of the beautiful Naini Lake that seems to be nestled in a remote cocoon. Brilliantly coloured sails of yachts dot the calm waters of the lake while crowds of holidaymakers throng the Mall at its edge. Canoeing in the lake is just one of the popular activities of the tourists. Others come here for trekking in the densely forested mountains that surround the town.
Deep Into History
Nainital is referred 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 pilgrimage and penitence. Finding no water to quench their thirst dug a hole and siphoned water into it from the sacred Mansarovar lake in Tibet.
According to recent historical records, Nainital was discovered by a British sugar merchant P. Barron in 1839. He was so genuinely fascinated by the lake town and its forested surrounding that he came back with a sailing boat and built a house named ‘Pilgrim’s Cottage’. Thus started the process of settlement in this once isolated mountain resort, with colonial villas and promenades coming up one after the other. Soon, it grew an important administrative town as well, with the summer capital of the erstwhile United Provinces being set up here.
Best Time to Visit
Nainital in the Kumaon hills maintains pleasing weather throughout the year except for the winter months. The temperature is mild at any time but in wintertimes, it becomes very cold. The weather of Nainital is regulated by the lake here which showers rain almost every midday. The best time to visit the place is between April to June and then again in September and October. The months of January to March are marked by snowfall. Equipped with the right clothing, this unique hill resort can otherwise be visited any time of the year.