Nainital the beautiful lake resort nestles amidst seven hills in a lush valley at an altitude of 1938 meters. In 1841, the British first discovered Nainital as a holiday resort. Today, the town has emerged as one of the most important hill resorts of India
Nainital is a modem hill resort of northern India (336 kms from Delhi) connected by best-aligned and maintained roads from the railhead of Kathgodam. Railway line was laid up to Kathgodam in 1882. The road passes through forests where occasionally wild animals can also be seen. "Naini" is derived from the temple of goddess Naini which was built on the bank of the lake but later got destroyed due to land slides in the year 1880, The place is mentioned in Skand Puran as 'Trishul Sarover'. Tri Rishi (three sages Atri, Pulastiya and Pulha) had come there for pilgrimage while they were at Gagar range (now called China Peak), they felt thirsty and could not find any water. Thereafter, they thought of Man Sarover and dug a hole which at once got filled with water.
The lake then formed was called Tri-Rishi Tal (The lake of three sages). Today it has an impressive lake surrounded by the hills from three sides with highest peak Cheena (2610 m) and the valley in between running from east to west. The lake is a little more than 3 kms in circumference.
Nainital remains packed from April to November with tourist for sight seeing as well as for seeking escape from the heat of the plains. Naini lake has facilities for boating and yatching. Facilities for horse riding, skating, golf and rock climbing are also available for the visitors. Fishing is also permitted with the permission of local authorities. Talli Tal and Malli Tal are the two main trading centre at Nainital
How to Reach
Air: Nearest airport is at Pantnagar (71 kms), connected by air service with New Delhi.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Kathgodam (35 kms).
Road: Nainital is well connected with all major cities in northern India.
What to See Around
Hanumangarhi : (1, 951 m) 3 km. A popular place for worship in the temple of lord Hanuman and its Sun-set view.
Khurpatal: (1,635 m) 5 to 10 kms. This is an angler’s paradise on Nainital-Kaladhungi-Ramnagar Road. It is here that the conifers belt merges and gives way to the Sal trees. Fishing permits are available from Deputy Commissioner, Nainital.
Kilbury: (2,194 m) 10 kms. A wooded spot, ideal for a quiet and peaceful holidays, which is connected by road.
Lariakanta : (2, 481 m) 6 kms. This is the second highest peak of Nainital and commands a glorious view of the lake region.
Land's End: (2,1l8 m) 4.08 kms. One can have magnificent view of Khurpatal and the terraced fields on the hill side.
Naini Peak: (2,611 m) (Cheena Peak) 6 kms. Most favored picnic spot of the town. One can view the distant plains and snow clad Himalayas from the peak. A bird's eye view of the lake is also obtainable from here. One can either trek or go on a horse back up to Naina Peak.
Naini Lake: The boat club overlooking the lake offers sailing facilities and also boating. Fishing is allowed with the permission of Executive Officer, Municipal Board, Nainital.
Snow-View: (2270 m). 3 km. This is the nearest easily accessible peak on Sher-ka-Danda hill connected by Ropeway. A powerful telescope is fixed here which enables one to view the Himalayan ranges.
Nainital Ropeway: Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam has since installed the most sophisticated ropeway at Nainital which is the first of its kind in India. The ropeway covers a distance of 705 meters with an altitude gain of 300 meters. Carrying a maximum load of 825 kgs or 12 persons in each of its two cars, the ropeway travels at a maximum speed of 6 mts/ sec.
Bhimtal: (1,371 m) 22 kms away from Nainital. Bhimtal is named after Bhim, one of the five Pandavas of 'Mahabharata'. The lake at Bhim Tal is larger than Naini lake at Nainital. Boating, swimming and fishing are the main attractions. An island in the centre of the lake is an excellent spot for picnic. Fishing permits can be obtained from the fishing Inspector of Bhim Tal. Tourist Bungalow and private lodges are available here.
Naukuchia Tal: (1,219 m) 27 kms. This is a lake known for its nine comers. Area around the lake is an ideal place for bird watching. Fishing permits can be obtained from Fishing Inspector of Bhimtal.
Sat Tal: (1371 m) 21 kms. away from Nainital. This is a charming spot and the venue of the famous Kohinoor Camp in summer. There is an Ashram run by Dr. E. Stanley Jones of United States Missionaries, where religious, educational and social youth camps are held every year. Nearby, there are several small lakes, numbering seven, from where the name Sat Tal is derived. The lakes include Panna, Nal Damyanti and Sita. Sukha Tal: is located in the middle of thick pine and oak trees. There are excellent facilities for swimming, boating and fishing. A small World Life sanctuary is another spot of tourist attraction.