At an altitude of 2084 meters above sea level, in a valley containing a pear shaped lake is the beautiful and mesmerizing destination of Nainital. Located in the Kumaon foothills the literal translation of the name of the town is ‘Lake of the eye’.
Surrounded by the three significant mountains Mount Naina, Mount Deopatha and Mount Ayarpatha, this beautiful destination was found by the Britishers in 1841. It was their summer retreat to escape the extreme weather of the plains. They built many schools and colleges in the region which are still operational.
The destination also has mythological significance as it is believed that it is one of the 64 places where parts of Goddess Sati fell when Lord Shiva was carrying her. Temple of Goddess Naina Devi, dedicated to Shakti, a form of Goddess Parvati is an evidence of the religious belief. According to folklore, the current lake of Nainital was formed by the three sages – Atri, Pulatsya and Pulaha with the water of Mansarovar Lake in Tibet. When the three sages visited this place they found no water and thus dug a deep hole and brought the water of Mansarovar lake here. The Nainital Lake is the same lake and a dip in this lake is equivalent to a dip in the holy lake of Mansarovar.
The place enjoys a pleasant weather round the year with the maximum temperature never exceeding 27 degrees even during summers. The best time to visit is December to June. Though winters can be cold, and the also place experiences heavy snowfall during winters.
How to Reach
Nainital is well connected by road to Delhi and all the other surrounding towns in the state. The distance from Delhi is about 276 kms and takes about 8 hours to reach by road. Regular cab and bus service is available to reach the town.
The nearest railway station is in Kathgodam, which is about 35 km away.
Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is the closest airport to Nainital.
While this magnificently beautiful destination has many places to see but the key attraction is the Naini Lake. One can just sit by the lake or take a boat ride and experience the beauty of the surrounding mountains.
Other places of significance are the Naina Devi Temple, Governor’s House, Snow View, Naini Peak also known as China or Cheena Peak or Naina Peak, Tiffin Top also known as Dorothy’s Seat, Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, Gurney House, the former residence, of Jim Corbett and Eco Cave Gardens.
There are many other small lake towns surrounding Nainital that one can visit like Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Khurpatal and Sat Tal. These are also lake towns and immensely popular amongst tourists.
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