Nainital lies at a distance of 34 Kms from Kathgodam, the gateway of Kumaon and the terminus of North Eastern Railway. It is 304 kms from Delhi, the capital of India. Dotted with lakes (Naini Lake, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Khurpatal, Sattal), Nainital has earned the epithet of being the “Lake District of India'. The most prominent of the lakes is Naini lake ringed by hills on all sides. Nainital's unending expanse of scenic beauty is nothing short of a romance with awe-inspiring and pristine beauty. Known for its salubrious climate and scenic beauty, the town is a popular health resort and attracts tourists all round the year
It is believed that Nainital figures in some ancient myths of India. In the Manas Khand of the Skand Puranas, Nainital Lake is called Tri-Rishi-Sarovar, hinting at the story of three sages (or rishis), Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha, who, upon finding no water in Nainital, dug a large hole at the location of the present day lake (sarovar) and filled it with water from the holy lake Manasarovar in Tibet. According to lore, a dip in Naini Lake, "the lesser Manasarovar," earns merit equal to a dip in the great lake. It is also believed that The Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, or religious sites where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. The spot where Sati's eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be called Nain-tal or lake of the eye. The goddess Shakti is worshipped at the Naina Devi Temple on the north shore of the present day lake.
Places of Interest
SAT-TAL There are seven lakes in 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 natures beauty at its best.
BHIM-TAL (1371 MT) About 22 KM from Nainital, nestled in a beautiful pristine valley, this gem of a lake is the largest around Nainital. Its beauty is enhanced by a small Island surrounded by crystal blue water.
NAKUCHIYA-TAL (1218 MT) 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.
KHURPA-TAL At an altitude of (1635 mt) there lies another beautiful spot at a distance of 12 km from Nainital popularly known as Khurpatal. It is considered to be anglers paradise having clear water and a good harvest of fishes.
KAINCHI It is placed at an altitude of (1400 MT) at a distance of 20km from Nainital & liked by both tourists and devotees. It is a modern pilgrimage centre that was established by Neem Karoli Baba, a saint of early sixties of the twentieth century.
KILBURY At about 12km. from Nainital at a height of (2528 MT) is famous for its flora and fauna .One can have a wide panoramic view of the Himalayas along with a view of Tarai and Bhabhar.
"NAINITAL" was founded in the year 1841 by Mr. P. Barron, a European merchant and an enthusiastic hunter from Rosa, near Shahjahanpur. Mr.P.Barron was the first European who took great fancy to this land. Moved by the beauty of the sparkling lake he wrote: "It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles treak in the Himalayas." In due course it became the summer capital of then United Province dotted with lakes, Nainital has earned the epither of 'The Lake District of India' It is very less is known about the history of Nainital. This region was called "Khasdesh" in ancient times and "Khasis" ruled this region before Christ was born.
Nainital is located in the Kumaon hills and the weather is very pleasant throughout the year except during the winter months. The temperature is not very high at any time but in winters it becomes very cold. The climate of Nainital is regulated by the lake here which showers rain almost every afternoon. The best time to visit the place is between April to June and then again in September-October. The months of January to March are marked by snowfall. It is advisable to contact any local person before going to Nainital if you want to watch the snowfall.