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Nainital

Commonly known as the “Lake District of India”, Nainital is one of the most beautiful hill stations in North India. Surrounded by mountains on three sides Nainital is located around the beautiful lake Naini Tal. This lake resort is situated at a height of 1,938 meters. There are many legends associated with the place. According to one, Nainital has derived its name from the Goddess Naina while the other legend says that when the Goddess Sati lost her eyes, she was being carried by Lord Shiva and a lake was formed. (‘Naina’ means eyes and ‘Tal’ means lake.) This beautiful small town in surrounded by seven hills, popularly known as ‘Sapta-Shring’ – Ayarpata, Deopata, Handi-Bandi, Naina, Alma, Lariya-Kanta and Sher-Ka-Danda. The majestic mountains and the sparkling waters of the lake add an immense lot to the beauty of the town.
Commonly known as the “Lake District of India”, Nainital is one of the most beautiful hill stations in North India. Surrounded by mountains on three sides Nainital is located around the beautiful lake Naini Tal. This lake resort is situated at a height of 1,938 meters. There are many legends associated with the place. According to one, Nainital has derived its name from the Goddess Naina while the other legend says that when the Goddess Sati lost her eyes, she was being carried by Lord Shiva and a lake was formed. (‘Naina’ means eyes and ‘Tal’ means lake.) This beautiful small town in surrounded by seven hills, popularly known as ‘Sapta-Shring’ – Ayarpata, Deopata, Handi-Bandi, Naina, Alma, Lariya-Kanta and Sher-Ka-Danda. The majestic mountains and the sparkling waters of the lake add an immense lot to the beauty of the town.

Nainital has an advantage of being situated in vicinity of several other lesser known hill stations that are connected through all season motorable roads.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 excellent for short refreshing walks. The older parts of Nainital also retain colonial vestiges, including sprawling bungalows, public schools, churches and the old Christian cemetery.

On reaching the head of the town where the highway from the plains meets the main Mall at Tallital, one gets a dramatic view of the beautiful Naini Lake that seems to be nestled in a remote cocoon. Brightly coloured sails of yachts dot the calm waters of the lake while crowds of holiday makers throng the Mall at its edge. Boating in the lake is just one of the favourite 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.

The second mythological reference to Nainital is as one of 64 ‘Shakti Peeths’. Legend says that Sati, the consort of Shiva consigned herself to the sacrificial fire when her father Daksha insulted her lord. In grief, Shiva danced the tandava with the lifeless body of Sati, until Vishnu cut it into bits scattering it all over the land. It is said that the left eye (Nain) of Sati fell here. Consequently it turned into the patron deity of town Nainital. It is said that the lake is formed in the shape of an eye. Naina Devi temple is located at the northern end of the lake.

According to recent historical records, Nainital was discovered by a British sugar merchant P. Barron in 1839. He was so deeply enthralled by the lake settlement 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 secluded mountain resort, with colonial villas and promenades coming up one after the other. Soon, it became an important administrative town as well, with the summer capital of the erstwhile United Provinces being set up here.

A major landslide in 1880 led to the formation of the flats, the level ground by the lake. Torrential rains resulted in a devastating landslide that destroyed several buildings including the Victoria Hotel at the north end of the lake near Mallital. The area was later levelled out and became a popular meeting ground and sports area. Known as The Flats it is now also used for parking vehicles during the peak tourist season.

Prior to 1839, the valley was covered by thick forests and inhabited by hill tribes. The main attractions of Nainital range from quiet walks in meadows the forests of pine and deciduous trees to adventure sports (rock climbing, yachting etc.) to popular entertainment.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Nainital in the Kumaon hills maintains pleasant weather throughout the year except the winter months. The temperature is mild 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 and October. The months of January to March are marked by snowfall. Equipped with right clothing, this unique hill resort can otherwise be visited any time of the year.

  City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Nainital
Famous for/as: Hill Station
Languages: Kumaoni, Hindi, Garhwali Best
Season: Mar – Jun
Weather: Summer 15 to 30°C,
Winter: 0 to 24°C
Altitude: 2084 m
Pincode: 263001,263002
STD code: 05942

Naini Lake

In a mythological account, this picturesque lake is said to be one of the emerald green eyes of Shiva's beloved consort, Sati (nain is a Sanskrit word for eye). When Sati's father failed to invite Shiva to a family sacrifice, she burnt herself to death in protest. Shiva gathered the charred remains in his arms and proceeded to engage in a cosmic dance tandav, which threatened to destroy the creation. To bring the dance to an end, Vishnu chopped up the body into pieces, and the remains were scattered. The Naina Devi Temple at the northern end of the lake is built over the precise spot where the eye is believed to have fallen.

Snow View

From the Nainital town the Snow View top is a 3 kilometer trek. Part of it can also be covered comfortably by cars and small vehicles. At the top, one can have a close up view of Nanda Devi (7816m), the second highest Himalayan peak of the country.There's a small temple dedicated to Dev Mundi, housing images of Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva, Goddess Sita, Lord Rama, Sri Lakshmana and Sri Hanuman. From Snow View one can walk west to another point and then continue on to the main road to Kilbury. One can also continue up to Cheena Peak or head down the road to Sukhatal, passing great views of the lake en route. On the walk up to Snow View one can take a peek in the tiny Gadhan Kunkyop Ling Gompa of the Gelukpa order (of which the Dalai Lama is the spiritual head).

Naina Peak

Naina Peak is locally known as the Cheena peak. This is the highest point in Nainital. From here Nainital appears like a majestic shining bowl. You can walk or take ponies to reach the peak. Naina peak also gives a good vie

Naina Devi Temple

At the upper end of the attractive Nainital lake, a temple of Naina Devi is located. Dedicated to the patronizing goddess of the town, Naina Devi, this temple and its complex becomes the location of the famous Nanda Devi Mela, held every year on Nandashtami during September.

Hanuman Garhi

The place is of great religious importance. Situated at a height of 1951 meters, this place was established by Baba Neem Karauli. A very beautiful Hanuman temple is at the top. Watching the Sunset from Hanuman Garhi, is an out-of-the-world experience. You can leisurely walk down to Hanuman Garhi from Nainital town.

Observatory

The clearly visible skies over Nainital encouraged the government to set up an observatory here. The observatory has one of the most advanced telescopes in India. This telescope measures the movement of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies to great precision. The entry in the observatory is by permission only and timings are fixed.

Rajbhawan

Raj Bhawan, also called as Governor House is a British era building, now serves as the residence of Governor of Uttarakhand. The foundation stone of Nainital Raj Bhawan was laid on 27th April 1897 and the construction took two years to complete. It is built on European pattern and based on Gothic Architecture. Known for its magnificent looks and old age charming architecture, Raj Bhawan in Nainital previously served as summer residence of British Governors. Governor House or Raj Bhawan is located in splendid landscape and spreads across vast area.
Entry Fee: Rs. 50.00
Timings: 11:00 A.M. to 03:00 P.M.

Rajbhawan Golf Course

Abutting the Raj Bhawan is 160 acres of forest land which has a number of faunal species, besides large number of floral varieties. The Raj Bhawan (Nainital) also has a Golf Course spread over 45 acres. The Golf Course, built in 1936, is one of the vintage golf courses in India, and is affiliated to the Indian Golf Union (IGU). Tourists can enjoy a game of golf after paying a small green fee.
Rajbhawan Golf Course was developed in the year 1926, during 'RAJ' days as a part of the 220 acre Raj Bhawan estate also known as Governor House. This course was the exclusive preserve of the erstwhile United Province and subsequently Uttar Pradesh. In the year 1994, the course was opened to the public.
The course itself is a connoisseur's delight. It is a short par 61 course with the regulation 18 holes and 18 Tees covering a distance of about 3.2 kms.

High Altitude Zoo

Nainital has a small but a very beautiful Zoological garden. There are several animals including Deer, Bears, Tigers and many more. Special efforts have been put in to make the environment of the zoo hygienic and clean. Not surprisingly this zoo is one of the cleanest zoos in the country. The zoo can be reached on foot or by small vehicles.

St. John's Church

This church was built in 1847. A brass memorial is kept in memory of the people who were buried in the infamous landslide in the 19th century. The few bodies which could be dug out were buried in the church premises.

BEYOND NAINITAL
Khurpatal

The emerald blue-green lake of Khurpatal is cradled in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. It is encircled by the lofty pine and old cedar trees offering a gorgeous vista of the mountains.
Khurpatal, being tucked away at an astonishing height of 1,635 metres above sea level, this beautiful piece of nature is just 12 km away from Nainital and can be easily approachable.

Sariyatal

At a distance of 5 km from Nainital, Sariyatal is a small but beautiful lake located on Kaladungi Road in Nainital district.

Sariyatal is among the numerous lakes of Kumaon range and is fed by a beautiful stream surrounded by lush green picturesque landscape. The water of the stream is very cold. This deep emerald lake is also referred as Sarita Tal.

Apart from the beautiful lake, Sariyatal is also famous for Himalayan Botanical Garden which is run by Forest Department. The Botanical Garden, spread over an area of 30 hectares, is a prominent center of study. It has a collection of several rare and endangered native plant species. This garden also has some major attractions which include an orchidarium, herbarium, Thunia Alba orchid, geodesic dome, waterfalls, etc.

Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM.

Sat Tal

At a distance of about 23 km from Nainital and at an altitude of 1370 meters, Sat Tal is a unique, unforgettable spot having cluster of lakes snuggled amidst thick forests. Western travelers have often compared it to Westmoreland of England. As one approaches Sat Tal, the first lake one comes across is the old Nal-Damyanti Lake. On moving further, there is the ashram set up by Stanley Johns, an American Missionary. Next lake is called Panna or Garuda. As we move down, there is a cluster of three lakes. These lakes are named after Ram, Laxman and Sita.

Pangot

Pangot is a small picturesque hamlet famous for its jungles and birds, located just 15 kms from Nainital. Walking into Pangot is like stepping into a remote Himalayan village. It is a birdwatchers paradise and have more than 530 species of birds in and around.

Brahmsthali

It is a small temple located on the highest peak of same name (9091 ft) of Nainital district. The trek to the temple is about 1.5 kms.

Kilbury

Kilbury is 12 km away from Nainital town. Located amidst green forests this tranquil place provides a break from the city. Kilbury gives a breathtaking view of the Himalayas. The forest department has an old guest house here. Kilbury takes one into the laps of nature from the hustle bustle of the town, in no time at all.

Kainchi Dham

On the Nainital - Almora Road, 9 km from Bhowali and 17 km from Nainital is a modern pilgrim centre. This place has achieved recognition owing to the ashram of the famous Neem Karauli Maharaj.

Bhimtal

22 km from Nainital and 11 km from Bhowali at an altitude of 1370 m, Bhimtal takes pride in its beautiful lake, that offers magnificent vistas for visitors.

Mukteshwar

51 km from Nainital, this exciting place is at an altitude of 2286 m. Surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forests, it was developed by the British as an important Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in 1893. It is the celebrated scenic spot overlooking long ranges of the Himalayas. An old temple of Lord Shiva exists on the top of a rock.

Naukuchiatal

Situated at a distance of just 3 km from Bhimtal the deep crystal clear lake called Naukuchiyatal with its nine corners is a captivating sight. This beautiful lake is 983 m long, 693 m broad and 40.3 m deep. It is located within the confines of an enchanting valley, offering an opportunity of angling and bird watching. There is ample scope for rowing, paddling or yachting.

Ghorakhal

Famous for the temple of Lord Golu (the most famous and revered local deity of Kumaon) and the well-pedigreed Army School, Ghorakhal is at a distance of 3 km from Bhowali.

Ghorakhal Tea Garden

Ghorakhal tea garden is located 1800 m above the sea level near the famous Golu Devta Temple at Ghorakhal. The tea factory here was established in 2007-08. It has its plantations scattered over an area of 14 hectares, which are best known to produce some of the richest qualities of tea. Ghorakhal Tea Garden production capacity is 11,000 Kilogram per year.

Details:
Entry Fees : Rs. 20/-, Visiting Hours : 09:00 am to 18:00 pm
Nearest Town : Bhowali (2 km), Nearest Railhead : Kathgodam (26 km)
Nearest Airport : Pantnagar (52 km)

Contact Details:
Ghorakhal Tea Factory, Shyamkhet, Bhowali,District: Nainital, Tele-Fax : 05942-220110
Email : mangr.gkltea@rediffmail.com

Bhalu Gaad fall

The Bhalu Gaad fall is a 60 feet high fall from the undiscovered source. It is a mixture of horseshoe and plunge shaped waterfall.

How to reach Bhalu Gaad Waterfall:
The Bhalu Gaad waterfall lies 11.2 kilometers (10 kms by road + 1.2 kms hike) from Mukteshwar town towards Dhari road.

Garjiya Devi Temple


Garjiya Devi Temple is a noted Devi temple located in the Garjiya villag near Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India, on the outskirts of the Corbett National Park. It is a sacred Shakti shrine where Garjiya Devi is the presiding deity. The temple is situated over a large rock in the Kosi River and is one of the most famous temples of the Nainital district, visited by thousands of devotees during Kartik Poornima.

Vairatapattana


Remains of ancient Vairatpattana, the capital of the old kingdom of Govisana are spread in deep reserve forest of Jim Corbett National Park in Dhikuli. In the seventh century, the place was visited by Hieun Tsang. The remains of this ancient town are not easily accessible due to thick forest. But explorations in the past revealed the remains of a few platforms made of stone, and fine specimens of pillar capitals, medallions, lions and fragments of decorated pillars near the modern temple on the hill slope. Since the site is located at the entrance of the Central Himalayan hills, this place might have served as transit centre of trade in the past hence the place is called Pattan.

Jasuli Shukyani Inn

This inn is located at village Kheenapani on Almora- Haldwani highway (NH 109). It was built in 19th century by Jasuli Shaukyani, a wealthy lady from Dantu village in Pithoragah district. Long before hotels and lodges were commonplace in Uttarakhand, Shukyani was instrumental in providing boarding facilities for pilgrims, traders and travelers who couldn’t find a roof over their heads at night.

Sitabani Temple

Sitabani Temple is situated in the Sitavani Jungles of the Jim Corbett National Park. It is an ancient temple, famous for its religious significance and temple architecture. The presiding deity is Goddess Sita, who lived in the region during her exile before facing the Agnipariksha. The site of the temple is said to be the hermitage of the Maharishi Balmiki. Number of amlaka stones, one headless dancing Ganesha sculpture, doorjamb, decorated columns carved slabs scattered near the present temple prove the antiquity of the site. However the existing temple at the site is of very late period.

By Flight

The nearest Airport is Pant Nagar, at a distance of 65 km

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By Train

Kathgodam is the nearest railhead.

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By Road

Nainital is well connected via roads.

View Bus Schedule / Book Online / View Bus Route Map

Month

Climate

Details

Jan
Very Cold,Foggy
The weather is very cold and heavy woolens are a must. Best time for honeymoon and ideal for enjoying snow.Since this is an off-season, the rates for tour packages as well as hotels are comparatively lower than peak tourist months.
Feb
Very Cold
The weather is still cold and is ideal for sightseeing and enjoying adventures. Woolens are a must as the days are cold and nights can get very chilly. Tourists start to visit as official tourist season begins from this month. Snowfall will continue till the mid of this month.
Mar
Moderately Hot
The heat begins to warm the ambiance making the weather cool during the day and chilly during the night. This is the best time for all kinds of adventure activities. There will be no snowfall, but snow can be found on high altitudes.
Apr
Pleasant
The weather is pleasant and tourists come here to spend a few days away from the scorching heat that grips North India. The skies remain clear with cool breeze. Temperatures start to pick up towards the comfortably hot high season level. Forsnow, tourists need to go to higher altitudes.
May
Moderately Hot
The weather is moderate and tourists can enjoy the best of sightseeing. Adventure like trekking and boating too can be enjoyed. Sun shines through but the cool breezes are successful in maintaining the temperatures within bearable range. Tourists wanting to enjoy snow should to go higher altitudes which can be reached only via trekking.
Jun
Moderately Hot
The end of this month sees the advent of the monsoon season. The days are warm but nights are pleasant and is ideal for holidaying and indulging in adventure options. It will rarely rain and sunshine is guaranteed.
Jul
Moderately Hot
Rainfall is occasional, bringing the temperature down, however, unexpected rainfall can cause hindrance in travelling.
Aug
Moderately Hot
The sky remains covered with monsoon cloud. Pleasant days and cool nights with regular rainfalls are common. Natural greenery is at its best but indulging in adventure can be a challenge.
Sep
Pleasant
The best time to visit Nainital for sightseeing, adventure as well as leisure as the rainfall starts to diminish and will completely stop by the end of this month. Tourists interested in snow should go to much higher altitudes. Good time for enjoying boating at the lake.
Oct
Pleasant
The weather is pleasant during the day and cool during the night, perfect time for holidaying and adventures. This is one of the most popular tourist seasons and remains very crowded. This month is the major crowd puller and the prices for holiday packages as well as hotels are very high. So, make sure you book in advance. Winters will start from the end of this month.
Nov
Moderately Cold
Winter begins to descend, making the days cooler and night chillier. Perfect for trekking and other adventures and sightseeing. This is an ideal time for tourism as nature is at its best. Snow will start to accumulate on a slightly higher altitude.
Dec
Very Cold
Very cold and snow can be enjoyed from the end of this month. Woolens clothing is a must. If you are travelling with kids or old people, many precautionary measures needs to be adhered to. A popular month for enjoying honeymoon trip.

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