The nucleus of Nainital’s exquisite beauty is beautiful lake. In the day, mirrored in its waters stand seven proud hills, dotted with pretty cottages and villas. This reflection alone holds one spell bound. More beautiful than this however is the lake at night when the myriads of bulbs from the hill sides and quite a large number hanging near the lake’s edge stab their magic light into its waters.
The lake offers the holiday makers ample opportunity for yachting, boating or paddling the boat. Boating rates in conventional rowing boats ranges from Rs. 30/- to Rs. 50/- in peak season days from one end of lake to another end. Paddling boats are available on hourly rate from Rs. 50/- to Rs. 90/- depending on type of paddle boat and tourist rush. Rowing as well as paddling boats are available at both ends of lake.
The north end of lake is called Mallital while the southern one is called Tallital which have a bridge (Danth popularly named) having Gandhiji’s statue and post office on its sides. It is the only Post Office on the lake bridge in whole of the world. There is Bus Station, Taxi stand and Railway reservation counter on the same lake bridge, both ends have well laid out shopping centres, with beautifully laid of marts, stores and luxury shops.
The seven peaks that surround the lake provide excellent hiking routs. They are
- Cheena Peak : Tallest of all, at a height of 2,610 metres and 5.5 kilometers away, commands the finest view and, on a clear day, a wide range of the snow-clad Himalayas is visible while from the summit is a bird’s eye view of Naini Tal. There is also a four-room leg cabin and a restaurant.
- Kilbury : Kilbury is second place, at a height of 2,528 metres, Kilbury is a good place for a quiet week-end holiday and picnic. Occasionally wild animals are also seen here.
- Laria Kanta : It is third at an altitude of 2,481 meters, 5.5 kilometers from Nainital with a glorious view of the surrounding suburban lake region.
- Deopatta and Camel’s Back : These both peaks, are at an elevation of 2435 meters while Alma Peak is at an elevation of 2435 meters
- Dorothy’s Seat: The memorial from a sorrowing husband to his wife, Dorothy, killed in an air crash, gave the name to this 2,290 meters peak, 4.5 kilometers from the town. Before the death of Mrs. Kellet, an English lady and the tomb built by her husband, the peak was known as Ayarpatt Hill. It is also known as Tiffin Top and is a memorial to MRs. Dorothy Kellet built by her husnand. It commands an excellent view of the Himalayas as well as the neighbouring countryside. Its is 4.5 km from the town. One can trek or negotiate on horseback.
- Snow View : At the height of 2270 meters, it affords, as the name suggests, a beautiful and breath
At the northern side of the lake there is a place of rendezvous for people from all walks of life. Here evenings are heavily crowded. There is a statue of Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant and a beautiful fountain. There is a band stand. The Flats has playing ground used for sports games and cultural activities during festivals. There is Chat Bazar,Bhotia Market in the flats. In Bhotia Market vendors sell their fancy items. There is Mosque, Gurudwara and Naina Devi temple in flatts. Capitol cinema and Rink theatre which is used for roller skating are also situated in Flatts.A portion of the flatts is used for car parking .New club ,Boat House club ,Masonic Hall are in the periphery of the flatts for recreation.
On one of side of lake run the Mall road now named Govind Ballabh Pant Marg. It is lined up by many hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, shops, banks and other business concerns. In summer months of May & June Mall road is closed for vehicular traffic in evening hours to facilitate Mall strolling which is the famous attraction for all the tourists. This road is the main link joining Mallital and Tallital.
On the other side of the lake lies the Thandi Road. It is comparatively less busy and have Pashan devi temple. Vehicles are not allowed on Thandi Road.
Kilbury is second place, at a height of 2,528 metres, Kilbury is a good place for a quiet week-end holiday and picnic. Occasionally wild animals are also seen here.
This feature is the latest addition in the list of numerous tourism spots in Nainital . It is located in Sukha Tal around one Km from Mallital very near to Kumaun University Campus.
Raj Bhawan (Governor’s house)
Raj Bhavan was built by British as residence of Governor of North West Province. Now Raj Bhavan is the official accommodation of Governor (Uttaranchal).State guests coming to Nainital also use it for their stay. It consists of a marvelous garden, Golf Links, Swimming Pool.Jhandidhar Modi Heights,Munshi heights are the other places in the complex worth seeing .The Governor’s House was built in the line of Buckingham Palace having double storied 113 rooms .For visiting this place prior permission is must.
It is around 3.5 Kms away from the bus stop at an altitude of 1951 Mts. Hanuman Garhi is a religious centre and famous for its sun set view. One can go to Hanuman Garhi by taxi, bus or even on foot from Nainital. It has a temple complex presiding deity being Lord Hanuman besides Ram and Shiva. At the instance of Neem Karoli Baba around 1950 these temples were built. On the other side of the hill there is Shitala Devi temple and Ashram of Lila Sah Bapu.
It is 3 kms from Bhowali. It is famous for the Golu Devta’s temple. From here Bhimtal, Naukuchiyatal, Sattal can be viewed in far distance.The famous Sainik School of India is also situated here.
Picturesque spot, where nature reigns supreme in all her beauty, Sat Tal, or Seven Lakes is 21 kilometers from Nainital. Here are seven small but exquisite lakes; including Pania, Nal-Damayanti, Sita, Ram, Laxman and the Sukha Tal- Lakes in the midst of thick tall, pine oak trees. Here, too, is a tiny wild life sanctuary, Ashram run by Dr. Stanley jones of America. these picturesque lakes are a paradise for migratory birds, a haven for anglers and swimmers, it is a divine joy to bask on the shores of the lakes with their pristine beauty. The Nal- Damyanti Lake is loaded with variety of fishes
Naukuchiya Tal, or the lake of the nine corners, is of an irregular shape, somewhat resembling the case of clubs, elongated at the north-western corner near the temple. On the west it is covered over with weeds and lotus plants to a large extent. It is fed by streams from the neighboring hills but neither springs, outlet nor current, were detected by Dr. Amesbury at his survey in 1871. It is 26 Kms from Nainital and 4 Kms from Bhimtal at 1220 mts above sea level. the length is 945 meters from north to south and the breadth from east to west 690 meters. The greatest depth of 41 meters in the middle near the intersection of the lines of greatest breadth and length, and the least depth two metres close to the northern end. It is within an enchanting valley offering an opportunity of angling and bird watching. There is ample scope for rowing ,paddling or yachting. It is hotter than Bhimtal but very picturesque and pretty, and when the lotus is in flower well worth a visit.
It is about 22 Kms. from Nainital and 11 Kms. from Bhowali at an altitude of 1370 mts. The pride of Bhimtal is a beautiful lake which offers magnificent vistas for tourists. The lake is larger than Naini lake. Tourist enjoys here boating in lake. There is an island amid lake a restaurant is located atop it. Tourist visit here by boats. The distance of island from lake shore is 91 mts. The hills on the western side of the lake are considerably higher than on the east, and are of such formation that it is highly improbable that the lake can ever dry up.
The entire bottom of the lake is comparatively even, and is composed of rock shale and pulverized silicates. Near the swamp end true peat is found which burns fairly when dried. Close to the Lake is an old temple Bhimeshwar temple complex along the 40 feet high dam erected by Bahadur Chand, Raja of Kumaon, in the 17th century.