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  • Nainital
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  • Ranikhet
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  • Almora
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  • Kausani
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  • Bhimtal

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Nainital

About Nainital, jimcorbettnationalparkonline.com

The hill station of Nainital, situated in the foothills of Kumaon, is known to enjoy nature's splurge to the fullest. People flock to this beautiful town of Uttarakhand, just to enjoy its gripping weather and splendid natural beauty. Apart from natural splendor, the places to see in Nainital include a host of other attractions as well. The hill resort is covered with lofty mountains and is dotted with lakes, where one can indulge in trekking and water sports, respectively. Boating in the numerous lakes of Nainital is quite a common activity, in which the tourists indulge. To know about the other places of interest in Nainital, use the information provided below.

About Nainital

Mythology

The Emerald Green Eye of Kumaon as Nainital is also popularly known as got its name from a legendary mythological story. King Daksha held a great 'Yajna' but did not invite his daughter Parvati & her consort Shiva. Parvati could not bear this insult and in great fury gate crashed into the Yajna and leaped into the high flames of the fire to end her life. It is believed that when Lord Shiva retrieved her half-charred corpse, the eyes of Sati dropped in the lake while her body was being carried to Kailash Parvat. Hence, the lake was given the name of 'Nainital' or Naini Lake. 

The name "Naini" is derived from a temple to the goddess 'Naini Devi" built on the upper edge of the lake which was destroyed in the landslip of 1880. It was subsequently replaced by a modern structure. The word "Naini" means 'Eyes' and 'Tal' means 'Lake'.

Recent History

Nainital was founded in the year 1841 by Mr. P Barron, a European merchant and an enthusiastic hunter. Mr. Barron was the first European who took great fancy to this land and 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 mile trek in the Himalayas.>

Lake District

Nainital is known as a lake district because of a string of closely located lakes, Bhimtal, Sat Tal, Naukuchiya Tal and of course the Naini Lake are all in close proximity.

Places to See in Nainital

Naini Lake
Naini Lake is situated in the heart of the city and it is owing to this lake that Nainital earned its name. The eye-shaped lake is a tourist hotspot and acts as a magnet for all those visiting the hill resort. Here, a person can either take a leisurely stroll or indulge in boating and enjoy the surrounding beauty. The northern end of the lake is called Mallital, while the southern one is called Tallital. The Lake Bridge that connects the two banks has quite a few shops as well as a post office, the only one in the world to be located on a bridge.

Nakuchia Lake
Nakuchia Tal is a lake in Nainital, known for having nine corners. This lake is still untouched by majority of the tourist population and owing to this, has managed to maintain its serenity till date. Take a walk around the nine cornered lake to enjoy the beautiful natural setting. Otherwise, you can also go on a boating tour and explore the scenic surroundings.

Bhimtal Lake
Situated 22 km from the city center, Bhimtal Lake is the biggest lake of Nainital. It is named after one of the Pandav brothers Bhim. The lake boasts of an island within its precincts, which is home to a very famous temple. During the day, one can easily hear the chiming of temple bells, even from the embankment.

Naini Devi Temple
Nainital is believed to be one of the 64 Shaktipeeths, where one of the body parts of Goddess Sati fell, when Lord Shiva carried her body. In Nainital, the eyes (naina) of the Goddess are assumed to have fallen. The shrine of Naina Devi is a must visit for devout Hindus. The temple is located on the northern shore of Naini lake and was reconstructed after being destroyed in the infamous 1880 landslide. One can also get an amazing of the hill station, overlooking the lake, from the temple.

Governor's House
Built in 1899, Governor's House or Raj Bhavan is a marvelous reminiscent of the British era. Built in Victorian Gothic style, it served as the residence of the Governor of north-western province and later the United Province. Raj Bhavan is an architectural marvel and adding to its beauty are the well manicured lawns, a swimming pool and a golf course, situated within the premises. Presently, the structure serves as the guest house for the Governor of Uttarakhand. However, one has to take prior permission to visit the place.

St. John's Church
Built in 1844, 'St. John in the Wilderness' is one of the most tranquil places in the town of Nainital. The church is located on Mallital, the north end of the town. The Bishop of Calcutta, Daniel Wilson was the one who laid the foundation of the church in Nainital.

Snow View Point
Situated at an altitude of 2,260 m, Snow View Point is one of the coldest regions in Nainital. Here, you can capture breathtaking pictures of snow-covered peaks and mountains. The ideal time to visit snow point is during the months of October and November. A sojourn to Nainital is undoubtedly incomplete without a visit to the Snow Point.

Naina Peak
Overlooking the Naini Lake, Naina peak (2611mt) provides the most breathtaking view of the hill station of Nainital. Situated at a distance of about 6 km from the main town, Naina peak is the highest peak of the hill station. Horses or ponies can be hired from Snow View Point or Mallital, if one intends to visit the peak. Naina peak is also referred to as the China peak and is an absolute delight for trekking lovers

History

According to a legend King Daksha held a great 'Yajna' but did not invite Parvati and her consort Shiva. Parvati could not bear this direct insult, in her great fury Parvati gate-crashed into the 'Yajna' ground and leaped into the high flames of 'Yajna' fire to end her life.And later lord Shiva retrieved her half-charred corpse himself. The majority of the local people believe that the eyes of Sati dropped in the lake while her body was being carried by Lord Shiva to Kailesh Parvat. Hence,the lake was given the name of 'Nainital' or Naini lake. Later the spot became famous by this very name.

The name "NAINI" is derived from a temple to the goddess 'Naini Devi" built on the upper edge of the lake and was destoyed by the landslip of 1880. It was subsequently replaced by the present structure. The word "Naini" means 'Eyes'and 'Tal' means 'Lake'.

Historical Background

Nainital is referred to 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 a penitential piligrimage, and, finding no water to quench their thirst dug a hole and siphoned water into it from Mansarovar the sacred lake in Tibet. The Second important mythological reference to Nainital is as one of 64 ‘Shakti Peeths'.These centres were created wherever parts of charred body of Sati fell ,when Lord Shiva was carrying around her corpse in grief .It is said that the left eye (Nain) of Sati fell here and this gave rise to patron deity of town Nainital . It is said that the lake is formed in the emerald eye shape . Naina Devi temple is located at the northern end of the lake . Thus name of Nainital derivated from Naina and the tal (Lake).

British Settlement

The british occupied Kumaon & Garhwal in 1815 .After the British Occupation ,E. Gardiner was appointed as the commissioner of Kumaun Division on May'8th 1815 .In 1817 the second commissioner of Kumaun Mr. G.W. Traill has conducted the second revenue settlement of Kumaun , Mr. Traill was the first European to visit Nainital but he did not popularize his visit in respect for the religious sanctity of the place.

In the year 1839 an English businessman from Rosa , Mr. P. Barron a sugar trader and his friend an avid hunter strayed into the hills while hunting they got lost and while finding there way back chanced on the wondrous spot. So enamored was Barron with the vision of the placid lake that he left the sugar business and build a European Colony on shores of the lake .In 1841, Nainital appeared in issue of the ‘Englishman Calcutta' announcing the discovery of a lake in the vicinity of Almora.

According to the earliest data available on tourist in Nainital by 1847, it had become a popular hill resort. On 3rd October 1850, the Nainital Municipal Board was formally constituted. It was the second Municipal Board of North Western Provinces. To catalyse the formation of a town the administration transferred land to the wealthy Sah community of Almora, on condition that they build houses on the land. In 1862, Nainital became the summer seat of the North Western Provinces. After it was made the summer Capital, a remarkable expansion of the town occurred with the growth of magnificent bungalows all around and construction of facilities such as marketing areas, rest houses, recreation centres ,clubs etc together with the secretariat and other administrative units. It also became an important centre of education for the British who wanted to educate their children in the better air and away from the discomforts of the plains.

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