Nainital: Glimpses of Himalayas
Nainital is a town in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and is located in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas. Situated at a height of 1938 meters or 6,358 feet, Nainital is a hill station that not only gives a glimpse of Himalayas but also offers many tourist attractions including activities such as trekking and a scenic landscape dotted with lakes and forests. This town is one of the most famous attractions during winters when the population of the township increases fivefold due to the arrival of tourists mainly from North-India and abroad.
This township is set in a valley that has a pear shaped lake and is surrounded by several mountain peaks including Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south. These are the highest peaks in the region and magnificent views of the Himalayan ranges can be seen from the top. The location of Nainital makes it an attraction for hikers as well as tourists because of the ambiance and the atmosphere during the winter season.
Places of Interest
Naina peak is the highest one in the town and is located at an altitude of 2,615 meters or 8,579 ft. The peak is almost four miles from the town and the view from the peak is breathtaking with a glimpse of outer Himalayas and the town itself. For those who are not too keen on hiking such a distance, ponies are available for hire.
Located near Nainital is the Bhimtal Lake which is perennial and is bigger than the Naina Lake. Since there is water all year round in the lake, Himalayan migratory birds visit the lake every year in the month of winter.
Sattal or Sat Tal is a group of seven interconnected lakes in the lower Himalayan region near Bhimtal. These lakes are the only pristine and unpolluted area near Nainital and the seven freshwater lakes attract numerous Himalayan migratory birds. There are camps located in the vicinity of these lakes for tourists who want to enjoy some peace and quite away from the hustle and bustle of Nainital. There is also a butterfly museum in Jones estate where 2500 butterfly and moth specimens can be found.
This is a temple located at an altitude of 1951 meters or 6401 ft and is dedicated to the worship of Lord Hanuman. The temple has a deity of Lord Hanuman who is depicted tearing open his chest to reveal Lord Rama and Sita in his heart. This temple has almost seventy steps leading to it and is one of the most famous temples in North-India.
Ranikhet is also a hill station located 60 km from Nainital and the peak offers a glimpse of the western peaks of the Himalayas. Literally meaning a Queens Meadow in Hindi, the British established a regiment here and also used the place for retreating from the heat. The place is very cold in winters and sometimes in the summer season as well. The local flora and fauna and the quiet ambience of the hill station attracts many people to this place for relaxing and unwinding.
Situated at a distance of four km from the central town of Nainital is a hilltop referred to as Dorothy’s seat and is located at a height of approx 7000 ft above the sea level. The hilltop offers picturesque views and is a paradise for picnickers and photographers alike.
Snow view is situated at an altitude of 2,270 meters and also has a cable car that takes tourists on the peak. The best times for visiting this mountain is between October and November and it offers a spectacular view of the Himalayas and numerous peaks in the vicinity.
This is the deepest lake in the Nainital area and is situated about 26 km or 16 miles from the town. The lake is about a kilometer long and half a kilometer wide. Naukuchia Lake literally translates to the lake with nine corners and can be visited along with the Bhimtal Lake which hardly 32 miles from this place.
Nainital is one of the most famous hill stations in India and is strategically located on the outer edges of the Himalayan foothills. This place is not only for people who want to experience the splendor of nature but is also a paradise for hikers. There are numerous peaks in the vicinity ranging from difficult to easy ones. The plethora of choices available for a tourist for recreation makes this serene valley a must-see place in India.