Nainital is a glittering jewel in the Himalyan necklace, blessed with scenic natural splendour and varied natural resources. Dotted with lakes, Nainital has earned the epithet of 'Lake District' of India. The most prominent of these lakes is 'Naini' lake ringed by hills. It is believed that 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. After an early breakfast you could go on a lake tour around Nainital and see some pristine, glittering lakes including Bhimtal, Sattal and Naukuchiatal. While returning, you could also enjoy the glorious view of sunset from Hanumangarh. You can read some interesting details about some of the surrounding lakes below.
Sat Tal or Sattal is situated at a distance of 22 km from Nainital set at an altitude of 1370 mts above sea level. The Lake was named 'Sattal' which means 'Seven Lakes' as there are a total of seven small lakes named 'Ram Tal', 'Laxman Tal', 'Sita Tal', 'Purna Tal', 'Nal-Damyanti Tal', 'Garud Tal' and 'Sukha Tal', after great legends that mystically joins and connects with each other to form this natural freshwater lake measuring about 2 to 3 km and 20 mts deep. 'Khudariya Tal' now known as 'Sukha Tal' which means 'Dry Lake' was renamed as the entire water from this lake had leaked out towards the western extreme region of the main Lake. These lakes are fringed with dense Oak and Pine Forests and often home to migratory birds from across the globe that live here due to its unspoilt and unpolluted fresh water known to be one of a kind in this world and during the British Rule, they sometimes referred to this Lake as England's Westmoreland.
Bhim Tal or Bhimtal is at a distance of 24 km from Nainital town and is set at almost the same altitude of 1375 mts above sea level as Sattal just 2 km away and is about 22 mts deep. This Lake was named after the legendary Bhim of the Mahabharata epic who came here to visit the five Pandava Brothers when they had lived here through their exile period. The main point that attracts people here is a small Island located in the heart of this freshwater lake and about 91 mts from the shore that holds a small restaurant that offers snacks and eateries to tourists. You can reach this Island by boat, spend time here and then boat back to land. There are small resorts available overlooking this lake where you can spend a good vacation or weekend getaway. This is also the mini district headquarters of the town.
Naukuchia Tal or ‘Naukuchiatal’ and also ‘Naukuchiyatal’ lies 28 km from Nainital and 4 km from Bhimtal elevated at 1220 mts above mean sea level; hence, you can trek right from Khurpatal to this Lake via Sattal and Bhimtal in order to view all the Lakes at one stretch of your journey. This beautiful Lake measures 1 km in length and 0.5 km in width and 40 mts deep. The name of this Lake means ‘Nine Corners Lake’ as it has nine corners and a myth states that if you can see all these nine corners in one shot, you will disappear into thin air and that sounds certainly challenging and might throw you off your limits which only feeds your curiosity but definitely not your courage while some may just try to prove it wrong; However, if you ever visit this Lake you will realise that it is impossible to view all these nine corners at one time and the best thing to do is just enjoy its serene environs decorated with lush green forests and a variety of flora and fauna ideal for holiday makers looking for a quite time with loved ones. It also offers padding, rowing and yachting. For adventure lovers, it also offers Parasailing or Paragliding available only here at a reasonable cost.
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