Location : Uttarakhand, India
Location : Nainital is situated at 29 degree 24' north latitude and 79 degree 28' east longitude
Country : India
State : Uttarakhand
District : Nainital
Elevation : 1940 mts to 2100 meters
Temperature : 27 °C (81 °F) - 3 °C(27 °F).
Language : Hindi
Snowfall : Every year between December and February
Population : 1 lakh
Time Zone : IST (UTC +5:30)
Best season : March to June & September to November
Nainital is a popular hill station in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital District in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres (6,837 ft) above sea level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a pear-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are 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. From the tops of the higher peaks, "magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bounded by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas."
Nainital is located at 29.38°N 79.45°E. The slopes of the nearby mountains are most populated, with an elevation ranging from 1940 mts to 2100 meters. The highest point nearby is Naina Peak or China Peak, with an elevation of 2619 mts.
It is believed that Nainital figures in some ancient myths of India. In the Manas Khand of the SkandPuranas, Nainital Lake is called Tri-Rishi-Sarovar, hinting at the story of three sages (or rishis), Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha, who, upon finding no water in Nainital, dug a large hole at the location of the present day lake (sarovar = lake) and filled it with water from the holy lake Manasarovar in Tibet. According to lore, a dip in Naini Lake, "the lesser Manasarovar," earns merit equal to a dip in the great lake.
It is also believed that The 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.
As of the 2001 Indian census, Nainital had a population of 38,559. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Nainital has an average literacy rate of 91%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 98%, and female literacy is 86%. In Nainital, 1% of the population is under 6 years of age. Kumaonies form the major part of the town's population along with people from all over India.
The landslide of 1880
In September 1880 a landslide (the Landslip of 1880) occurred at the north end of the town, burying 151 people. The first known landslide had occurred in 1866, and in 1879 there was a larger one at the same spot, Alma Hill, but "the great slip occurred in the following year, on Saturday 18 September 1880." "Two days preceding the slip there was heavy rain, ... 20 inches (510 mm) to 35 in (890 mm) fell during the 40 hours ending on Saturday morning, and the downpour still lasted and continued for hours after the slip.
History of Nainital
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'.
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).
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.
Tourism is the most significant segment of the Nainital's economy. Following are the places most visited by tourists
Also known as Naini Lake, it 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.
Naini Devi Temple:
The temple is located on the northern shore of Naini lake. The presiding deity of the temple is Maa Naina Devi represented by two Netras or eyes. Flanking Naina Devi are the deities of MataKali and Lord Ganesha. 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. and was reconstructed after being destroyed in the 1880 landslide. One can also get an amazing view of the hill station, overlooking the lake, from the temple.
St. John in the Wilderness:
a church established in 1844 and is located on the north end of town (Mallital), about half a mile north-west of the Naina Devi temple. The church was so named by Daniel Wilson, theBishop of Calcutta, who, after falling ill during a visit to Nainital in 1844 to lay the foundation of the church, was obliged to sleep in an unfinished house on the edge of the forest. (See excerpt from Josiah Batemanon the Literary references to Nainital page.) A brass plaque on the altar is inscribed with names of the victims of the Landslip of 1880.
also known Raj Bhavan and formerly, Government House was built in 1899 and designed in the Victorian Gothic domestic style(also called "domestic Gothic") by the architect F.W. Stevens. Originally built as the summer residence of the governor of the North West Province, it later became the summer residence for the Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces. Currently, Raj Bhavan is the official guest house for the governor of Uttarakhand and for visiting state guests. The complex consists of a two-storied mansion with 113 rooms, a large garden, a swimming pool, and golf links. Obtaining prior permission is must for visiting.
is situated at an altitude of 2,270 m (7,450 ft) and located atop the Sher-ka-danda Ridge (north by north-east of the town centre), is easily reachable by cable car.Charges for cable car is Rs. 150 per person, Rs. 75 for child. Charges are for stay for one hour at the point. Timings are 10.00 am to 5.00 pm On a clear day, it offers spectacular views of the snowbound high Himalaya, including Nanda Devi, Trisul, and Nanda Kot. The best time of the year for viewing the mountains is late October and November. (See excerpts from Joseph Fayrer on the Literary references to Nainital page.)
Also known as China or Cheena Peak or Naina Peak is the highest peak in the town, with an altitude of 2,615 m (8,579 ft). and at a walking distance of 6 km (3.7 mi) from the north end of the town (Mallital). From atop the peak, one can not only see a broad swath of the snow clad high Himalaya, but also obtain a panoramic view of Nainital town itself. The summit is an invigorating hike from Nainital town; in addition, for the less energetic visitors, ponies can be hired in Mallital or on Snow View and the Great Wall of China
also known as Dorothy's Seat This terraced hill top (2,292 m (7,520 ft)) on Ayarpatta hill is a 4 km (2.5 mi) hike from the town centre and commands a nice view of the neighbouring country side.Dorothy's Seat is a stonework picnic perch on Tiffin Top built as a memorial to a British Army Officer's wife, Dorothy Kellet, by her husband Col J.P. Kellett DSO MC, City of London Regiment, and admirers after her death from septicaemia aboard a ship bound for England to be with her 4 children, Elizabeth, Joan, Barbara and Richard. She was buried at sea in The Red Sea in 1936.
The High Court of Uttrakhand:
building formerly known as the 'Old Secretariat', when Nainital was the summer capital of United Provinces.
Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo:
Opened in 1994, it is one of the two High altitude Zoo in India, Second is in Darjeeling, West Bengal. It houses various Phesants e.g. Kaleej Phesant etc.; high altitude endangered Mammals like Siberian Tiger, Snow Leopard, Goat Antelope-Ghooral and Serao etc. The animls are according to their habitat altitude, e.g. Snow Leopard is kept on the highest point.
the former residence, of Jim Corbett, is located on Ayarpatta Hill. Before leaving for Kenya, Jim and his sister Maggie sold the house to a zamindari family in Bihar. It is a private residence but is open to visitors as a museum of Corbett memorabilia.
At an altitude of 2194 mts. and 10 Kms. from the town this place is accessible by a motor able road. There is a forest rest house for night stay.Kilbury is an ideal spot for a quiet and peaceful holiday.
Laria Kanta, Land's End and Sukhatal. The surrounding hillside is rich with deodar, oak, pine and rhododendron. Cave gardens, lover’s point, suicide point, botanical park, barah pathar, budhha monastery, artificial wall, mango view of naini lake etc
Tourist Attractions near Nainital:
The Jim Corbett National Park:
(29°32′N 78°56′E) in the Nainital district is India's oldest national park. The park, which is 63 km (39 mi) west by north-west of Nainital, contains a wide variety of wild life including elephant, tiger, chital, Sambar Deer, nilgai, gharial, King Cobra, muntjac, wild boar, hedgehog, common musk shrew (White-toothed shrew), flying fox (pteropus, megabat), Indian Pangolin, and nearly 600 species of birds.
(2,286 m (7,500 ft)) is a picturesque town 52 km (32 mi) north-east of Nainital, is home to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute. It also offers an unhindered view of the high mountains of the western Himalaya, including Nanda Devi, Trisul, and Nanda Kot.
Situated 22 km from the city center, Bhimtal Lake is the biggest lake of Nainital. It is named after the second Pandava brother Bhima in the Mahābhārata who was known for his prodigious strength. The lake, which is larger than Naini Lake, is approximately 22 km (14 mi) from Nainital at an altitude of 1,370 m (4,490 ft). There is an island in the lake with a popular restaurant on it. There is also a 17th century temple complex, the Bhimeshwar, alongside a 40 ft (12 m) high dam at one end of the lake.
literally Seven Lakes, is at a distance of about 23 km (14 mi) from Nainital in the Lower Himalayan Range at an altitude of 1,370 m (4,490 ft). It is a cluster of small interconnected lakes in the midst of an old oak forest. On approaching Sattal, the first lake encountered is the Nal-Damyanti Lake; next it is the Panna or Garude lake; and finally there is a cluster of three lakes: Ram, Laxman, and Sita lakes.
literally Trowel Lake, is an attractive lake about 10 km (6.2 mi) by road (or a 5 km (3.1 mi) hike) from Nainital at an altitude of 1,635 m (5,364 ft). It is popular with anglers and is surrounded by terraced fields (or farms), from which it presumably gets its name.
A View of Khurpatal from Land's End
literally, Nine-Cornered Lake, is 26 km (16 mi) from Nainital and 4 km from Bhimtal at an altitude of 1,220 m (4,000 ft). The lake is almost 1 km (0.62 mi) long, 0.5 km (0.31 mi) wide and approximately 40 m (130 ft) deep. It is the deepest of the lakes in the greater Naintal area. According to legend, if one takes in all nine corners in one glimpse, one can disappear in a cloud of smoke. (See excerpts from J. W. M'Crindle on the Literary references to Nainital page.)
Also known as Hanuman Garh, is located at an altitude 1,951 m (6,401 ft). The temple complex is about 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from the Tallital (South End) bus stop. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Hanuman, the vanara god of the Ramayana, and he is depicted tearing open his chest to reveal Rama and Sita in his heart. It is connected saint Neem Karoli Baba, who had his ashram at Kainchi. Hanuman Garhi is also known for its spectacular views of the setting sun.
a popular bird watching and camping spot, close by.
Mahesh khan FRH:
Mahesh khan is near Bhowali , bhowali is 40 km from haldwani or 10 km from Nainital you can contact at forest range office at bhowali for booking .it is situated in quite and dense forest and this FRH is recently renovated.
Ghorakal is the place situated in the Nainital district of the Uttarakhand state of India. Ghorakhal means pond for water to horses. It is the picturesque site at the height of more than 2000 mts. It is situated near Bhowali and is the seat for Army school, known as Sainik School Ghorakhal, established in 1966 at the Ghorakhal Estate of the Nawab of Rampur. The famous Golu Devta temple is situated on a hill above overlooking the school.
Nainital is home to one of the two campuses of Kumaon University (the other being Almora 'SSJ Campus'). The university was founded in 1973 when it incorporated the Dan Singh Bisht (DSB) Government College (commonly called "the Degree College"), which had been founded in 1951 by Thakur Dan Singh Bisht in memory of his late father, with the mathematician Dr. A.N. Singh as its first principal.
ARIES (State Observatory
The 50-year old State Observatory at Nainital was reborn in 2004 as ARIES, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The Observatory, which had come into existence in Varanasi in 1954, was moved the following year to Nainital, under its more transparent skies. In 1961 it was moved once again to its present location—Manora Peak (1,951 m (6,401 ft)) —a few km south of the Nainital town. ARIES's main objective is to provide national optical observing facilities for research in astronomy, astrophysics, and the atmospheric sciences.
There are a number of libraries in the Nainital area. Among them are the Durga Lal Shah Municipal Public Library, on the Mall, founded in 1934 the Uttarakhand Academy of Administration, Library and Documentation Center, Mallital the ARIES Observatory Library and the Kumaon University Library, Nainital.
Nainital Fairs and Festivals
Nainital is a cosmopolitan locality and abounds faiths and believes associated with various and sects of people living here through generations. The sixteen sankars of life as enunicated in Hindu religion are observed with slight modifications and amendenments which make the Kumaoni style of observance.Hill temples are the monuments having admixture of deep sense of art and culture. Sculpture varies with time of inception of the temple.The mode of worship is also different in many aspects from that of the plains. Modern day temples are more alike the temples of the plains, and the older ones fit to the Kumaoni influence.
These temples act as the nucleus of the social and cultural activities. After harvesting season people mostly relax,rejoice, fance and sing thus a festivals is generated. At the transition of sun from one constellation to another Sankranti is observed. Each sankranti has a fair or festival connected to it somewhere in Kumaon.
Vasantotsavor means spring festival which is held every year at Ramnagar during the month of Jan-Feb. The event reflects cultural activities of both Kumaon and Garhwal.region of uttaranchal and there is a stiff competition among the participents .A large number of local artist ,people and tourists, including a good number of foreigners participate in the festival at Ramnagar which is near by the world famous Jim Corbett Park, the wildlife sanctuary of Uttar- Pradesh.
Holi Mahotsav is an effort of local who organised this fair in Nainital on the occasion of holi. The festivities reflect cultura and traditional rituals of Kumaon.
Hariyali Devi Fair
Hariyali Devi fair is held during July on the occasion of Harela. Which is celebrated for the new season of corp.
Chhota Kailash Fair
Chhota Kailash fair takes place every year in the month of february on the occasion of Shivratri. This is a religious fair, and reflects the rich and varied culture and tradition of the area.Mnay people visit to choota kailash on this occasation
Nanda Devi fair is held in Nainital in the month of September every year. Among other things, a number of cultural programmes are organised by the local govt. and non govt organization(s) on this occasion.participents are generally local school and college childrens
Sharadotsav Fair (Winter Fair)
Sharadotsav is organised in Nainital in the month of October. Various cultural programmes, folk dances and folk arts are organised during this fair. A large number of people including foreign tourists visit this fair to have a glance of the local culture and traditions.
Ranibagh fair is held at Ranibagh, about 30kms. from Nainital on the occasion of Uttarayani every year. It has a great religious importance among the devotees.
How to Reach Nainital
How to Reach Nainital by Air
The nearest airport from Nainital is Pantnagar (70 km) with direct flights from Delhi. But Delhi and Lucknow are more convenient airports for reaching Nainital since none of these places are too far from Nainital and are well connected with the rest of India.
How to Reach Nainital by Road
An extensive network of roads connect Nainital with prominent cities in Uttarakhand and other north Indian cities. You can reach Nainital by road from Delhi (310 km), Haldwani (40 km), Dehradun (300 km).
How to Reach Nainital by Rail
It is quite convenient to reach Nainital by rail. Kathgodam (35 km) is the nearest railhead from Nainital. A well laid network of broad gauge railway links Nainital to Delhi, Kolkata and Dehradun.