Best Places to See in Nainital & Bhimtal
Nainital is also known as Naini Tal, which is named after the famous lake i.e. Naini lake, Tal when translated literally means Lake. We came from Jim Corbett National Park and were put up in Bhimtal which is 22 Kms from Nainital. Have given more details below about Bhimtal below.
Nainital is a very popular hill station in India, which falls in Uttarakhand State and is headquarters of Nainital District, which also falls in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Nainital used to be popular hill station under British Rule for Britishers. One can visit the governor’s bungalow, which has become a major tourist attraction.
It was majorly a health resort under the britishers, frequently visited by British Soldiers and the Officers. All the lakes in around Nainital are natural and preserved till date very nicely i.e. Nani Lake, Bhimtal Lake, Sattal Lake, Sariyatal, Naukuchiatal, Khurpatal Lake, if you can see many places named after the lakes. These lakes are all fresh water lakes and provide water to the places around the lake all-round the year.
In the 19th Century no.of schools were founded in Nainital for e.g. in 1869 The Diocesan Girls High School was established, which is now known as All Saints College, By 1906, there were over a half dozen schools in the course of time, The Sherwood College (Boys) which was called as The Diocesan Boys School and also the Philander Smith College renamed as Halett War School, presently called under the name of Birla Vidya Mandir.
Some very famous faces have come out these schools and colleges, to name a few: Danny Denzongpa a Bollywood actor from Birla Vidya Mandir, Major Somnath Sharma from Sherwood College who was awarded the first Param Vir Chakra. Ram Kapoor, a renowned TV Actor has passed out from Sherwood College.
Some of the places one can visit in Nainital:
Nainital Lake: Its natural fresh water lake, its approximately around 90 ft deep shaped like a mango / crescent, one can notice that when watched from the top of the cliff. It’s in the centre of the town and provides potable water round the year to the residents of the place. One Could do boating on this lake starting from the entry to the naina devi temple side and back again, a thrilling experience when you come to know that the lake is almost 100Ft deep in middle of the lake when you are boating 😊…!
Himalayan Darshan/Snow View: One can reach this place by rope way or by car, we had to take the car as the rope way was closed that day, road trip by car to Snow view point is amazing and adventurous. And also advise to use roadway if you have aged parents anybody experiencing difficulty to walk for long distance, as it is quite distance one has to walk to get to the snow view/Himalaya darshan, from where we can see the Himalayan peaks very clearly, the range is almost 1000 kms away yet they are very clearly visible to the naked eye. To get a closer look we can see them through binocular for nominal fee.
Ropeway: Which can also be called cable car, is one of main attraction in Nainital, which gives a fabulous aerial view of the Naini lake and also the market place below. Nainital Ropeway connects the town (starting from Mallital) below and the Snow View point above, which is covered approx. (2 ½ Mins), there are only two cabins and each cabin capacity is 11 individuals, one can buy two-way ticket, in which one hour is given for them to stay before you descend back to the town. One should try this if possible.
Naini View/Mango Point: One can view the town below and also the lake in mango shape or can also called as crescent shaped, which is beauty b y itself. This place is one the way down from snow view point. It’s on the road, one has to be careful while taking pictures and one can have some snacks from the road side vendor (i.e. Humara ever green Maggie 😊…!).
Naina Devi Temple: This temple is situated at the end of the Mall road and also on the edge of the lake which gives you very good view of the lake…:-), Naina Devi Temple is very significant for locals, its very clean and nicely maintained. The Land Slip/landslide of 1882, which destroyed the temple in the disaster, it was reconstructed later.
Tibetan Market: This is place where you get Tibetan goods, heard a lot about the market, when visited many of the goods is very similar to what we can get in delhi hat, pallika. We could not find anything much to buy, but still one can spend some time in the evening see if you can find anything worthwhile.
One can visit many other places like Governors house/ bungalow, Tiffin top, Eco cave, Thandi sadak, Lands’ End (many of these places were closed as it was Diwali, so we could not visit some places)
Bhimtal is name after Bhima from the Epic Mahabharata, which is probably older then Nainital, it’s believed that Bhima of Mahabharata visited Bhimtal during his banishment period of pandvas. Bhimtal is 22 kms away from Nainital, one can visit by hiring taxi or local buses plying to and fro from Nainital and Bhimtal.
A surprising fact that a pedestrian route still exists which connects the whole Kumoan Region and even connecting Nepal and Tibet, Legend says that it might have been part of the legendary old silk route.
There are many places one can visit in Bhimtal:
Bhimtal Lake: This lake is biggest in the kumoan region, which has been created by the dam which has been built, this dam was built in 1883, this lake provides water to souring areas i.e. Bhimtal, it also supports various species of fishes. Theirs is small island in between the lake which is aquarium and has been developed into a major tourist destination in Bhimtal.
Bhimeswar Mahadev Temple: This temple was built in 17th Century during the Chand dynasty by the king of Kumoan, it’s believed that Bhima of Mahabharata build this temple when he visited Bhimtal during his time when Pandavas were banished for 12 years from their Kingdom.
Sattal Lake: Its mysterious congregation of seven different lakes interconnected freshwater lakes, these lakes are midst dense foliage. These lakes are haven for migratory birds. The names of seven lakes interconnected are Ram Tal, Purna Tal, Laxman Tal, Sita Tal, Nal Damayanti Tal, Sukh Tal and Garud Tal. A heaven for Bird Watchers and Avid Photographers, it can be visited any time of the year.
Many other places can be visited in Bhimtal i.e. Victoria Dam: Hidimba Parvat, Vankhandi Ashram (A Monk named Vankhandi Maharaj, and an environmentalist has created a sanctuary for the wild animals around the hill), Victoria Dam.