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Nainital

Nainital (Hindiनैनीताल) is a town in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital district in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 1,938 metres (6,358 feet) 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 Today


In and around Nainital

The Naina Devi Temple was destroyed by the landslip of 1880 and later rebuilt. It 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 Mata Kali and Lord Ganesha.

The church of St. John in the Wilderness was 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, the Bishop 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 Bateman on the Literary references to Nainital page.) A brass plaque on the altar is inscribed with names of the victims of the Landslip of 1880.

Governor’s House 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.

Snow View is situated at an altitude of 2,270 m (7,448 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. 100 per person, Rs. 60 for child. Charges are for stay for one hour at the point. Timings are 10.00a.m. to 5.00p.m. On a clear day, it offers spectacular views of the snowbound high Himalaya, including Nanda DeviTrisul, 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.)

Naina Peak also known as China or Cheena Peak. 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 (4 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.

A View of Nainital town from Naina peak Nainital Photo : Ritesh Sagar, Enjoy Music Nainital

Tiffin Top also known as Dorothy's Seat (Tiffin = light meal eaten during the day). This terraced hill top (2,292 m (7,520 ft)) on Ayarpatta hill is a 4 km (2 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 an English artist, Dorothy Kellet, by her husband and admirers after her death in a plane crash.

The High Court of Uttarakhand formerly known as The Old SecretariatMukteshwar (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.

Bhimtal Lake 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 (4,495 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.

Sattal, 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 (4,495 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 orGarude lake; and finally there is a cluster of three lakes: Ram, Laxman, and Sita lakes.

Khurpa Tal, literally Trowel Lake, is an attractive lake about 10 km (6 mi) by road (or a 5 km (3 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 Nainital Photo : Ritesh Sagar, Enjoy Music Nainital

Naukuchia Tal, literally, Nine-Cornered Lake, is 26 km (16 mi) from Nainital and 4 km from Bhimtal at an altitude of 1,220 m (4,003 ft). The lake is almost 1 km (1 mi) long, 0.5 km (0.3 mi) wide and approximately 40 m (131 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.)

Hanumangarhi, 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 andSita in his heart. Hanuman Garhi is also known for its spectacular views of the setting sun. Ranikhet is a hill station and cantonment town in Almora district.

Bageshwar is a city and a municipal board in Bageshwar district.

Almora is a cantonment town in Almora district.

Kausani is a place situated in the Bageshwar district.

Pithoragarh is a city and a municipal board in Pithoragarh district

Pantnagar Airport, the nearest airport (65 km). 

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