Fateh Veer Singh Guram, Travel @ The Hush Post: One of the biggest cities of Uttarakhand, Nainital is famous for its iconic lake. Located at a height of 6,837 feet, it is believed that the lake is one of the 64 shakti peeths. As per Hindu mythology, Shakti peeths are religious sites where parts of the burnt body of Parvati fell on Earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. It is believed that the eye of Goddess Parvati fell on the spot of the lake.
Places to Visit:
The Nainital lake is one of the most famous and iconic lakes of India. Shaped like a mango, it is located in the centre of the town. As per records, it was in 1839 that a British business man, Mr. P. Barron, who was going through the area, came across the lake. He was so enchanted with the beauty of the lake and its surroundings that he decided to build a European colony on the banks of the lake. The Nainital Boat Club offers yachting facilities, and the Annual Kingfisher Yachting Festival is held here in the third week of June.
One of the most famous tourist spots of Nainital, Naina Peak is the highest hill top around Nainital. Surrounded by lush green forests, it offers a bird’s eye view of the town on one hand, with splendid views of snow capped peaks of the Himalayas in the background. It is located at an altitude of 8,579 feet, and is surrounded by rhododendrons, deodar trees and cypress trees.
Also called Dorothy’s Seat, it is located on Ayarpatta Hill. Built by a British military officer in memory of his wife, who was an artist, this place is an ideal location for feasting your eyes on the breathtaking views of the Kumaon Himalayas and the city.
Gurney House was the residence of popular hunter-conservationist Jim Corbett. Located near the Nainital Lake, it was built in the year 1881.
Eco Cave Garden:
A unique initiative by the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam, this popular tourist spot offers visitors an opportunity to understand more about Himalayan wildlife through a series of interconnected animal caves. These caves are imitations of the natural habitat of animals like tigers, panthers, bats, squirrels, foxes and apes.
Durga Shah Municipal Library:
Built nearly 85 years ago by Mohan Lal Shah, this was the first library of the Nainital region. Considered to be one of the best libraries of Uttarakhand, it is located on the banks of the lake, and the rays of the setting sun that pass through the windows of the library give it an old world charm.
Officially known as the Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo, it is a popular tourist spot. Visitors can see animals like Himalayan Black Bear, Tibetan Wolf, Sambar and Leopard at the zoo.
Best Time to Visit:
The city experiences pleasant summers, with average temperatures ranging around 20 degrees Celsius. Hence, light woollens are recommended, since the nights can become cold.
The winter months of December and January witness near freezing temperatures, with occasional light snowfall.
Thus, for those wishing to escape the unforgiving heat of the Northern Plains in the summers, Nainital is an ideal place to visit. However, this city quietens down considerably during the winters and is an ideal weekend destination during December and January as well.
How to Reach:
The nearest railway station is in Kathgodam, which is located at a distance of 34 kilometres. The nearest airport is in Pant Nagar, which is located 65 kilometres away.
Dehradun, the state capital, is located at a distance of 287 kilometres.
The cities of Chandigarh and Delhi are located at a distance of 474 kilometres and 287 kilometres, respectively.