Friday, October 14, 2011

Nainital Tourism | Places to Visit in Nainital | Nainital Photo

About Nainital

Nainital Tourism
Nainital 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 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 has temperate summers, maximum temperature 27 °C (81 °F); minimum temperature 7 °C (45 °F), during which its population increases more than fivefold with an annual influx of tourists predominantly from the plains of Northern India. In the winter, Nainital hill station receives snowfall between December and February with the temperatures varying between a maximum of 15 °C (59 °F) and a minimum of −3 °C (27 °F).

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.

It is believed that Nainital figures in some ancient myths of India. In the Manas Khand of the Skand Puranas, 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.

Nainital is definitely a heaven for all the adventure finders. It presents loads and loads of activities related to adventure. For example fun time jeep tours, caving, river rafting, kayaking, horse riding, and rock climbing, trekking and yacht.

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.

History of Nainital

The Kumaon Hills came under British rule after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16), but the hill station town of Naini Tal was founded only in 1841, with the construction of the first European house (Pilgrim Lodge) by P. Barron, a sugar trader from Shahjahanpur. In his memoir, he wrote: "It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles (2,400 km) trek in the Himalayas." In 1846, when a Captain Madden of the Bengal Artillery visited Naini Tal, he recorded that "houses were rapidly springing up in most parts of the settlement: some towards the crest of the limitary ranges were nearly 7,500 ft (2,300 m) above sea level: the rugged and woody Anyarpatta (Anyar-patt - in Kumaoni means - complete blackout. The reason for this nomenclature by the localites was because there were minimal sun rays due to its location and dense forests) was being gradually planted and that the favourite sites were on the undulating tract of forest land which stretched back from the head of the lake to the base of China and Deopatta (Camel's Hump). The Church, St. John in the Wilderness, had been built, ..." Soon, the town became a health resort favoured both by British soldiers and by colonial officials and their families trying to escape the heat of the plains. Later, the town also became the summer residence of the Governor of the United Provinces. Nainital is also known as a very popular hill station in India.

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. This heavy fall naturally brought down streams of water from the hill side, some endangering the Victoria Hotel, ... (which) was not the only building threatened ... Bell's shop, the Volunteer Orderly Room and the Hindu (Naina Devi) temple were scenes of labour with a view to diverting streams. At a quarter to two the landslip occurred burying those in and around the buildings mentioned above." The total number of dead and missing were 108 Indian and 43 British nationals. (See poem by Hannah Battersby on the page Literary references to Nainital). The Assembly Rooms and the Naina Devi Temple were both destroyed in the disaster. A recreation area known as 'The Flats' was later built on the site and a new temple was also erected. To prevent further disasters, storm water drains were constructed and building bylaws were made stricter.

Establishment of schools

In the latter half of the 19th century a number of "European" schools for boys and girls were founded in Nainital. During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, students in these schools consisted largely of children of British colonial officials or soldiers. In 1906, for example, there were over half a dozen such schools, including the Diocesan Boys' School (later renamed Sherwood College) under the guidance of the Church of England; Philander Smith's College (now, Birla Vidya Mandir), maintained by an American; St. Joseph's College a Roman Catholic institution, Wellesley School an American institution; St. Mary's Convent High School, a Roman Catholic institution; All Saints Diocesan High School for Girls, under the Church of England, and Petersfield College for Girls.

In the 1920s and 30s, the schools began to admit more Indian students. This trend continued until independence, by which time the student bodies had become predominantly Indian, albeit in many cases greatly reduced in size.


By the 1880s, a mere 42 years after its founding, Nainital had become something of an exclusive English preserve, with the Indian presence in the town confined largely to a behind-the-scenes labour and service industry, or to the occasional prince. This state of affairs lasted for much of the Victorian era. The first signs of change came early in the 20th century, when Indian bureaucrats and professionals began arriving in town as part of the annual migration of the state government of the United Provinces to Nainital every summer. By 1901 its population had risen to 7,609.

The next big change came in 1925, when British civil servants began to receive subsidies for taking their annual vacations in England, and, consequently, many stopped going to the hill stations in the summers. From then on until 1947 (excepting the war years), the British presence in Nainital (measured, for example, by home ownership) continued to decline and was gradually replaced by a burgeoning Indian presence.

How to Reach Nainital

By Air: The nearest airport is Pantnagar airport situated at 70 KM from Nainital. Private taxies are easily available from here to reach Nainital.

By Rail: The nearest railway station from Nainital is Kathgodam situated at 35 KM from Nainital. It is very well connected with Lucknow, Agra and Bareilly. Private taxies are easily available from here to reach Nainital.

By Road: Nainital is well connected with the other cities by road. Private & public buses are easily available to reach Nainital.

Map of Nainital

Nainital Map

Places to Visit in Nainital

Naina Devi Temple

Naina Devi Temple 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

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

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

Snow View Nainital

Snow View 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 10.00a.m. to 5.00p.m. 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.)

Naina Peak

Naina Peak Nainital

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 (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.

Tiffin Top

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 (2.5 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 an English artist, Dorothy Kellet, by her husband and admirers after her death in a plane crash.

Bhimtal Lake

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 (4,490 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.


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 (4,490 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.

Khurpa Tal

Khurpa Tal, 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.

Naukuchia Tal

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 (4,000 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.)


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 and Sita 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.

Kumaon University

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 Dev Singh Bisth (DSB) Government College (commonly called "the Degree College"), which had been founded in 1951 by Thakur Dan Singh Bist in memory of his late father, with the mathematician Dr. A.N. Singh as its first principal.

Nianital Weather Forcast

Hotels in Nainital

Garden Valley Resort
Prim Rose
Rewa Retreat
Hotel Sunrise
Hotel Maharaja
Bob's Place
Alpine Club
Lakeside Inn
Hotel New Bharat
Chevron Fairhavens
Arif Castles

Nainital Tourism | Places to Visit in Nainital | Nainital Photo | Nainital Hill Station | Tourist Places in India | Hill Station in India