Located at the heart of the famous Kumaon Region, this little town is a popular tourist destination. Just as the summer heats starts to beat down, many people pack up their bags and head over to this lake city.
Tal- which literally means lake, is what makes this city so beautiful and serene. Situated at a pleasurable height of 2,084 m above sea level, this lovely hill station is the perfect place to spend your summer days away.
This resplendent town has a lot to offer. From breathtaking lakes like the Mango Lake to the wondrous and holy temples of Nanda Devi– Nainital is sure to be etched into your memory forever.
You will also be able to witness some amazing views from the famous Tiffin Top- which is essentially a cliff that offers the most magnificent views of the entire town. There is no better place to appreciate the beauty of Nainital than from the Tiffin top. You can also engage in several activity sports like mountain climbing, kayaking, paragliding and trekking in Nainital.
Nainital is the kind of place that not just touches your heart but also relives your soul. While in Nainital you can also visit places like the famous yet imperfect Bajinath Temples– but no trip to Nainital is complete without visiting some of its other neighbours which are also Lake Towns. These wonderful towns are not just picturesque but will also provide you with the beautiful feeling of peace and calmness:
This beautiful gem is still hidden away from the public eye, which has made it even more beautiful. Away from the crowds of Nainital, this little town located about 12 km from Nainital is serene and marvellous.
There is a wonderful lake located right at the heart of the town and is also the main water source of this rustic town.
The water of this mesmerising Khurpatal lake is filled with different kinds of fishes you go about merely enjoying their pollution free environment. It is impossible not to fall in love with this splendid town. Your heart will surely take a leap as you stand beside the lake and stare at the gorgeous green hills that flank the entire background. You will find your senses heightened as the entire air is filled with songs of the birds and a wonderful aroma from the various flowers that adorn the hills.
This picturesque little town is merely a two-hour drive away from Nainital. This beautiful neighbour of Nainital is far away from the maddening crowd that Nainital attracts. It is away from the hustle bustle and offers you the perfect getaway place to relax and unwind. This lovely town is actually nestled cosily among 22 snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas and there are about four crystal clear lakes located at close proximity to this town.
The sprawling green hills and the pollution free atmosphere will make you feel as if you have traversed into paradise itself. The moment you enter the town you will be greeted by the melodious chirping of the many birds that have made Mukteshwar their home. As the air is filled with their songs you will find all your worried disappearing into the thinly veiled fresh air. There is also a wondrous and magnificent waterfall here at Mukteshwar and it will be a sin to miss that.
Make sure to visit the four beautiful lakes when you are in Mukteshwar. The best thing to do here is to just surrender yourself to nature and take long rejuvenating walks through the dense forests. Don’t forget to admire the beautiful yet intimidating snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas, which you can always find adorning the skies here in Mukteshwar.
Mukteshwar also has divine connotations with many legends suggesting that Lord Shiva granted a slain demon king his salvation right here, and many other legends also say that this was also the town where the Pandavas came to Lord Shiva to ask for their salvation.
In this town, you will also find the old colonial houses made by the Britishers. They are the perfect accessories for a beautiful hill station like this. Walk around the town and you will find yourself face to face with several lovely and quaint English style bungalows with sprawling gardens. They are surely a treat to the eyes.
Mukteshwar is also known for its variety of fruits that take birth here. Many have even termed this town as the Fruit Bowl Of India. You will find several colourful vibrant and ripe fruits just hanging from the trees waiting to be plucked and devoured.
The rustic village of Bhimtal is famous for one glaring yet beautiful sight. Bhimtal hosts the largest lake in the Kumaon Region, and it is absolutely splendid. This lovely lake city derives its name from the famous mythological character from the epic Mahabharata- Bhima. This little town is so aesthetic that you will find yourself admiring the beauty that resides here. Located about 1370 metres above sea level, this place is a must visit when you are travelling through the great wilderness of the Kumaon Region.
The lake here is so beautiful especially if you visit it during sunrise. The rays of the rising sun slowly and gently hit the warm yet calm waters of the lake and spread its wings like a phoenix rising from the waters. The entire lake is painted in a golden aura.
The quaint town of Bhimtal also has several water sports that you can participate in. You will also derive great joy from just taking a walk along the shores of the lake and marvelling at this marvellous water body. There is also a huge aquarium located aesthetically on an island right in the middle of the Bhimtal Lake.
There is beautiful rolling hill here like the Garg Parvat and the Hadimba Parvat for you to just trek and explore on your own.
You can also visit few holy temples here like the famous Bhimeshwar Temple– which is said to be built by Bhima in devotion to Lord Shiva, and the Karkotaka Temple, which is supposedly a snake temple. Locals believe that this temple helps in healing snake bites.
Bhimtal is the kind of town wherein you just need to read a book while sitting under a tree by the pristine lake and enjoy nature’s bounty that lies in front of you.
Another beautiful lake town in the Kumaon Region is located merely at a distance of 3 km from Bhimtal. The town of Sattal is much more than a lake in the midst of nature. This rustic town is the perfect dose of an overwhelming amount of serenity, a spoonful of tranquillity and a pinch of solitude to treat your stressed mind.
Sattal actually doesn’t just have one lake, but seven lakes. The lakes are- Nal-Damyanti Tal, Hanuman Tal, Garud Tal, Sita Tal, Ram Tal, Laxman Tal, and Purna Tal.
The best way to explore these lakes and also explore the beauty of the town is by simply roaming around the town and walking along the banks of the lake. The lakes are flanked by tourists and colourful boats which make for a very pretty picture. Take a boat ride across any one of these lakes during sunset. You will find yourself witnessing and feeling a strange kind of peace and quiet as your boat slowly rocks along the serene lake, as the entire surrounding gets covered in the golden red hues of the setting sun. The scene is so beautiful that you will feel as if you are part of a painting.
You can also embark on the many nature walks in Sattal that will take you right through the green leafy forests filled with oak and pine trees.
There is also a lovely church called St Jonn’s Church. The entire interiors of this old church are inspired by British styles ( it was made by the British in 1912). Admire the radiantly painted windows and stained glasses that break the sun rays coming inside into shades of various colours.
After this relaxing visit to Sattal, make your way to the next Lake Town called Naukuchiatal. The name of the lake in this town literally translates into- A Lake With Nine Corners. What really makes this lake distinct from the other lakes that you might have visited is the blooming lotus pond that emerges in the right season. As you slowly enter this pristine town you will find yourself being greeted by a high Hanuman statue, that stands proudly a little away from the town.
The wonders of the town lie in the alluring lake which is located right at the centre of the town. The lake is flanked by several trees and has the gigantic mountains in the background to keep it company. What really sets the scene are the many colourful boats that keep bobbing on the pristine lake, and offers a much-needed contrast in the colours.
The various boats that rest on the lake will remind you of a colour palette filled with different colours. The lake is the palette and the little boats being the watercolours that are smeared on the palette.