Nainital is a beautiful and adorable hill station of Uttarakhand. Nainital derived its name from the Naini Lake. It is located in Nainital District of Kumaon region in the state of Uttarakhand, India. This hill station maintains an average elevation of 1940 meters in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas. The highest peak of Nainital is Naini peak or we can say China peak at a height of 8578 feet. Nainital is surrounded by Naina peak (8578 feet) by the north, Deopatha peak (7998 feet) by the west, and Ayarpatha peak (7473 feet) by the south.
Nainital is a perfect place for tourism during summers season i.e. March to June, when the temperature stay at the temperature of around 26°C and the winter season is uncomfortable for tourist when the average temperature stay around 6°C due to snowfall and cold but some regions of upper hill during the month of December and February snow fall is very common where the temperature fall bellow 0°C. The population of Nainital is nearly about 39000 as a estimate.
According to Hindu mythology, Nainital Lake was created by three sages namely Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha. Legend tells that these sages were thirsty and finding water in Nainital, as they were unable to find out water, so they dug a large hole at the location of the present day lake and filled it with water of Manasarovar in Tibet. Hindus believe that the Naini Lake is one of the 51 Shakti Pithas where Sati’s eyes (Nain) fell while her dead body is being carried by Lord Shiva.
- Nainital Lake:Tourism spots in and around Nainital or Naini Lake is placed at the heart of the hill station. It is a eye-shaped lake attracts thousands of tourists round the year. You can hire a boat to enjoy the surrounding beauty of the lake. The northern side of the lake is known as Mallital, while the southern side is known as Tallital. There have a Bridge over the lake which connects the two banks of the lake.
- Naini Devi Temple– This temple is placed by the north bank of Nainital Lake. The temple is devoted to Mata Naina Debi represented by two eyes. You will find some more temples like goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha around the Naina Devi Temple. It is believed that the time of Mahatandab of lord Shiva, the eyes (Naina) of the Goddess Sati are said to have fallen here.
- St. John in the Wilderness church – It was founded by Daniel Wilson in 1844 and is located at Mallital at about 1 km away from the Naina Devi temple.
Daniel Wilson, the Bishop of Calcutta, came here to establish the church, but he fell ill and had to stay in an incomplete house close to a forest. So now the church came to be known as the St. John in the Wilderness. The church serves as a memorial for the victims of the landslide of 1880.
- Governor’s House or Raj Bhavan – It was constructed in 1899 by the British Ruler. It was designed in the Victorian Gothic domestic style by the architect Stevens. It was used as the summer residence of the British Governor. Now it is the official guest house for the governor of the state Uttarakhand. The complex consists of a two-storied mansion with 113 rooms, a large garden, a swimming pool, and golf links.
- Snow View Point – It is situated at an altitude of 7448 feet above and located at top of the Sher ka danda Ridge. It is nearly about 3 km away from Nainital and easily accessible by Rope Way. Snow View point provides you an captivating and attractive view of Nainital and 350 km long range of the Glimmer Mighty Himalayas. The Cost for ropeway are about Rs.150 to Rs. 250 per adult and Rs. 75 per child. The best time to visit here is starting from late October and continue to the end of November.
- Naini Peak or China Peak – This peak is the highest peak of Nainital with an elevation of 8578 feet. It is located nearly about 6.1 km away from Mallital Town. One will not only get a bird eye view on the top of the peak but also see a broad area of the snow clad high Himalaya and a wide ranging view of Nainital town itself.
- Tiffin Top or Dorothy’s Seat – This is a lovely and beautiful place located nearly about 4.2 km away from Nainital City center and it maintains a height of about 7521 feet above the sea level. There has a stonework picnic perch built as a memorial to an English artist, Dorothy Kellet, by her husband and admirers after her death.
- Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo – It is a high altitude (6901 feet above) zoo located at Sher Ka Danda hill in Nainital, Uttarakhand. This zoo was established in the year 1984 and opened for public in the year 1995. The Zoo covers an area of about 4.6 hectares. It houses various animals like Kaleej Phesant, Siberian Tiger, Snow Leopard, Goat Antelope-Ghooral and Serao etc.
- There have some more interesting tour spots in and around Nainital like–
The Jim Corbett National Park Mukteshwar