Lake District of Uttarakhand
|Type of Tourism||: Hill Station|
|Area||: 11.73 sq. km.|
|Population||: 38,560 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: 2,084 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: March to June|
|Telephone Code||: India (05942), International (+91)|
|Pin Codes||: 263001|
|Clothing recommended||: Heavy woolen in winter, light woolen in summer|
|Languages spoken||: Kumaoni, Garhwali, Hindi, English|
|What to buy||: Handicrafts, wooden crafts and decoratives, ornaments, carved cane sticks, Kumaoni woolens, Kashmiri Pashmina shawls, pullovers, woolen caps, local juice, jams and squashes, handmade colorful candles, fresh fruits.|
|Shopping Areas||: 7 day open-air market, Mall Road, The Mini Mall Road Shop, Bhotia Market, Bara Bazaar, Sardar Sons, Kashmir Craft Emporium, Nagpal Gift Centre, Himjoli, Darshan Brothers,|
|Food Specialties||: Ras, steamed rice, bhang ki chutney, Bhatt ki Churkani, Baadi, Black and White Roti, Madwe Ki Roti, Muli ka Thechua, Bathue ka Paratha, Gaderi Ki Sabji, Peenalu Ki Sabji, Papad Ki Sabji, Gathi, Gauhat ki Daal, Lason Ka Lur, Bhatt Ka Joula, Dhai ka Jaula, Bari Bhat, Kaapa Bhaat, Chanda Devi aur Saladi ka Raita, Aloo Ke Gutke, Arsa, Gulgula, Bal Mithai, Malta, Kafhal, Khumani, Pulam, etc. .|
|Local transportation||: cycle rickshaws, rented bicycles, on foot|
Nainital, the supreme plethora of allure and comeliness proves Martin Luther truer than he could ever ask for! This ‘Lake District’ of Uttarakhand nestled in the Gagar Valley amidst the lofty peaks of the Kumaon Hills is one of the most celebrious and most cherished hill stations of India. Divided into two parts Tallital and Mallital, Nainital is positioned around the celebrated Naini Lake in the state of Uttarakhand. Enclosed by an assortment of seven mountain crests, the chief of them being Mount Naina, Mount Deopatha and Mount Ayarpatha, Nainital, the treasure land of lakes, hills and infinite natural elegance is indeed a paradise for nature lovers and a fantastic vacation locus for young and old alike. Eternally blessed with the romantic stroke of pristine beauty and salubrious climate, Nainital is the most gleaming jewel in the dazzling diamond necklace of the Himalayas. The charismatic town of Nainital situated in a valley containing the pear shaped lake has a lot to offer. Be it boating, yachting, and paddling in the numerous lakes of this ‘Lake District’ or exploring the hills, making friends with the animals in the zoo or peacefully sitting back feeling the touch of Mother Nature, everything is at your service in Nainital. Certainly, Nainital is a tourist’s surprise and photographers’s delight. It’s a reverie of an artist and a stimulation of a poet. P. Barron, the father of Nainital was right when he said, “It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles trek in the Himalayas.”
Etymology & Mythology
The term ‘Nainital’ can be split as Naini + Tal where in ‘Naini’ means eyes and ‘Tal’ means lake. Thus, the literal meaning of the name Nainital is ‘the lake of the eye’. The city derives its name from the most famous lake of the terrain, ‘Naini Lake’.
The mythological background of the city states that after the self immolation of ‘Sati’ in ‘Daksha Yagna’ when Lord Shiva was carrying her half burnt body to Kailasa, the eye (Nain) of the Goddess fell at this place. An eye shaped lake was formed there which is known as Naini Lake while the region came to be known as Nainital. Nainital is one of the 64 Shakti Peethas scattered across India.
As per another myth, the Tri-Rishi-Sarovar referred to in the Manas Khand of the Skand Purana is the present day Nainital. The three sages Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha were in search of water. On finding no water in Nainital, they dug up a large pit and filled it with water from the holy Manasarovar of Tibet. Owing to this parable, the Naini Lake of Nainital is acclaimed as the ‘lesser Manasarovar’ and taking a dip into this lake earns you equal ‘Punya’ as immersing in the actual Manasarovar.
History Of Nainital
Nainital as we see it today has about 200 years of history at its roots. After the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16, the Kumaon Hills came under British control. A sugar trader from Shahjahanpur named P. Barron constructed the first European house known as ‘Pilgrim Lodge’ atop one of the Himalayan Hills in the year 1839. This marked the onset of the establishment of one of the most beautiful places on the earth; Nainital. Gradually, the ‘Anyarpatta’ or the ‘complete blackout’ of this region started clearing and by 1846 when Captain Madden of the Bengal Artillery visited Nainital, the houses were speedily springing up in most areas of the region. The settlement stretched from the Naini Lake to the pedestal of China and Deopatta. Quite soon the place became famous amongst the British officials and soldiers as a pleasant summer retreat. Later, the town was made the summer residence of the Governor of the United Provinces too. By the year 1847, Nainital had become a much sought after summer resort. The Nainital Municipal Board was officially constituted on 3rd October 1850 and in 1862 Nainital was made the summer capital of the North Western Provinces. With the establishments of magnificent bungalows, rest houses, marketing areas, clubs and other recreational centers, the secretariat, other administrative offices and prominent educational institutes, the development of Nainital never looked back.