The nucleus of Nainital’s exquisite beauty is a beautiful lake. During the day, seven proud hills, filled with charming villages and villas, are mirrored in its waters. This reflection alone leaves one spellbound. However, more beautiful than this is the lake at night when the myriads of bulbs from the hillsides and a large number hanging near the lake’s edge stab their magical light into its waters.
Nainital is also named after Naini Lake, which covers a perimeter of 2 miles with a depth from 6m to 28 m. The still water of Naini Lake makes visitors fall in love with its alluring beauty.
Naini Lake’s charming beauty has attracted many writers and creative personalities. This has prompted a few of the world’s prominent writers to explain its beauty in the words of their poems. The Nainital boat club offers ample opportunities for yachting and boating to holidaymakers on the scintillating lake. The famous Mall Road near Nainital Lake offers a shopping paradise for vacationers.
Mallital is the name of the lake’s north end, while Tallital is the name of the southern one, which has a bridge with Gandhi’s statue and post office on its sides. It is the world’s only Post Office on a lake bridge. In addition to the post office, Bus Stand, Taxi Station, and Railway reservation counter are on the same lake bridge. Both ends have well-laid shopping centers with beautifully laid marts, stores, and luxury shops.
Two words ‘Naina’ which means ‘eye’ and ‘tal’ which means ‘lake’ form Nainital’s name. According to Hindu mythology, Sati, the daughter of King Daksha married Shiva against the consent of his father who, despite Shiva’s god-like stance, did not favor the match. King Daksha held a “yajna” to insult his son-in-law. Everybody was invited except the couple themselves. Sati, in a rage, stormed at the Yajna, and before the eyes of her arrogant father, she leaped into the raging flames of the fire.
Lord Shiva came down to earth to retrieve the half-charred body upon hearing the grievous news. He gently carried it in his arms and made his way to Kailash Parvat, the abode of Shiva. On his way back to Kailash Parvat, the eyes of Sati dropped into the lake, giving an emerald and turquoise color to the water. Later, people built the Naina Devi temple dedicated to Sati upon hearing the grievous news. This temple has stood on the grounds of the lake for centuries despite the landslide of 1880 hitting it. People rebuilt the temple the next year as they consider it a sacred place.
However, the Hindu scriptures of Skanda Purana mention a lake called the ‘Tririshi Sarovar,’ which people believe is the Nainital Lake. This name came from three great sages who meditated here, namely Atri, Pulastya, and Pulaha. They dug a hole, which soon filled with water and became the Naini Lake or Tririshi Sarovar.
According to historical records, Mr. P. Barron, an English businessman involved in the sugar trade, founded Nainital Lake in 1839. On a hunting expedition, Barron accidentally came across the emerald lake. Its captivating beauty bewitched him and he decided to build a European Colony on the lake’s shore as a summer retreat for Englishmen. Barron quoted, “It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1500-mile trek in the Himalayas”.
Image Courtesy: Trip Advisor
One of the most gorgeous places in India, Nainital has a huge fan base of travelers from within the country and abroad. Nainital’s breathtaking views and pure environs can ease your soul into a state of serenity. So, make the most of sightseeing in Nainital by soaking in all its glory of lush forested valleys, a deep-green emerald lake, and a climate that is favorable all year round.
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