Weather :

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Bhimtal Lake, Bhimtal Overview

Bhimtal Lake, one of the most famous lakes in India, is located in the Bhimtal town of the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. An island at the centre of the Lake is a famous tourist attraction and also houses an aquarium with a variety of fish species and a temple. In the Kumaon region, which is also known as the Lake district of India, the Bhimtal lake is the largest lake and supplies drinking water to the town and supports aquaculture in the region. Today, the lake has been opened for tourists and has a variety of activities in and around the lake. Morning walks are especially recommended for those who want to avoid the tourist crowd. The tranquil atmosphere of the lake is sure to make you want to come back again and again.

The Bhimtal Lake is located at an elevation of over 4500 feet, in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. It is a 'C' shaped lake that expands over an area of 47 hectares. During some months in a year, the otherwise clear lake water turns brown due to infused animalcule. Locals believe that only after the lake claims a victim does the brown colour disappears, and the water becomes clear again.

The surroundings of the Bhimtal Lake are well maintained and clean offering a pleasant experience to everyone visiting it. One can go boating or take a long walk along the banks and feed the ducks during dawn or dusk. The vibe, wholly tranquil and serene, will mesmerise you as you wrap up a busy vacation day schedule at the lake.

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Geography of Bhimtal Lake

The Bhimtal Lake occupies an area of about 48 hectares and has a storage capacity of about 4.6 million cubic meters. It is located at an elevation of over 4500 feet above sea level in Nainital, Uttarakhand. The lake originated from numerous faults which occurred due to the shifting of the earth's crust which caused a blockade of the overland flows, and thus, resulted in the creation of the lake. Research has proven that the Lake water is highly polluted because of the disposal of sewage directly into the water from the residential complexes fringing around it. It hence falls into the Mesotrophic category of lakes. A project to trap the wastewater and treat it instead of dumping it the lake water is underway.

The region has mostly tropical and sub-tropical climatic conditions and receives quite a high level of precipitation during the months of monsoon, between July and September). The C-shaped Lake has steep banks, and it is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The banks have grass and bushes growing, and some thickly forested areas around the lake mostly have Oak, Chir Pine and other deciduous trees thriving in the environment.

Species like the Khalij Pheasants, the Barking Deer, geese and ducks are frequently seen. The lake houses common Snowtrout, Rohu, Catla and European Carp. The Fish Farm at Bhimtal produces abundant yields of Mahseer or the Tor Putitora Fish.

History of Bhimtal Lake

The lake and the town are named after Bhima, one of the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. He is said to have visited this place. The dam was built in 1883 under the British Raj after the Anglo-Nepal war. Raja Baj Bahadur Chand of Kumaon Kingdom built a temple on the banks of the dam here in the 17th century.

Bhimtal Lake Dam

The Bhimtal Lake dam was built in 1883 under the British Raj after the Anglo-Nepal war. Raja Baj Bahadur Chand of Kumaon Kingdom built a temple on the banks of the dam here in the 17th century. The colossal dam is a masonry structure that stands over 14 metres tall and has a length of 150 metres. It has 12 gates designed to allow flood discharge of 45 cubic meter square. River Ganga is the basin area of this lake. The Bhimtal Dam was initially built for irrigational purposes, but now it is majorly to provide drinking water to the population residing in the region.

Boating at Bhimtal Lake

Boating in the tranquil waters of the Bhimtal Lake is one activity that should be experienced by one and all. The panoramic view of the thick forests and the sparkling waters of the lake under clear blue skies is a sight to die for. Boating is the only way to reach the tiny little island in the centre of the lake that houses the famous Bhimtal Aquarium. Pedal boating is a fun way to explore the lake for couples and families. There are provisions for canoeing and kayaking too for exploring the delightful Lake waters solo.

Boating can be done every day between 09:00 AM and 06:00 PM; boating costs start from INR 150 per person.

Bhimtal Lake Aquarium

The Bhimtal Lake Aquarium is in the midst of the pristine waters of the Bhimtal Lake on a tiny little island. The aquarium has around 12 large tanks and is home to a variety of fishes. It is a perfect picnic destination in the mesmerising valley of Bhimtal. Visitors can take a relaxing boat ride and halt at the Bhimtal Lake Island to see the fishes in the aquarium. Some species of fish have been brought from Mexico, China and South Africa.
The entry cost is INR 60 per person and is open for visitors from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM every day.

Other Activities to do at Bhimtal Lake

Trekking: The Bhimtal Lake is surrounded by thick forests with numerous trekking trails around the lake. The view of the picturesque valleys and the serene lake from a distance is worth trekking for.

Paragliding: Just about 4 kilometres away from Bhimtal Lake is Naukuchiatal where adventure freaks can go paragliding to get a bird's eye view of the mesmerizing scenery.

Cycling or Mountain Biking: Visitors can cycle through the surroundings of the Bhimtal Lake to explore the beautiful scenery.

Water ball: This is an activity similar to Zorbing, but only done on water. Visitors must experience walking or running on the surface of the water in one of these water balls.

Horse Riding: The Bara Pathar route in Bhimtal is a preferred route for horse riding. Horses can be rented on an hourly basis to explore the beautiful trails around the Bhimtal Lake.

Tips For Visiting Bhimtal Lake

1. Fishing in the lake requires permission from Deputy Commissioner.
2. There are kiosks selling street food around the lake area.
3. The climate could get chilly in the early hours of the evening, carry enough warm clothing.
4. Avoid activities that pollute the lake water and the surroundings.
5. Visit the lake early in the morning if you wish to avoid the crowd during peak seasons.

How To Reach Bhimtal Lake

One can drive to the beautiful Bhimtal Lake by private or public vehicles within Bhimtal from any part of the town.  

The nearest railway station is the Kathgodam Railway Station which is located at a distance of about 25 kilometres from Bhimtal Lake. One can avail public of tourist vehicles to reach the Bhimtal Lake. The nearest airport is the Pantnagar Airport. Visitors can avail taxis from the airport to drive down to Bhimtal Lake.

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