Weather :

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Nainital Lake, Nainital Overview

Nestled amidst the township of Nainital, Naini Lake (short for Nainital Lake) is a beautiful natural fresh body lake. The lake is in crescent or kidney shape and is one of the most famous lakes of the Kumaon region. Bounded by Naini Peak on North West, Tiffin Point on the South West and snow-capped peaks on the north, the Nainital Lake offers a breathtaking view, especially during early morning and sunset. The mesmerising lake is most famous for its wonderful scenic beauty which is a hotspot for family picnics. Boating, long evening walks and endearing interactions with ducks are some of the things that are a must do whilst visiting this glittering lake. You can also seek the blessings of Goddess Naina Devi at the Naina Devi temple which is also situated near the Naini Lake. 

The Nainital Lake is a charming beauty that is surrounded by seven different peaks namely Ayarpata, Deopata, Handi Bandi, Cheena Peak, Alma, Laria Kanta and Sher Ka Danda. The lake itself can be divided into two distinct sections, the northern part called Mallital and southern region called Tallital. Coniferous trees that cover the hillside add charm to the raw beauty of the place. You can also visit Naini Temple on the shores of the lake. A pretty lake that once a European man fell in love with, Naini Lake today serves as a major tourist spot for people from all over the country.

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Legend of Naini Lake

Legend says that once upon a time, a very powerful king named Daksha ruled in the country. He had a beautiful daughter named Sati, and when she came of age, King Daksh began looking for a suitable groom for her. As luck would have it, Sati got attracted to Lord Shiva whom King Daksh despised thoroughly. Despite wanting otherwise, Sati and Shiva got married and started living together. This was not acceptable to King Daksh, and he decided to organize a 'yajna' or fire sacrifice ritual where Shiva and Sati were not invited. However, Sati decided to attend her father's prayer service in spite of not being invited to the same. Upon reaching the venue, she and her husband were thoroughly disrespected by Daksh and unable to tolerate the humiliation, Sati jumped into the ritualistic fire.

Upon learning of Sati's death, Shiva was livid and he started performing the 'Tandava' or celestial dance of destruction. According to a legend, it is said that Lord Shiva performed his tandava at Naini Lake as well. This gave way to apocalyptic destruction on the Earth, and the Gods feared that the world was nearing its end. When repeated pleas to Shiva by the other Gods went in vain, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra upon Sati's dead body which cut it into 52 different parts. Each of the remains fell on a different portion of the country and a temple emerged there. The Naini Devi Temple was the site where Sati's 'nayan' or eyes had fallen.

Boating at Nainital Lake

A trip to the Naini Lake is perhaps incomplete if one doesn't indulge in boating here. The serene beauty of the lake surrounded by gently rolling mountains presents a tranquil scenery. With gentle winds blowing as you pedal your way through the waters, the quaint atmosphere of Naini Lake will surely transport you into a world of your own. Yatching and kayaking are available here as well. The charges and timings of various boats here includes:-

Timings: 06:00 AM - 06:00 PM (March to June)
Cost for Boating in Naini Lake:
Brightly painted Gondola-like boats: INR 210 per hour
Boat ride through Nainital Boat Club: INR 350 per hour
Pedal boat: INR 150 per hour

Best Time To Visit

You can best enjoy the serenity of Naini Lake during the months of March, June, November and December when the weather is perfect for a boat ride.

Historical Significance of Naini Lake

Hindu scriptures such as the Skanda Purana mention a lake called the 'Tririshi Sarovar', which is believed to be the Nainital Lake. This name was derived from the names of three great sages who used to meditate here, namely Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha. A hole was dug by the three of them which soon got filled with water and came to be known as the Naini Lake or Tririshi Sarovar. According to the historical records, in 1839, a European businessman P. Barron while on a hunting expedition, accidentally found the Naini Lake and was captivated by its beauty. He then decided to build a European colony on the shores of the lake as a summer retreat for Englishmen.

Tips

1. Carry heavy woollens if you are planning a visit during winter months as the weather is quite chilly.
2. Nainital's Mal Road, which is a major shopping hub of the city, runs parallel to the Naini Lake and is a must-visit for every shopping buff. You can take your pick from a variety of candles, handicrafts, wooden artefacts, handlooms and shawls.

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