At the foot of the Kumaon Hills in the Indian state of Uttarakhand lies a beautiful hill-station called Nainital enveloped by a number of hills; Mount Ayarpatha, Mount Naina and Mount Deopatha being the most important ones. The town embraces a beautiful lake called 'Naini Lake' which is a very popular attraction among tourists. In fact, the name of the town, Nainital, which can be translated to 'Lake of the Eye' with 'naina' meaning 'eye' and 'tal' meaning 'lake', originated from this lake's name. Nainital presents an example of pure enchanting beauty with its lake surrounded by ridges all around covered with greenery and thick forests. The Himalayan Mountains are a common attraction for travellers around the world.
Legend has it that the three sages Atri, Pulaha and Pulastya had visited the town and could not find any water and so they dug up land for a lake and filled the hollow area with water brought from Lake Mansarovar in Tibet. That is why a dip in this lake is considered very holy, equivalent to a dip in the sacred Mansarovar Lake. This lake is called Naini Lake. Naukuchiatal Lake, Bhimtal Lake, Khurpatal Lake and Sat Tal Lakes are some other lakes that are popular.
The Naina Devi temple devoted to goddess Shakti, an avatar of goddess Parvati, is a temple of religious importance to the Hindu people. According to folklore, Nainital is believed to be one of the 64 places where parts of Parvati had fallen when Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati's husband, was carrying her. A pleasant place through winter and summer, Nainital was a popular summer getaway destination for the British during their rule. In fact, they had erected many European colleges and schools which function even now. At the best times of the year, the number of tourists visiting the town becomes almost equal to the number of actual inhabitants of Nainital.
There have been issues regarding the growing commercialization and industrialization of the town which has caused deforestation to a large extent accompanied with a great amount of pollution; air, water and soil. There have been major concerns about the obvious silting of the sacred Naini Lake caused due to the same reasons.
There are a number of Hotels in Nainital situated around the Naini Lake with costs ranging from high to low. Guest lodges, homestays and hostels are also decent options for frequent travelers. Manu Maharani Hotel, Alka - The Lake Side Hotel, Chevron Fair Havens, The Naini Retreat, KMVN Tourist Rest House Tallital, are some Nainital Hotels you might consider checking in.
Since at many places parking of vehicles is not allowed, the best way to tour the town is probably on foot. You can also check out the local shops selling handicrafts and local food along the roads.
Buses run on a regular basis between Delhi and Nainital. It takes almost 8 hours to reach Nainital from Delhi by road.