Most of us know about Nainital, a well known lake city of Uttarakhand. But not many are aware of the fact that Nainital is just one of the lakes of Kumaon range. Lakes Bhimtal, Sattal and Naukuchiatal are three other mystical lakes of region which makes this series of lakes complete.
As not many of visitors who visit this region are aware of these lakes, hence banks of these lakes are not much crowded. This makes them an ideal holiday destination if you want to run off from the rush & noises of cities in search of serenity. Let’s find more about these lakes !
8 places you must visit in and around Bhimtal, Sattal and Naukuchiatal
Situated around 22 Kms from Nainital, Bhimtal town is named after the Bhima, one of the Pandavaas brothers from the epic of Mahabharata. Bhimtal literally translates to ‘The lake of Bhima’.
The town of Bhimtal is popular among tourists and local travellers alike, mainly due to its proximity to the hill station of Nainital. The pleasant weather & the salubrious environment here makes camping in the open one of the fun activities in Bhimtal.
1. Bhimtal Lake
Bhimtal lake is a enormous ‘C’ shaped lake, with a 118 acres of clear green water surface makes it the largest lake of Kumaon region. Tourists enjoy boating and other activities in the lake, like playing with ducks makes it a wonderful experience for them.
Other than lake there are many Lake Resorts situated in this small town, gives every visitor many memories that he/she cheers for a life. A small beautiful island is situated in the middle of the lake, increases the scenic beauty of the lake to many folds.
2. Bhimeshwar Mahadev Temple
Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple is an old temple located in the bank of Bhimtal Lake, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to have been built when Bhima visited the place during the exile (Vanvaas) period of Pandavaas.
The present temple structure was built by King Baaj Bahadur Chand who ruled this region during 17th century. Hills near temple are called Hidimba Hills, named after the wife of Bhima. Unique stone sculptures in temple premises make visiting this temple a blissful experience for every visitor.
3. Bhimtal Aquarium
Bhimtal Aquarium is fresh water fish aquarium located in the heart of the Bhimtal lake i.e. the small island. One can go to Island by boat, watch aquarium and come back. Aquarium hosts more than 30 species of fishes from all around India.
4. Nal Damyanti Tal
A sacred lake held in deep reverence by the people of region, Nal Damyanti Tal is situated two kilometers away from Bhimtal town on Sattal Road. It is a small natural lake named after the famous mythological characters, King Nal and his wife Damyanti. It is said that the palace of King Nal drowned into this lake.
5. Butterfly Museum of Bhimtal
Butterfly Farm is a museum at John estate that will make one feel close to nature. Museum cum Research Center houses nearly 115 species of insects and nearly 250 varied species of butterflies and moths, the place is a paradise for nature buffs.
Created by Federic Smetacek or “The Butterfly Man”, place serves as one of the major attraction point of Bhimtal and Sattal area.
6. Naukuchiatal – The nine-cornered lake of Kumaon
Naukuchiatal, literally, Nine-cornered Lake, is 26 km (15.7 mile) from Nainital and 4 km from Bhimtal at an altitude of 1220 meters. The lake is almost 1 km long, 0.5 km wide and approximately 130 ft deep. It is the deepest of the lakes in the greater Nainital area. According to legend, if one takes in all nine corners of lake in one glimpse, one can disappear in a cloud of smoke.
The destination attracts adventure lovers with its facilities of paragliding, trekking and camping. Bhimtal is not just for beauty and spirituality, It also offers excellent opportunities for adventure sports lovers. If you love the adventure part of travel, Just go for paragliding, flying above the picturesque mountains of the region.
7. Sattal – The Cluster of seven lakes
Sattal, also known as land of seven lakes is a wonderful lake destination in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. This place is a hidden paradise among the oaks and pines forests all around the hills, which is a cluster of seven inter-connected fresh water lakes at a height of 1370 meters from sea level. Name of these seven lakes are on seven different mythological characters of Hindu mythology: Nal Damyanti Tal, Panna Tal, Purna Tal, Sukha Tal, Ram Tal, Lakshman Tal and Sita Tal.
Sattal is also famous of various adventurous tourism activities like – Zip line (aerial runway), hiking in nearby hills, trekking etc.
Other than above, Sattal’s specialty is that it serves as a heaven for bird-watchers with some rare migratory birds along with many others birds and fishes to see.
8. ‘Lok Sanskriti’ – The Folk Culture Museum of Bhimtal
This museum is another interesting point of Bhimtal for art and culture lovers. Place was founded by Padamshri Dr. Yashodhar Mathpal, a well known Indian archeologist, painter and Gandhian in year 1983.
Museum houses collection of many rare folk and cave paintings, old wooden artifacts and personal collection of paintings of Dr. Mathpal. It also have a hundred feet long gallery with three hundred water colour reproductions of rock art. These items were collected from various parts of Uttarakhand state. Visitors can buy replicas of these paintings and other artifacts from museum.
How to Reach: Nearest Airport is at Pantnagar (55 Km) and nearest Railway Station is at Kathgodam (23 Km). Buses and Taxis are available from both the places.
Best time to visit: March-July & September-November
Languages: Hindi, Kumaoni and English