Nainital was discovered by Europeans in 1841 and quickly became a popular hill retreat, with its peanut shaped lake and set in a mountain hollow. Today Nainital is still a popular hill retreat and it is a great base for exploring Kumaon.
The lake is a draw card, with sailing being popular. At night, the lake shimmers with the lights from the surrounding hillside villages. There are numerous trail walks around the lake, all with beautiful views. Surrounding the lake are seven hills, Ayarpata (2,235 metres); Deopata (2,273 metres); Handi Bandi (2,139 metres); Cheena (2,611 metres); Alma (2,270 metres); Laria Kanta (2,481 metres) and Sher-ka-Danda (2,217 metres). Of these, Ayarpata is so called from Ayar tree (Andromeda ovalifolia) and Handi Bandi from the echo (or devil's laughter) which it is said can be heard here. Sher-ka-Danda means the tiger's ridge and Laria Kanta is said to have been named after some forgotten goddess. The Alma ridge has been named after the famous battle of Alma, fought during the Crimean war.
The Mall, which links the head of the lake (Mallital) with the foot of the lake (Tallital) is always popular and has an array of restaurants.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...