Nainital is a major tourist town in the northern state of Uttarakhand, India. Nainital is a town located in the Shivalik range in the north central India of Uttarakhand. Nainital, the city of lakes, is a famous tourist destination in Uttarakhand. Nestled amidst the snow-capped mountains, this place is surrounded by lakes. The most prominent of these lakes is Naini Lake after which the place got its name Nainital. That's why it is also called 'The City of Lakes. Nainital is very beautiful no matter where it is seen. It is called the 'Lake District of India because its entire place is surrounded by lakes. Its geographical feature is unique. The lowest temperature in Nainital ranges from 27.06°C to 8.06°C. Nainital's view makes Nain happy.
The city of Nainital is located in the Shivalik range in the northern Uttarakhand state of north-central India. Founded in 1841, the town is a popular tourist destination, situated at an altitude of about 1,934 meters above sea level. The city is situated around a beautiful lake and is surrounded by forest-covered mountains. Nainital is bounded by Almora in the north, Champawat in the east, Udham Singh Nagar in the south, and Pauri and Uttar Pradesh in the west. The Himalayan region in the northern part of the district and the plains in the south have pleasant weather throughout the year.
History of Nainital
Nainital was established in the year 1841 by a person named P. Berun. P. Berun was the first European. Nainital was the summer headquarters of the British. Nainital became a famous hill station in 1847, the British also called it 'Summer Capital'. Since then till today it has retained its charm. Nainital also emerged as a major center of education during the colonial period. This place was very much liked by the British for teaching their children in a better environment. He had also made elaborate arrangements for his entertainment.
The Naini Lake surrounded by hills and all its surrounding lakes had become the center of attraction and every European citizen started coming here with the longing to settle there. Later the British-Indian government declared Nainital as the summer capital of the United Provinces and during this time many European-style buildings were built here, the Governor's House and St. John's Church are wonderful examples of this construction art.
How Nainital got its name?
Nainital is counted among the major regions of the country. It comes in 'Chhakhata' pargana. The name 'Chhakhata' is derived from 'Shashtikhata'. Shashtikhata means sixty locks. Earlier there were sixty panoramic pools in this zone. That is why this region was called 'Shastikhata'. Today this area is more known by the name 'Chhakhata'. Even today, the Nainital district has the highest number of ponds.
Here 'Nainital' (Naini Lake) which comes under the Nainital district is the main attraction here. Nainital is situated at an altitude of 1934 meters above sea level in the foothills of high mountains in the shade of dense trees on all three sides. The length of this pool has been estimated as 1,358 meters, width 458 meters, and depth from 15 to 156 meters. The specialty of the water of Nainital is that the entire range and the shadow of the trees are clearly visible in this pool.
The reflection of the clouds covered in the sky is so beautiful in this pond that to see this type of image one comes to Nainital from hundreds of kilometers away. A flock of ducks roaming in the water, the sight of boats and colorful boats swaying on the swaying pools, and the beauty of the moon-starry night add to the beauty of Nainital's pool. The water of this pool also has its own specialty. Its water turns green in summer, muddy in the rainy season, and light blue in winter.
Naina Devi's Nainital
According to the legend, Uma, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, was married to Shiva. Daksha Prajapati did not like Shiva, but he could not avoid the request of the gods, so he married his daughter to Shiva even though he did not want to. Once Daksha Prajapati invited all the deities to his place in the Yagya but did not even invite his son-in-law Shiva and daughter Uma. Uma stubbornly reached this Yagya.
When she saw all the gods being respected and her husband and herself being humiliated at her father's Yagya at Kanarvan in Haridwar, she became very sad. She jumped into the havankund of the Yagya saying that 'I will make Shiva my husband in the next life also. As a result of the humiliation you have done to me and my husband, I fail your Yagya by burning myself in the havan kund of the Yagya.' When Shiva came to know that Uma had become sati, he was very angry.
He destroyed and corrupted the sacrifice of Daksha Prajapati with his Ganas. Seeing this fierce form of Shiva, all the gods and goddesses got into thinking that Shiva should not do the holocaust. Therefore the deities prayed to Mahadev Shiva and pacified his anger. Daksha Prajapati also apologized. Shiva blessed him too. But, seeing the burnt body of Sati, his disinterest flared up. He started traveling through the sky by placing the burnt body of Sati on his shoulder.
In such a situation, wherever the body parts fell, there were Shaktipeeths. Where Sati's eyes had fallen; There in the form of Naina Devi, Uma i.e. Nanda Devi got a grand place. Today's Nainital is the same place where the Nain of that goddess had fallen. The apparition of the eyes took the form of rhythm here. Since then, Shiva's wife Nanda (Parvati) is constantly worshiped here in the form of Naina Devi. If we also look at the texture of the rhythm of Nainital, then it is the 'Tal' of the shape of the eye. Due to its mythological importance, the superiority of this rhythm is greatly appreciated. Naini (Nanda) Devi has been worshiped here since the Puranas.
Nanda was also the presiding deity of a few kings of Kumaon, whom they used to worship here continuously. It is also said that there was a Chandravanshi princess Nanda who was worshiped as a goddess. But there is no authentic source for this story because Nanda is accepted as the presiding deity in all the mountainous regions. Nanda Devi has also been favored by the kings of Garhwal and Kumaon. Every year on Nanda Ashtami special worship of Nandaparvati is done by the people of Garhwal and Kumaon. The people of Garhwal-Kumaon have been organizing 'Nanda Jaat' for sending Nanda's mother-in-law to her in-laws' house. Therefore, the importance of this place in the form of worship of Nandaparvati has been estimated for ages. The people here have been doing the circumambulation of Nanda's 'Nainital' in this form.
Mythological Reference of Nainital
According to mythological historians, from chapters 40 to 51 of Manaskhand, a description of holy places, rivers, streams, and mountain ranges of the Nainital region is found in 219 verses. In Manaskhand, the mountain between Nainital and Kotabagh is called Sheshagiri mountain, at one end of which is Sitawani. It is said that Lord Rama and Sita have spent some time in Sitawani. It is a popular belief that Sita lived in Sitavani with her sons Luv and Kush during the days of exile Rama.
Devaki river is mentioned next to Sitawani, which is currently called the Dabka river. In the Mahabharata Van Parva, it is called the Apaga river. It is further reported that there were 66 talas around the Garganchal (present-day Gagar) ranges. One of these was called Tririshi Sarovar (present-day Nainital), which was created by three sages, Atri, Pulah, and Pulastya, who were tired of climbing on their way to Kailash Mansarovar from Bhadravat (Chitrashila Ghat-Ranibagh) by meditating on Mansarovar. Mahendra Parameshwari (Naina Devi) resided in this lake. Subhadra Nala (Ballia Nala) is said to be next to the lake. Similarly, the drain near Bhimtal has been called Pushpabhadra Nala, both the drains used to meet in Bhadravat i.e. Rani bagh. It is said that on the grace of Sutapa sage, Tridev i.e. Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh came and sat on Chitrashila and happily took the sage to heaven by sitting in a plane.
Gaula has been called the Gargi river. Bhima Sarovar (Bhimtal) was born from the blow of Mahabali Bhima's mace and the Ganges water filled by Anjali by him. There is also mention of Kaushiki nearby Kosi river, Navkon Sarovar to Naukuchia Tal, Siddha Sarovar, and Nal Sarovar to Garudtal, etc. The area was also called Chhakhata or Shashtikhata, which means, there were 60 talas.
It has been said in Manaskhand that all these lakes are going to give salvation to insects, moths, mosquitoes, etc. Historian and folk painter Padmashree Dr. Yashodhar Mathpal does not consider Manaskhand as a part of Skanda Purana according to earlier beliefs, but it is believed that Manaskhand is a religious text written around the 10th-11th century.
Religious Affiliation of Nainital
It is said that the first mention of the city of Nainital is mentioned in the Manas Khand of Skanda Purana by the name of Trishi-Sarovar (Tri-Rishi Sarovar. It is said that three sages named Atri, Pulastya and Pulah were on their way to Kailash Mansarovar lake. They were passing through this place that they felt very thirsty. On this, he dug a pit remembering Mansarovar with his Tapobal and filled the holy water of Mansarovar lake in it. In this way, the religious significance of Naini Lake is considered equal to that of Mansarovar Lake.
At the same time, according to another belief, Naini Lake is considered one of the 64 Shakti Peeths in the country. It is said that when Lord Shiva was carrying the burnt body of Mother Sati toward Mount Kailash from the sky, Lord Vishnu separated her body with the Sudarshan Chakra. That is when the left eye (Nain or Nayan) of Mother Sati fell here (and the right eye at the place named Naina Devi of Himachal Pradesh), due to which it was called Nayantal, Nainital and later Nainital. The holy temple of Naina Devi is situated here.
Geographical Context of Nainital
Situated at an altitude of 1934 meters (approximately) above sea level (at the Tallital stalk), Nainital is a pear-shaped lake with a circumference of about 3 km, 1434 meters long, 463 meters wide, and 28 meters deep and 44.838 hectares i.e. 0.448 sq km. Around Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft), Devpata (2,438 m (7,999 ft)), and Alma, Handi-Bandi, Ladiya-Kanta and Ayarpata (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) is surrounded by seven hills. According to the District Gazette, Nainital has situated at 29 degrees 38 degrees north latitude and 79 degrees 45 degrees east longitude. Expansion of Nainital City According to the municipal map, the lowest point is at the confluence of Krishnapur Gad and Ballianala, between Pillar No. 22 (1,406 m i.e. 4,610 ft) to Naina Peak (2,613 m i.e. 8,579 ft) to a straight height of 1,207 m i.e. about 1.25 km Is. In this sense also, it is the only unique small town of its kind in the world, where so much gradient is available. The area of the city is 17.32 sq km including 11.66 sq km of the municipality and 2.57 sq km of the cantonment. Out of this, the catchment area of Naini Lake is 5.66 sq km, while 5.87 sq km area out of the total city area including the cantonment is forested.
Agriculture and Minerals in Nanital
In Nainital, 52,000 hectares of land are used for agriculture, out of which 45,000 hectares are used for irrigation. The main sources of irrigation are canals and tube wells. 24,203 hectares of land is irrigated by canals and 3366 hectares of land is irrigated by tube wells. The main crops of Nainital are Wheat, Mandua, Maize, Barley, Jhangora, Kauni, Bhatt, Tor, Paddy, Sugarcane, Peas, and Soyabean. Apples, pears, peaches, apricots, etc. are also grown in fruits.
Educational Institute in Nainital
There are many good schools and colleges in Nainital. European missionaries have opened several schools, among which St. Joseph's College, Sherwood College, St. Mary's Convent School, and All Saints School are famous. Birla Ka Balika Vidyalaya and Birla Public School are also famous. There is also a polytechnic in Nainital. Kumaon University is also established in Nainital, where all types of education are given. New subjects are taught at Kumaon University. Students from all corners of the country come here to study them.
How to reach Nainital?
Nainital is well connected by road to the railway terminal of Kathgodam located in the south. Pantnagar is the nearest airport to Nainital. Nainital is 71 km away from the airport. Buses are also available from Pantnagar to Nainital. The railway station is near Kathgodam. Bareilly, Lucknow, Delhi, and Agra are connected to Nainital by rail. Buses and taxis are available from Kathgodam to Nainital. Private and public bus services are available between Nainital and important cities in the states like Dehradun, Almora, Ranikhet, Bareilly, Haridwar, Ramnagar, Delhi, Lucknow, and others.
By Air Pantnagar is the nearest airport to Nainital. Nainital is 71 km away from the airport.
Nainital is well connected by road to the railway terminal of Kathgodam located in the south.
Buses are also available from Pantnagar to Nainital. The railway station is near Kathgodam.