In a mythological account, this picturesque lake is said to be one of
the emerald green eyes of Shiva's beloved consort, Sati (nain is a
Sanskrit word for eye). When Sati's father failed to invite Shiva to a
family sacrifice, she burnt herself to death in protest. Shiva gathered
the charred remains in his arms and proceeded to engage in a cosmic
dance tandav, which threatened to destroy the creation. To bring the
dance to an end, Vishnu chopped up the body into pieces, and the remains
were scattered. The Naina Devi Temple at the northern end of the lake is
built over the precise spot where the eye is believed to have fallen.
From the Nainital town the Snow View top is a 3 kilometer trek. Part of
it can also be covered comfortably by cars and small vehicles. At the
top, one can have a close up view of Nanda Devi (7816m), the second
highest Himalayan peak of the country.
There's a small temple dedicated to Dev Mundi, housing images of Goddess
Durga, Lord Shiva, Goddess Sita, Lord Rama, Sri Lakshmana and Sri
Hanuman. From Snow View one can walk west to another point and then
continue on to the main road to Kilbury. One can also continue up to
Cheena Peak or head down the road to Sukhatal, passing great views of
the lake en route. On the walk up to Snow View one can take a peek in
the tiny Gadhan Kunkyop Ling Gompa of the Gelukpa order (of which the
Dalai Lama is the spiritual head).
Naina Peak is locally known as the Cheena peak. This is the highest
point in Nainital. From here Nainital appears like a majestic shining
bowl. You can walk or take ponies to reach the peak. Naina peak also
gives a good view of the Camel's Back, another interesting peak. There
are no hotels or restaurants on the top so it is advisable to carry food
and water along.
Naina Devi Temple
At the upper end of the attractive Nainital lake, a temple of Naina Devi
is located. Dedicated to the patronizing goddess of the town, Naina
Devi, this temple and its complex becomes the location of the famous
Nanda Devi Mela, held every year on Nandashtami during September.
The place is of great religious importance. Situated at a height of 1951
meters, this place was established by Baba Neem Karauli. A very
beautiful Hanuman temple is at the top. Watching the Sunset from Hanuman
Garhi, is an out-of-the-world experience. You can leisurely walk down to
Hanuman Garhi from Nainital town.
Nainital has a small but a very beautiful Zoological garden. There are
several animals including Deer, Bears, Tigers and many more. Special
efforts have been put in to make the environment of the zoo hygienic and
clean. Not surprisingly this zoo is one of the cleanest zoos in the
country. The zoo can be reached on foot or by small vehicles.
Naina Devi Temple
St. John's Church
This church was built in 1847. A brass memorial is kept in memory of the
people who were buried in the infamous landslide in the 19th century.
The few bodies which could be dug out were buried in the church
Bhowali, Ghorakhal, Sat Tal, Kilbury, Kainchi Dham, Bhimtal, Mukteshwar,