This article is about the municipality in Uttarakhand, India. For its namesake district, see Nainital district.
Nainital pronunciation (help·info) is a popular hill station in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital district in the Kumaonfoothills of the outer Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres (6,837 ft) above sea level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a mango-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south. From the tops of the higher peaks, "magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bounded by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas."
Geography and climate
Nainital is located at 29°23′N79°27′E / 29.38°N 79.45°E / 29.38; 79.45. The slopes of the nearby mountains are most populated, with an elevation ranging from 1,940–2,100 m (6,360–6,890 ft). The highest point nearby is Naina Peak or China Peak, with an elevation of 2,619 m (8,593 ft).
Nainital experiences subtropical highland climate (Cwb) according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification system as the city's climate is influenced by the elevation. The city is a bit dry during winter and very wet during summer due to South Asian monsoon system. The lowest precipitation total occurs in November with total 7.9 millimetres (0.31 in), while the highest precipitation total occurs in July with total 725 millimetres (28.5 in). Like most places in temperate region, Nainital has relative cool summer. The hottest month is July with temperature ranging from 16.4 °C (61.5 °F) to 23.5 °C (74.3 °F), while the coldest month is January with temperature ranging from 1.7 °C (35.1 °F) to 10.7 °C (51.3 °F).
Nainital is said to be one the best shining diamonds of Himalayan Belt. This city has 3 major lakes that contribute to make it cool and calm throughout the year.
|Climate data for Nainital (1953-1979)|
|Average high °C (°F)||10.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||1.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||80.3|
|Source: India Meteorological Department|
As of the 2011 Indian census, Nainital had a population of 41,377. Males constitute 52.3% of the population and females 47.7%. In 2011, Nainital had an average literacy rate of 92.93%, higher than the Uttarakhand state average of 78.82%. In Nainital, 9.54% of the population is under 6 years of age. Kumaoni people form the major part of the town's population along with people from all over India.
It is believed that the Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, or religious sites where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. The spot where Sati's eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be called Nain-tal or lake of the eye. The goddess Shakti is worshiped at the Naina Devi Temple, known by locals as Naini Mata Temple on the north shore of the present day lake.
The Kumaon Hills came under British rule after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16). The hill station town of Naini Tal was founded only in 1841, with the construction of the first European house (Pilgrim Lodge) by P. Barron, a sugar trader from Shahjahanpur. In his memoir, he wrote: "It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles (2,400 km) trek in the Himalayas." In 1846, when a Captain Madden of the BengalArtillery visited Naini Tal, he recorded that "houses were rapidly springing up in most parts of the settlement: some towards the crest of the limitary ranges were nearly 7,500 ft (2,300 m) above sea level: the rugged and woody Anyarpatta Aashish (Anyar-patt – in Kumaoni means – complete blackout. The reason for this nomenclature by the locals was because there were minimal sun rays due to its location and dense forests) was being gradually planted and that the favourite sites were on the undulating tract of forest land which stretched back from the head of the lake to the base of China and Deopatta (Camel's Hump). The church, St. John in the Wilderness, was one of the earliest buildings in Nainital, followed by Belvedere, Alma lodge, Ashdale Cottage(1860)..." Soon, the town became a health resort favoured by British soldiers and by colonial officials and their families trying to escape the heat of the plains. Later, the town became the summer residence of the governor of the United Provinces.
The landslip of 1880
In September 1880 a landslide ('the landslip of 1880') occurred at the north end of the town, burying 151 people. The first known landslide had occurred in 1866, and in 1879 there was a larger one at the same spot, Alma Hill, but "the great slip occurred in the following year, on Saturday 18 September 1880."
"Two days preceding the slip there was heavy rain, ... 20 inches (510 mm) to 35 in (890 mm) fell during the 40 hours ending on Saturday morning, and the downpour still lasted and continued for hours after the slip. This heavy fall naturally brought down streams of water from the hill side, some endangering the Victoria Hotel, ... (which) was not the only building threatened ... Bell's shop, the Volunteer Orderly Room and the Hindu (Naina Devi) temple were scenes of labour with a view to diverting streams. At a quarter to two the landslip occurred burying those in and around the buildings mentioned above."
The number of dead and missing were 108 Indian and 43 British nationals. (See poem by Hannah Battersby on the page Literary references to Nainital.) The Assembly Rooms and the Naina Devi Temple were destroyed in the disaster. A recreation area known as 'The Flats' was later built on the site and a new temple was erected. To prevent further disasters, storm water drains were constructed and building bylaws were made stricter.
In the latter half of the 19th century a number of "European" schools for boys and girls were founded in Nainital. During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, students in these schools consisted largely of children of the British colonial officials or soldiers. The Diocesan Girls' High School, now known as All Saints' College, was established in 1869, near where the High Court of Uttarakhand stands today. By 1906, there were over half a dozen such schools, including the Diocesan Boys' School (later renamed Sherwood College) and the Philander Smith's college (later renamed Halett War School, currently Birla Vidya Mandir).
St. Joseph's College, Nainital (popularly known as SEM), a day-boarding and residential school built by Irish brothers in 1888, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2013. Another important school for girls, St. Mary's Convent High School, Nainital(popularly known as Ramnee), was established in 1878, and celebrated its 125th anniversary in year 2003.
A popular hill station, Nainital has numerous tourist spots:
There are a number of libraries in the Nainital area. Among them are the Durga Lal Shah Municipal Public Library on the Mall, founded in 1934, the Uttarakhand Academy of Administration, Library and Documentation Center, Mallital, the ARIES Observatory Library, and the Kumaon University Library, Nainital.
- Elsie Inglis, physician and social reformer
- Jim Corbett, hunter of man-eating tigers, author, conservationist and namesake of Jim Corbett National Park. Educated at St. Joseph's College.
- Govind Ballabh Pant, statesman and leader of India's independence movement, first Indian Premier of British India, the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and the third Home Minister of India
- Sam Manekshaw, Indian Army Chief of Staff during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Educated at Sherwood College.
- Som Nath Sharma, India's first Param Vir Chakra award winner. Educated at Sherwood College.
- Krishna Chandra Pant, former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India. Educated at St. Joseph's College.Naini lake night view from mall road
- Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Sudhir Kakar, renowned psychoanalyst
- Shivani, Hindi poet
- Anup Jalota, singer
- Lalet Bist, Film Director
- Sukirti Kandpal, TV actress
- Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood actor. Educated at Sherwood College.
- Naseeruddin Shah, Bollywood actor. Educated at St. Joseph's College.
- Kabir Bedi, Bollywood Actor. Educated at Sherwood College.
- Danny Denzongpa, Bollywood actor studied in Birla Vidya MandirA view of the Nainital town, 1885
- Nirmal Pandey, Bollywood actor and singer
- Dilip Tahil, Bollywood actor. Educated at Sherwood College.
- Manish Pandey, cricketer who plays for Karnataka and Bangalore
- Eric Maturin, British actor
- Lalit Modi, Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman. Educated at St. Joseph's College.
- Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Indian leader and politician, former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and former Finance Minister of India.
- Hastings Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay, first secretary general of NATO
- Percy Hobart, British major general and military engineer
- Orde Charles Wingate, British general and commander of the Chindits in Burma during World War II
Panoramic view of Nainital from Naini Lake
Ramlila Bhawan, Mallital, Nainital.
A view from Hotel Naini Retreat's Balcony.
Naini Lake after snowfall (2007)
Nainital lake in the morning
Yachts in Naini Lake in March 2011
Golu Devta temple, at Ghorakhal near Nainital.
Gurney House-the home of Jim Corbett
Naina Devi Temple, after which the place gets its name.
Notes and references
- ^Nainital District, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, volume 18, pp. 322–323. 1908
- ^Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Nainital. Fallingrain.com.
- ^"Monthly mean maximum & minimum temperature and total rainfall based upon 1901-2000 data". India Meteorological Department. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- ^ abNainital Population Census 2011.
- ^"Hotels Reservation in Nainital, Ranikhet, Adi Kailash, Jageshwar, Pindari Booking - Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam". www.kmvn.gov.in.
- ^View of Mallital, without the presend Naina Devi Temple (1865)British Library.
- ^(Pilgrim 1844)
- ^ abcd(Murphy 1906)
- ^"Places to See in Nainital". TripAdvisor.
- ^Singh, Sarina (2005). Lonely Planet: India (Nainital). ISBN 1-74059-694-3. Page 425.
- ^The World Bank India: Depository Libraries, 2006.
- ^Astronomical Networking LibrariesArchived 17 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- ^"Kumaon University".
- Bateman, Josiah (1860), The Life of The Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D.D., Late Lord Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India, Volume II, John Murray, Albemarle Street, London.
- Corbett, SAYUJ (2002) , Inter H.G.S – Indian Culture in Daily Life., Oxford India Reprint
- Corbett, Jim (2002) , The Man Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, Oxford India Reprint
- Corbett, Jim (2002) , The Temple Tigers and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Oxford India Reprint
- Fayrer, Joseph (1900), Recollections of my life, William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London
- Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 18, pp. 322–323., Oxford University Press, Oxford and London, 1908
- Kennedy, Dane (1996), The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Oxford. 264 pages.
- Kipling, Rudyard (1889), The Story of the Gadsbys, Macmillan and Company, London
- Kipling, Rudyard (1895), Under the Deodars, Macmillan and Company, London
- McLaren, Eva Shaw (1920), Elsie Inglis: The Woman with the Torch, Macmillan and Company, New York
- M'Crindle, J.W. (1901), Ancient India: As Described in Classical Literature, Archibald ConstaHble & Company, Westminster
- Murphy, C.W. (1906), A Guide to Naini Tal and Kumaun, Allahbad, United Provinces
- Notes on Wanderings in the Himmala, containing descriptions of some of the grandest scenery of the snowy range, among others of Naini Tal, Agra Akhbaar Press, Agra
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nainital.|
A general view of the north end of Naini Tal before and after the landslip of 1880.
Activities in Nainital
There are a number of places that one can pay a visit to while holidaying in Nainital. However, if one has less time, one can surely go for a place which interests him/her the most. Since Nainital offers a number of experiences which ranges from trekking, boating, shopping, picnic, sightseeing, Rope-way, spiritual one and others through a number of places which have these things to offer to the inquisitive and zealous traveler.
Boating: The majestic Naini Lake is the centerpiece of Nainital and boating is one the most popular activity among tourists and honeymoon couples. Yachting is another form of boating that is gaining popularity in Nainital.
Shopping: Tourists can find few local markets in Nainital like Bara Bazar, Tibetan market and Mall Road market from where one can shop for apparels, handicrafts, artifacts and souvenirs. The markets in Nainital are known for scented candles, key chains, books and artificial jewelry.
Picnic Spots and Ropeway: Nainital has an aerial ropeway that connects the town with Snow View Point which offers breathtaking view of the lake as well as the surrounding places like China Peak, Tiffin Top and Snow View point.
Trekking / Hiking: There are several hiking trails in and around Nainital where adventure lovers can hike and explore the nature. Nainital-Betalghat Trek, Nainital-Binayak Trek, Nainital-Kainchi Trek, Nainital-Kilbury Trek and Snow View Trek are popular hiking trails in Nainital.
Staying in Nainital
Nainital is the crown jewel of tourism in Uttarakhand and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Finding an accommodation is not an issue at Nainital, as there are multitudes of star-studded hotels and resorts as well as budget guesthouses peppered all over the Nainital. The luxurious hotels offer many perks to its guests while budget guesthouses have basic facilities and limited amenities.
Nainital have plenty of staying options right from the luxury 5 start hotels, to budget low cost lodges, home stays and bungalows. Nainital have accommodation for every class of tourists for every budget. You can also select your hotel based on its location from main markets, to secluded places or lake side hotels.
Click here for Nainital Hotels
Nainital Food Guide
Due to its popularity all over the country, many restaurants and eateries have mushroomed all over the lake town of Nainital. Tourists can try various international cuisines including Italian, Thai, Continental and Chinese along with the scrumptious Indian cuisine. Many luxury hotels and resorts have their own in-house restaurants and bar for their guests.The Mall Road of Nainital is full of eating joints and fine dining restaurants with the beautiful view of Naini Lake.
History of Nainital
After the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16, the Kumaon hills came under the British rule and the hill station Nainital was founded in 1841 when the first European house was constructed by P. Baron, a sugar trader from Shahjahanpur. The oldest buildings of Nainital includes the St. John's church snuggled in the wilderness of Nainital, followed by Belvedere, Alma, Asdale Cottage built in 1860.
Soon the lesser known town of Nainital became the hotspot of the British soldiers and colonial officials who came with their families to escape the scorching heat of the plain areas. Around 1880, Nainital came to be known as the exclusive British summer getaway in India. In the 19th century, some of the prestigious English schools were established in Nainital that only enrolled British children.
Mythology of Nainital
Nainital finds mention in various ancient myths and legends. The Naini temple at the banks of Naini Lake holds a lot of significance especially among the Hindus as it is believed to be one of the 64 Shakti Peeths in India.
According to the Hindu mythology, the Naini Lake one of the popular tourist attractions of Nainital is the place where the eyes or 'nain' of Sati fell, when Lord Shiva was carrying her charred body to Kailash. Therefore, the place came to be known as 'Nain-tal' or the lake of the eye. In the memory of this event, a Naina Devi Temple was built where Goddess Shakti is worshipped by the devotees. The temple is idyllically situated on the north shore of the aesthetic Naini Lake.