Nainital Lake enchants visitors with its serene beauty and crystal-clear reflections of surrounding snow-capped mountains. Slow down and take some time to truly appreciate this Himalayan lake's soul-stirring views.
The first records of the lake come from an English businessman who was enamored by its beauty in 1839. It lies an extraordinary 6,837 feet (2,084 meters) above sea level, between the peaks of the soaring Kumaon Hills. Spot Naina Peak rising to the northwest and Tiffin Top ascending to the west.
During the day, this lake acts as a mirror for these surrounding peaks. Delight in the dramatic reflections of snow-capped summits and dense forested slopes, which appear almost lifelike on its surface.
Walk around the lake to experience the natural environment. Spot chestnut trees and weeping willows dotted with water birds. At the northern end, take a detour to find a series of caves inhabited by bats and flying foxes.
Trek up Tiffin's Top to enjoy views of the serene lake below. On misty days the still water takes on an ephemeral, almost mystical beauty. This gentle walk takes just about half and hour.
Due to its high elevation, the lake’s water temperatures range from cool to cold. Courageous swimmers can try braving the cold. Otherwise, admire the stunning views from the water on a paddleboat. These vessels are available for rent at the north and south ends of the lake.
Along the shore, at the Nainital township end of the lake, a multicolored collection of boats brighten the still surrounds. Speak to a local boat owner to arrange a tour around the lake or try fishing. The lake is populated with trout and carp, though the most popular edible fish is the yellow-finned mahseer.
Although the daylight hours are a great time to see the lake, it is at night that the water reveals its true beauty. Pick out a good sunset lookout and watch as the water's surface transforms, glowing with the dancing reflections of thousands of lamps and house lights.
There is a bus station and taxi stand at the southern end of the lake, providing easy access to the delights of this gorgeous part of India’s Uttarakhand state.