Naini Lake or Naini Taal, the picturesque blue green lake is
located in the district of Nainital. It is from this lake that the city of
Nainital, the beautiful settlement by the
lake, derives its name. Naini Lake is so called because of its eye-like
The name Nainital stands for the eyes of the goddess. It is believed that the lake represents the eyes of the goddess Sati, the divine consort of lord Shiva. Legend has it that goddess Sati's father, Daksha Prajapati did not invite lord Shiva to the yagya at his place. This displeased Sati and she immolated herself.
Shiva, in a rage of fury held her charred body in his arms and began to perform a cosmic dance that threatened to destroy the universe. Lord Vishnu prevented this destruction by scattering the remains of Sati across the Earth. The Naina Devi Temple, at the northern end of the lake, is said to be located at spot where Sati's eyes fell.
Located at a distance of 4km from Naini lake is Dorothy's Seat. Situated at an altitude of 2292m, it is also known as Tiffin Top, where Mr. Kellet built a seat in memory of his wife.
From Dorothy's Seat, one can go to Land's End, which is situated at an altitude of 2118 m above sea level. It provides a picturesque view of Khurpa Tal, one of the several lakes scattered all over Nainital. The trail is through a forest of oak, deodar and pine. One can spot a jungle fowl or a mountain goat, every now and then.
The most modern observatory in India, this astronomical observatory located near Hanuman Garh has hi-tech telescopes and binoculars. They offer spectacular views of the valley.
Located 6 kms from the town centre, bordering Naini Lake is the highest peak in Nainital. Naina peak, 2,611 m high affords a bird eye view of the valley and is a famous picnic spot.
One can enjoy the serenity of the lake either by boating or by just sitting on its banks and witnessing the placid waters. There are rowboats, yachts (lent out by the Nainital Boat Club) speedboats and pedal boats on hire. You can also try your hand at fishing.