Naukuchiatal Lake Uttarakhand Travel Guide
Naukuchiatal, a beautiful lake town nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in India. It is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand and is surrounded by lush green forests, towering mountains, and crystal-clear lakes. In this article, we will explore this hidden gem of the Himalayas, its history, culture, and top tourist attractions.
The name “Naukuchiatal” literally means “nine-cornered lake” as it is believed that the lake has nine corners or nine distinct edges. The lake is surrounded by hills covered with dense forests, which adds to its natural beauty and charm.
The lake is approximately 1.5 km long and 40 meters deep. It is fed by an underground perennial spring and is one of the deepest lakes in the region. The water of the lake is crystal clear and reflects the surrounding hills, creating a mesmerizing sight for visitors.
Tourists can indulge in various activities at the lake, such as boating, kayaking, and fishing. The lake is also a popular spot for bird watching, with numerous species of birds found in the surrounding forests and on the lake’s shores.
Apart from the natural beauty of the lake, there are also several temples and ashrams in the vicinity that attract many visitors. The Hanuman Temple, located on the banks of the lake, is one of the most popular temples in the area and is dedicated to the Hindu god Hanuman.
Visitors can also enjoy delicious local cuisine at the many restaurants and cafés situated around the lake. The area around the lake is dotted with numerous hotels and resorts, offering comfortable accommodations to tourists.
History and Culture of Naukuchiatal
Naukuchiatal, also known as the “Lake of Nine Corners,” has a rich history dating back to ancient times. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that the lake was created by Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. The lake is also mentioned in several ancient texts and epics, such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The town has a vibrant culture, with a mix of various ethnic groups living in harmony. The local cuisine is a blend of Kumaoni and Garhwali cuisine, with a touch of North Indian flavors. The traditional dance and music of the region, such as the Kumaoni dance and the Bhotiya dance, are a treat for visitors.
Top Tourist Attractions in Naukuchiatal
Below are some best places to visit in Naukuchiatal:
- Naukuchiatal Lake: The centerpiece of the town, the Naukuchiatal Lake is a beautiful, serene lake with nine corners, surrounded by lush green forests. It is perfect for boating and bird-watching.
- Hanuman Temple: A popular Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the temple is located on a hill overlooking the Naukuchiatal Lake. The temple is known for its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful views.
- Bhimtal Lake: Located just a few kilometers from Naukuchiatal, Bhimtal Lake is another popular tourist attraction. It is a larger lake than Naukuchiatal and is perfect for boating and fishing.
- Mukteshwar Temple: A beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Mukteshwar Temple is located on a hilltop overlooking the town. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
- Butterfly Museum: A unique museum dedicated to butterflies, the Butterfly Museum is a must-visit for nature lovers. It houses a large collection of butterflies and moths from all over the world.
Adventure Activities in Naukuchiatal
Apart from sightseeing, Naukuchiatal also offers a range of adventure activities for thrill-seekers. Some of the popular activities include:
- Paragliding: Naukuchiatal is one of the best places in India for paragliding, with its picturesque landscape and perfect weather conditions.
- Trekking: The town is surrounded by several trekking trails, ranging from easy to challenging. The most popular trekking routes include the Naukuchiatal to Bhimtal trek and the Naukuchiatal to Sattal trek.
- Camping: Camping in the forests around Naukuchiatal is an experience like no other. It offers a chance to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of the Himalayas.
How to Reach Naukuchiatal
Naukuchiatal is well-connected by road and can be easily reached by buses and taxis from major cities like Delhi and Dehradun. The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, which is about 35 kilometers from Naukuchiatal. The nearest airport is at Pantnagar, which is about 70 kilometers from Naukuchiatal.
The nearest airport to Naukuchiatal is the Pantnagar Airport, located approximately 68 km away. Regular flights connect Pantnagar Airport to major cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Taxis and buses are available from the airport to Naukuchiatal.
The nearest railway station to Naukuchiatal is Kathgodam Railway Station, located approximately 26 km away. It is well-connected to major cities like Delhi, Lucknow, and Kolkata. Taxis and buses are available from the railway station to Naukuchiatal.
Naukuchiatal is well-connected to major cities and towns in the region via road. It is located approximately 320 km from Delhi and 22 km from Nainital. State-run buses and private taxis are available from major cities to Naukuchiatal.
In conclusion, Naukuchiatal Lake is a natural wonder that offers a perfect blend of scenic beauty, adventure activities, and spiritual experiences. It is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Uttarakhand and looking for a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway.