Bhimtal is a small town elevated at 1,370 mts above sea level and just a short distance of 24 km from Nainital town. It is one of the favourite tourist destination spot due to its surroundings, cool environment and the beautiful perennial Lake named 'Bhim Tal' that supports a large variety of aquatic life and migratory birds and Trans Himalayan birds in winters. The main attraction is a small Island in the centre of the Lake that has a restaurant offering snacks and is accessible by Boat.
Bhimtal is now the Nagar Panchayat [Urban Body in India like the Municipality Council] of Nainital District and the mini district headquarters after many administration offices were moved to Vikas Bhavan that was just constructed for this purpose.
Bhimtal was named after the Legendary Bhim of the Mahabharata fame who had come to visit the five Pandavas when they were living here during their exile period and during that period an ancient Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva named Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple was believed to have been built; However, the present temple was built in the 17th Century by a Chand King named Baz Bahadur [1638 AD-1678 AD], who was also the King of the Kumaon Region and later it came under the rule of the British after the Anglo-Nepalese War that lingered from 1814 to 1816. There is a 14 feet high Dam constructed adjacent to the temple at the end of the Lake. All this only proves that this town is much older than Nainital which is only 170 years old due to existence of inhabitants and temples dating back centuries ago.
Bhimtal was also visited by many villagers from other regions that used this as an enroute resting place and even today those old foot trails still exists that connects this place with Kathgodam to other regions of Kumaon, Nepal and Tibet and hence also known as the ancient Silk Route [Trade Routes connecting across Asian continents].
Bhimtal is a good place to delve into your spirituality as well as relax and rejuvenate from a tired routine life. It has hotels and resorts to assist you in it and also offers many places of interest to see as you trek through the green misty mountains with crisp cool air on your face and fine surroundings. As you walk towards the Bhimeshwara Temple, you get a view of a small hill named Garg Parbat from where the 'Gola Nadi' or 'Gargi River' originates and flows in this region. Another 2 km from Bhimtal is the Nal Damyanti Tal, a natural freshwater Lake that connects to 'Sat Tal' Lake and is sacred to the people of Sattal town and this town. The Hidimba Parbat or Hill just 5 km from this town was named after a Demon called Hidimba of the Mahabharata fame and there is a Vankhandi Ashram and small Sanctuary of wild animals that was built by Vankhandi Maharaj who is a monk and environmentalist living on the hill now. The Karkotaka hill holds a small Nag Temple [Serpent Temple] dedicated and named after a mythological cobra, 'Karkotaka' worshipped by many devotees on Rishi Panchami day every year.