Nainital forms a significant part of the Kumaon division of Uttaranchal State in India. It is bounded by the Almora district on the north, the Udhamsingh Nagar district on the south, the Champawat district on the east and the Pauri Garhwal district on the west. Sandwiched between the Himalayan ranges on the North and Gangetic Plains on the southern portion, this district is blessed with amazing environs and a pleasant weather ideal as a tourist hill resort for those who seek respite from the hot climate of the Plains.
Nainital spans over an area of 3422 kms and is divided into two regions namely, the Hilly region and the Bhabhar region, derived from a very tall grass that grows in this region and where the underground water lies very deep below the ground. On the other side the hilly region lying in outer Himalayas is known as 'Krol' by geologist. Baudhansthali is the highest peak of this district elevated at 2623 mts above sea level. It rises really high near Binayak adjoining Nainital and is dotted by small lakes; however, the bigger lakes are Nainital, Sattal, Bhimtal, Mulwatal, Naukuchiatal, Khurpatal, Harishtal and Lokhamtal etc.
Nainital is situated approximately in between 80 degree 14' and 78 degree 80' east longitude and 29 degree 00' and 29 degree 05' north latitude, within the ranges of Gagar valley that stretches from east to west, bounded by Cheena Peak on the north elevated at a height of 8568 feet above sea level and continues through the Alma Peak also known as Snow View and Sher-Ka-Danda which means Tiger's Ridge towards the extreme east and descends gradually towards the level of the Naini Lake. Deopatta Peak elevated at 7987 feet above sea level borders the town on the western side and Aryapatta elevated at 7461 feet covers the southern side of the town and gradually disappears towards the east. The intersection point of these two hills covered with loose rocks of various size piled together is called Handi-Bandi.
The Aryapatta peak is also known as 'Complete Blackout' named by the Local inhabitants as it is covered with rugged terrains and very dense forests due to which the sun cannot penetrate through shielding it completely from any light. The undulating tracts of forest stretches back from the head of the lake to the base of Cheena Peak and Deopatta Peak which means Camel's Hump owing to its shape that look like one.
The Naini Lake finds its exit from the eastern boundary of the town and meets with the Ballia River which in turn flows into the Gaula River near Ranibagh. The main source of the Lake water is Kosi River that flows through this district and rises from Koshimool near Kasauni flowing on the western portion of this district. Other small rivulets like the Baur, Bhakra, Dabka and Gaula etc. have Dams built over them mainly used for irrigation purposes.