There are a number of Lakes in Nainital; however, the prominent ones which have made a mark in the list of Top Tourist Lake Destinations in Nainital are these five Lakes set amidst high Mountain peaks; hence, this District deserves the name of the 'Lake District' of India.
Naini Lake or 'Naini Tal' set in the heart of Nainital bounded by seven majestic Hills from where this small town derives its name. It was also named after the great legend and Goddess Sati whose left eye ('Nain') fell in this place which formed the Lake and another legend of 3 sages who siphoned water from the Holy Mansarovar Lake in Tibet onto a hole dug by them in order to quench their thirst during their pilgrimage here. It is a natural freshwater lake of tectonic origin and the depth seems to have decreased consistently from 29 mts in 1871 to almost half which is 13 mts in 2007 as per the recent studies of Prof. D. K. Pandey of the Dehradun Forest Research Institute due to rapid increase in population and pollution in this City; However despite this fact, the Lake still lingers on with its emerald green waters that beseeches tourists to visit this lovely make of nature and enjoy the spectacular view it offers including Boating, Sailing and Yachting. Read more about Naini Lake
Khurpa Tal, also spelled earlier as 'Kurpa Tal' and now as 'Khurpatal', which literally means 'Trowel Lake', is 11 km from Nainital by road and just 5 km by trek. Set at a height of 1635 mts above sea level, this small attractive Lake is surrounded by terraced fields on hilly slopes and is famous amongst anglers as this Lake them with abundant aquatic life. Some tourists confirm that the depth of this lake has considerably gone down making it look more like a small pond rather than a Lake but it does not take way the charm of this Lake but only increases the desire of people to spend a quiet vacation here with either family or friends. Read more about Khurpatal
Sat Tal or Sattal is situated at a distance of 22 km from Nainital set at an altitude of 1370 mts above sea level. The Lake was named 'Sattal' which means 'Seven Lakes' as there are a total of seven small lakes named 'Ram Tal', 'Laxman Tal', 'Sita Tal', 'Purna Tal', 'Nal-Damyanti Tal', 'Garud Tal' and 'Sukha Tal', after great legends that mystically joins and connects with each other to form this natural freshwater lake measuring about 2 to 3 km and 20 mts deep. 'Khudariya Tal' now known as 'Sukha Tal' which means 'Dry Lake' was renamed as the entire water from this lake had leaked out towards the western extreme region of the main Lake. These lakes are fringed with dense Oak and Pine Forests and often home to migratory birds from across the globe that live here due to its unspoilt and unpolluted fresh water known to be one of a kind in this world and during the British Rule, they sometimes referred to this Lake as England's Westmoreland. Read more about Sattal
Bhim Tal or Bhimtal is at a distance of 24 km from Nainital town and is set at almost the same altitude of 1375 mts above sea level as Sattal just 2 km away and is about 22 mts deep. This Lake was named after the legendary Bhim of the Mahabharata epic who came here to visit the five Pandava Brothers when they had lived here through their exile period. The main point that attracts people here is a small Island located in the heart of this freshwater lake and about 91 mts from the shore that holds a small restaurant that offers snacks and eateries to tourists. You can reach this Island by boat, spend time here and then boat back to land. There are small resorts available overlooking this lake where you can spend a good vacation or weekend getaway. This is also the mini district headquarters of the town. Read more about Bhimtal
Naukuchia Tal or 'Naukuchiatal' and also 'Naukuchiyatal' lies 28 km from Nainital and 4 km from Bhimtal elevated at 1220 mts above mean sea level; hence, you can trek right from Khurpatal to this Lake via Sattal and Bhimtal in order to view all the Lakes at one stretch of your journey. This beautiful Lake measures 1 km in length and 0.5 km in width and 40 mts deep. The name of this Lake means 'Nine Corners Lake' as it has nine corners and a myth states that if you can see all these nine corners in one shot, you will disappear into thin air and that sounds certainly challenging and might throw you off your limits which only feeds your curiosity but definitely not your courage while some may just try to prove it wrong; However, if you ever visit this Lake you will realise that it is impossible to view all these nine corners at one time and the best thing to do is just enjoy its serene environs decorated with lush green forests and a variety of flora and fauna ideal for holiday makers looking for a quite time with loved ones. It also offers padding, rowing and yachting. For adventure lovers, it also offers Parasailing or Paragliding available only here at a reasonable cost. Read more about Naukuchiatal