The main population of Nainital constitutes of Kumaoni people of Uttarakhand in India. Back in the 5th century BC, the Kassite Assyrians who belonged to 'Kummah' situated on the banks of Euphrates River left their homeland to settle in North India as the Koliyan Tribe and named this region 'Kumaoon' from where this place derives its name. It is believed that Lord Buddha's mother named 'Mayabati' also belonged to this clan, though it has been argued frequently owing to the massive difference in the distance of about 2000 miles and that the region was already ruled by the Kunindas Dynasty.
Another folklore associated with the origin of the word 'Kumaon' is from a name 'Kurmanchal', which means the 'Land of the Kurmavatar', who was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of a tortoise as per the Hindu Myth.
Looking back at the aboriginals of Kumaon, they were called 'Kols' of Austro-Asiatic physical appearance who settled with the Indo-Aryan 'Khas' Tribes of ancient Kamboj Iranian origin of the Vedic period. Originally, these were three tribes namely, the 'Khas Rajput', whose main occupation was Law enforcement and Land Tax collection, the 'Khas Brahamin', as the name denotes used to perform Pujas and religious functions and festivals and 'Shilpkar', who were mainly workers of the Rajputs and excellent craftsmen.
Kumaon was then ruled by the Katyuri Raj of the Kunindas origin founded by the Vashudev Katyuri. They were from Joshimath and completely dominated the Baijnath valley in Kumaon from the 7th Century to 11th Century AD till the British Rule in 1816. Their Architectural remains can still be seen in Dwarahat and Baijnath. Before 1300 AD and 1400 AD, the Katyuri reign disintegrated and was divided into 8 princely states named Baijnath Katyuri, Dwarahat, Doti, Baramandal, Askot, Sira, Sora and Sui [Kali Kumaon]. After the defeat of King Raika Hari Mall in the hands of his own nephew, King Rudra Chand in 1581 AD, all these 8 princely states came under his rule and named it 'Kumaon'. Around the 10th Century Som Chand of the Chand dynasty originally from Kannauj near Allahabad displaced the Katyuri Kings and continued to rule 'Kumaon' under the name of 'Kurmanchal' with their main capital established in Champawat in Sui [Kali Kumaon] where he built numerous Temples beside the Kali River during the 11th and 12th Centuries. Niranjan Malla Deo was the last Katyuri King who founded Doti sometime in the 13th Century AD. This region was also ruled by the Gorkhas from Nepal at one point; however, under the rule of Harakh Dev Joshi of the Chand Kingdom, 4000 Kumaoni locals with assistance from the British Army fought hard and valiantly to win their region back. The Gorkhas finally fled and vacated the region.
The Kumaoni people believe that marriages must be arranged by the elders only after tallying the girl's and boy's horoscopes or 'Kundli' in Hindi. Marriages are preceded with Ganesh Puja followed by Suwal Pathai, Dhuliargh, Kanya-daan [Handing over the bride to her In-Laws by her father], Phere [Seven promises said while walking around the sacred fire or 'agni' by the Groom and Bride] and finally Vidai [When the Bride bids farewell to her entire family and goes to her husband's home]. All this is accompanied by traditional Kumaon music and dance.
The Kumaoni language is mainly spoken by the Kumaon people and is one of the 325 recognised languages spoken in all states of Uttarakhand. There are about 20 dialects spoken here including, Askoti, Chaugarkhyali, Danpuriya, Gangoli, Johari, Kumaiya, Majh-Kumaiya, Khasparjia, Pachhai, Phaldakoti, Sirali, Soryali, and Rauchaubhaisi. Other languages of migrants are from Lucknow, Bihar, Assam, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab and some regions of Himachal Pradesh.
Bangbani, Darmyali and Rang [Rung] are languages which have greatly influenced the Palpa language of Nepal and spoken in the higher ranges of Kumaon Himalayas.
Nainital is famous for its educational standards and prestigious Public Schools from where many celebrities have passed out. Earlier these were boarding schools but recently a few have been converted to Day schools too. A few good ones to name are Sherwood College, St. Joseph's College, St. Mary's College, All Saints College, Birla-Vidhya-Mandir School and Mohanlal-Shah-Baal-Vidhya-Mandir School.