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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nainital : Everbody's Secret - 1

Nainital belongs to the State of Uttaranchal. It is located at the capital of Kumaon's lake district, is set around a lake 6,538 ft above sea level, 35 km from Kathgodam and 310 km NE of Delhi Route from Delhi NH24 to Rampur via Hapur, Garhmukteshwar, Gajraula, Joya and Moradabad; NH87 to Nainital via Rudrapur, Haldwani, Kathgodam and Jeolikot.

One of the most oft-told plain tales of the hills centres on the 'discovery' of Nainital by a Britisher in 1841. Back then, the Kumaonis were filled with foreboding about what would become of their sacred lake, which they believed to be the eye of Sati. Sure enough, Nainital today isn't what it used to be. Not only did the British crowd the slopes of this hill station with their cottages and clubs, the Kumaoni's own compatriots sent up a sprawl in the gaps that have all but ruined what was once the most beautiful lake in Kumaon.

Still, though Nainital has expanded and the surrounding forest that once teemed with tigers and deer has thinned down abysmally, the soul of the place remains. It is still possible to look for traces of Jim Corbett's town in the modern-day resort and track down bits of history, or revel in the clear mountain air and find enchanting wooded groves. Set against the backdrop of the Kumaon Himalaya, this lake resort has many interesting walks along pine forest trails in the neighbouring woods. There is an overhanging sense of festivity during the high season, when the town is closed to heavy vehicles and holidayers can get loud and overbearing. But Nainital takes it all in her stride. Be different from the rest, move to the outskirts and let peace envelop you again.

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