According to local belief the origin of Nainital harks back to mythological times. Sati, Lord Shiva s consort committed suicide at the yajna of Daksha Prajapati. When Lord Shiva roamed across the universe carrying her dead body, Sati s eye fell near the lake, where the Naina Devi temple now stands. The waters of the lake are therefore considered sacred and the Naina Devi temple is the venue of an autumnal fair. In ancient times, the lake was know as the Tri-rishi Sarovar, the lake of three rishis-Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha.
Situated at 2270 meters this popular vantage point is accessible by rope way. It offers an excellent view of the northern Himalayan ranges.
The Mall is the main shopping center in Nainital which has some of the good shops where one can do some shopping. In Nainital the main items to be bought are the woollen garments, decorative pieces made from wood. The decorative colourful candles are one thing every traveller to the place takes back with himself. For the woollen garments the Bohtia Bazaar is the best place whereas the Mall road and the Mallital are places for good bargain of candles and wooden stuff.
* Gufa Mahadev and Sepoydhara
If you are not afraid of ascending and descending a hill you can enjoy Sepoydhara very well. Placed at an. altitude of 6000 ft. one has to descend for 200 ft from the motor road. There is a natural spring pouring out volley of water through five pipes of four to, five inches in diameter. Adjacent to it there are few temples where you can worship the deity after a bath. It has 108 Haidakhan Baba (the older one) who used to pay at least a visit to this place every year during his life span. Previously known as Tara Lockup is now the district Jail of Nainital, which stand in the vicinity. It housed Moti Lal Nehru also for some time in pre-independence era.
If you move past the Baldiakhan you get a road bifurcation a place called number one for Ranikhet and Almora. If you move ahead you reach another place called Gethia It houses T.B. Sanatorium and all Ashram of Pilot Baba named as Akhil Viswa Shanti Sansthan of Maharishi Kapil Advaita Ashram. You can visit this place for your mental peace. Contact 4426 on phone you feel going there.
* Hanumangarhi & Sheetladevi
It is about 3.5 kilometres from the bus stand and is at an altitude of 1950 m. As you pop up on the road from Sri Krishnapur move down the metalled road to about two kilometres and you reach Hanumangarhi. A taxi, bus, horse or a hand pulled rickshaw can carry you there. It has a temple complex presiding deity being Lord Hanuman besides Rama and Shiva. At the instance of Neem Karoli Baba around nineteen fifties these temples were erected and are now being looked after by, a trust. Ramnavami; Hanuman Jayanti and Shivratri are special festive days at these temples. One can get tea, prasad, etc. at this place.
* Sri Krishnapur
On your way back from Gufa Mahadev if you change your course a bit to the west you will reach Sri Krishnapur at a height of 6000 ft before you embark the main Kathgodam road, Sri Krishnapur was the seat of a great learned Sanskrit scholar Late Pandit Sri Krishna Joshi, Advocate and Head of the Department of Religious Studies Benaras Hindu University, etc. There are about 150 manuscripts and printed books to his credit on different topics in Sanskrit, Hindi and English. This is now a place from where people get Kurmanchaliya Saur Chandra Panchang (the almanac) and other religious books besides the tourist literature including that, which is in your hand. All the good things are bound to reach you from this place.
How to reach
Nearest airport is at Pantnagar.
The nearest Railway Station is Kathgodam (35 Kms.) connected to Lucknow, Agra, Delhi & Howrah. Some of the Trains are 5013 (Kathgodam to Delhi), 3019 (Kathgodam to Howrah), 01 R-va (Kathgodam to Rampur Passenger) and 5307 (Lalkuan to Lucknow).
Nainital is connected to all the major National/State Highways. From Nainital the following places are directly connected by regular bus service : Agra (403 Kms.), Almora (64 Kms.), Badrinath (334 Kms.), Bareilly (140 Kms.), Dehradun (387 Kms.), Delhi (326 Kms.), Hardwar (310 Kms.) and Kausani (117 Kms.).
* Local Transport
Paddle rickshaws & Horses.