Nainital is a gleaming jewel in the Himalayan necklace, endowed with breathtaking natural beauty and a diverse range of natural resources. Nainital has gained the moniker of India’s “Lake District” because of its many lakes. It is also the judicial capital of Uttarakhand, as the High Court of the state is located here. 

Nainital is located in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas. The city is set in a valley containing an eye-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina Peak, with an height of 2,619 m (8,593 ft). 
Nainital is surrounded by the mountains of Ayarpata (2,344 m (7,689 ft)), Devpata (2,435 m (7,989 ft)), Handibandi (2,180 m (7,153 ft)), Chini, (2,612 m (8,568 ft)), Alma (2,430 m (7,980 ft)), Lariya Kanta (2,482 m (8,144 ft)) and Sher ka Danda (2,398 m (7,869 ft)). 
It is believed that the Naini Lake is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths, or the most popular, based on the story of the death of the goddess Sati. Out of grief and sorrow, Shiva carried Sati’s body, reminiscing about their moments as a couple, and roamed around the universe with it. Vishnu had cut her body into 52 body parts, using his Sudarshana Chakra, which fell on Earth to become sacred sites where all the people can pay homage to the Goddess. The spot where Sati’s eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be called Nain-tal or lake of the eye. The goddess Shakti is worshiped at the Naina Devi Temple, known by locals as Naini Mata Temple on the north shore of the present day lake.

The summer capital of the United Provinces during the British era, the town has a strong colonial heritage with vibrant clusters of villas and bungalows. Homesick Britishers used to flock to this quaint town spread over a forested valley. It is also known for the revered Naina Devi temple, which stands on the edge of the lake. Nainital is not only a famous tourist destination but is also known for its prestigious educational institutions and schools, which have stood since the British era. 
Many well-known people have either been born in Nainital or have been affiliated with it. Jim Corbett, an author and conservationist, was born and schooled in Nainital. Jim Corbett National Park, which is also India’s first national park, is named after him in the area. Manish Pandey, a cricketer, and Anoop Jalota, a prominent classical musician, were both born in Nainital. Sherwood College in Nainital educated India’s first Param Vir Chakra awardee, Major Somnath Sharma, as well as famed actor Amitabh Bachchan.
Nainital is an all-year destination but the weather is the best between March and June. It receives heavy snowfall in winter and turns into a white wonderland, making it a popular Christmas and New Year destination. It is among the most visited hill stations of North India since the British period.

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