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Set in an enchanting valley by the deepest of all the lakes in the region, Naukuchiatal offered us an enchanting holiday five summers back, when we decided to head for the hills to escape the soaring temperatures of Bengaluru. A small hill station, located 33 km from Nainital district of Uttaranchal, Naukuchiataal, literally means the ‘lake of nine corners’!
Legend has it that if one takes a glimpse of all the nine corners of the lake at the same time, with their foot firmly on Earth, they could achieve salvation! While that might sound like a tall order, a visit to the area is certainly a possibility, if you’re keen to enjoy the mystical beauty of the Himalayas. As our first ever trip to the region, it turned out to be a perfect holiday destination for us, given that we had no knowledge about the place, having gone there purely on a gut instinct, based on a conversation with one of the locals.
For a perfect start to the day, nothing could be better than a long walk or a quick jog to enjoy the serenity. Or, you might fancy a hike to enjoy the bird songs, if that is what you prefer! Either way, nature will bowl you over.
On the main road to Naukuchiatal, is a Hanuman temple, with a 52-feet high statue of Lord Hanuman, against the backdrop of the beautiful high mountains which makes it quite picturesque. Don’t miss Sat Taal or ‘seven lakes’, which is a group of lakes set amidst the dense forests of oak and pine trees. The seven lakes – Purna Tal, Ram Tal, Sita Tal, Laxman Tal, Nal Damyanti Tal, Sukh Tal and Garud Tal are paradise for migratory birds as they stay for some time here during their migration and is is one of the few rare unspoilt and unpolluted freshwater biomes in India. Time-permitting, do visit the nearby Bhimtal lake, just 5 km away, which has a small island at its’ centre. The place is named after the legendary Bhima of Mahabharata and his visit to the place during the exile of the Pandavas.
If misty mountains and the Himalayas appeal to you, then this is just the place for you. When you arrive here and breathe in the clean air, you cannot but help feel energised and rejuvenated. The pristine beauty of the lake and the surrounding hills blow you away, taking all that stress away that had accumulated over the months, leaving you in a haven of perfect bliss.