Bhimtal, 22 kilometers from Nainital, is a beautiful town in Nainital district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The town is popular for an amazing lake with a beautiful island. Situated at an altitude of 1370 meters above sea level, the major attraction in this town is the lake and the Bhimeshwar temple, situated next to it. The lake has a small island at it’s centre.
Why Visit and Things to do in Bhimtal:
Unlike Nainital, Bhimtal is a quiet and less crowded place. This makes it a best place for the ones who like to have some quiet time in a hilly lake town. You can enjoy boating, shopping, trekking and nature walks in this town.
The town is the home to not only this beautiful lake but also some prominent Hindu temples. There is 17th-century Bhimeshwar temple, which is known for it’s intricate architecture.
Apart from tourism, the town is home to most of the district administration offices. These offices have been shifted to the newly constructed Vikas Bhawan of town.
On Bhimtal lake there is an island, which once had a restaurant built on it. Later, because of the pollution problems, the restaurant was closed down. Now, the Nainital Lake Development Authority has created a beautiful aquariam on it.
Climate in Bhimtal:
During the months of March to May, the town has a maximum temperature of around 27°C and a minimum temperature of around 10°C. During the summer season the town has pleasant weather.
The months of September to November are cold with a minimum temperature of around -3°C. Winters have the maximum temperature of around 15°C.
During the months of July to September, this town experiences heavy rainfall.
The name Bhimtal is taken after the name of mythological character, Bhima of Mahabharata. As per the mythology, ‘Bhimasarovar lake’ was the old name of Bhimtal lake. Pandavas visited Bhimtal during their exile.
When Pandavas came here in Mahabharat times, they felt thirsty and could not find any water source. Then Bhima decided to pull out some underground water. He hit the ground with his ‘Gada’ and created the opening for the underground water. This eventually took a form of the lake. Bhimeshwar Mahadev temple, which is right next to the lake is dedicated to Bhima.
Historical records show that, a British sugar merchant named P. Barron discoverd Nainital. The merchant got impressed by it’s loacation and surroundings and he came back with a sailing boat and built a house named Pilgrim’s Cottage in Nainital.
Bhimeshwar Mahadev Temple is located near Bhimtal lake. According to mythology this temple was built by Pandavas during their visit. The present temple was built by Baj Bahadur (1638-78), the king of Chnad dynaty of Kumaon.
During the Anglo-Nepalese war (1814-16), this town came under the British rule. They declared Nainital as Summer capital of the region. The old Pedesterial road is still in use. This road connects all the places near Kathgodam with Nepal and Tibet.
Coordinates: 29.3461° N, 79.5519° E
Total Population in 2011: 7,722
Literacy rate: 93.67%
Altitude: 1,370 meters
Language: Hindi, Kumaoni
Best Season: February-June and August-November
Annual temperature: 4 to 29°C
Summer temperature: 15 to 29°C
Winter temperature: 4 to 18°C
How to Reach:
Bhimtal is well-connected to all the major cities of Uttarakhand via motorable roads. Buses from ISBT Anand Vihar, New Delhi and ISBT Dehradun are available to Kathgodam, Haldwani, Bhowali and Nainital. You can easily get private or shared taxis and buses from Nainital, Haldwani, Bhowali and Kathgodam to Bhimtal.
Situated at a distance of 30 kms, Kathgodam is the closest railway station to Bhimtal. Once you reach Kathgodam or Haldwani, there are many buses and taxis are available to this town.