Bhimtal, 22 kilometers from Nainital, is a beautiful town in Nainital district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The town is popular for a beautiful natural lake with an attractive island on it. Sitting at an altitude of 1370 meters above sea level, the major attraction in this town is the lake and the Bhimeshwar temple, standing next to it. The lake has a small island at it’s center.
Unlike Nainital, Bhimtal is a quiet and less chaotic place. This makes it a best place for the those who like to have some quiet time in a hilly lake town. One can enjoy boating, shopping, trekking and nature walks in this town.
The town is a home to not only this beautiful lake but also some prominent Hindu temples. There is a 17th-century Bhimeshwar temple, which is popular for its 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 problem, the restaurant was shut down. Now, the Nainital Lake Development Authority has created a beautiful aquarium on it.
Apart from the lake and the aquarium, the town offers many local places to visit. These are:
The month of November brings the the winter season in Nainital district and it ends in the end of February. Nainital receives snowfall during mid to late December. Bhimtal might get snowfall in December but not every year.
Winters are chilly in this region and temperature touches down to zero in December. These months make Bhimtal a perfect place to visit if you want to witness snowfall with your friends or family.
In 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 Bhimtal has a pleasant weather.
The months of September to November are cold here. December has a minimum temperature of around -3°C here. Winters have the maximum temperature of around 15°C.
During the months of July to September, this town experiences heavy rainfall. We recommend not to visit Bhimtal in these months.
The town has many budget and fancy restaurants, which offer north India and south Indian dishes. There are many nice road side Dhabas and fast food corners for foodies. Many hotels have in-house restaurants, which will save your time to explore the natural beauty of the place.
The name Bhimtal is taken after the name of mythological character Bhima of Mahabharata. As per Hindu mythology, ‘Bhimasarovar lake’ was the old name of Bhimtal lake. Pandavas visited Bhimtal during their exile.
When Pandavas came here, they felt thirsty and couldn’t find any source of water here. Then Bhima decided to pull out some underground water. He hit the ground with his ‘Gada’ and created an opening for the underground water to flow. This eventually took the 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 discovered Nainital. The merchant got impressed by it’s location 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
You can easily get private or shared taxis and buses from Nainital, Haldwani, Bhowali and Kathgodam to Bhimtal. Its proximity to Haldwani and Kathgodam makes it a easy to reach hill station.
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. It takes about an hour to reach Bhimtal from Kathgodam.
Located around 58 km away, Pant Nagar Airport is the closest airport to Bhimtal. From the airport, many taxis and public transport options are available to Nainital and Bhimtal.
It takes more than two hours to reach Bhimtal from Pantnagar airport. Another option is to take a cab or bus to Haldwani and there are many buses available in Haldwani bus stand which will take you to Bhimtal.