October 2008
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Naukuchiatal – the lake near Nainital

Location: 4 kms from Bhimtal, the lake is 175 feet deep surrounded by lush green hills
Distance: 26 kms from Nainital, 320 kms from Delhi
Weather: Summer: 11C – 26C; Winter: 2C – 14C
Visiting times: March to August and October to November is the best time to visit Naukuchiatal.
Tip: In summer, light woolen clothing and in winter, thick woolen garments are recommended. Be sure to take comfortable walking shoes.

Naukuchiatal or the ‘nine cornered lake’ is in the lake area of Uttranchal, 4km further down Bhimtal (another great lake). The Naukuchiatal lake is one of the most beautiful lake, and probably the cleanest too (if it starts getting many more tourists, one may not be able to say this again). In a lake place, you have the traditional things to do such as boating and fishing on the lake, you can take a walk around the lake and admire the plentiful bounty of nature in the form of flora and fauna on the path. The lake is situated at an altitude of 1200 m and has pleasant weather the year round. Like many of the places in this region, Naukuchiatal has a folkore associated with it: whoever can see all the nine corners of the lake at one go will attain Nirvana (and hence it is impossible for anybody normal to do so).

Map to Naukuchiatal:

Another adventure sport that has been osberved to happen in the region is the exciting adventure sport of Parasailing; the required facilities are available but you need to be satisfied with the credibility of the group offering it ! If you don’t think that the group seems confident, and there is not a comfortable air around it, don’t do the para-sailing.
Another property of Naukuchiatal is that it is the deepest and by far the most picturesque lake in the Kumaon region and derives its name from the nine corners which come together to form it. Like most other lakes in hilly regions that have become popular, it projects an air of tranquility, with a pleasant expanse of water, reflecting the greenery of the low, wooded hills cradling it and surrounded by the 70 acres of predominantly oak forests which, after the monsoons, show the innumerable hues of the Himalayan forests. In the morning time, you can be sure to hear the sound of bird-song, and for some time, forget about the normal pulls and tension of daily life.
In Naukuchiatal, there is plenty to do – swim in the lake, go boating, walk around its periphery or just sit by the shores and dream away. Naukuchiatal offers all of this and more. Spend your mornings bird watching in Naukuchiatal for the most amazingly coloured birds flit by you in this hill-station. For a taste of local culture in Naukuchiatal, visit Action for Environment and Preservation of Art & Nature premises, which showcases traditional and ritual arts of Uttaranchal. You can get some great gifts here – testimony to your trip to this hill station.
If you are fond of fishing, carry your own fishing rod and head for the lake which has an abundance of carp. A permit is required which can be obtained locally from the Irrigation Department. And then settle down for some great fishing, and with not too many people doing the same, you can really enjoy fishing in an almost virgin location.
If you are interested in treks, then treks are available to Jandhidhar and Jungliagaon (8 kms). If you like mountain biking, There are many mountain trails where one can bike and enjoy the abundance of flora and fauna. Many varieties of wild orchids abound in the hills. However, don’t do mountain biking in areas that are unknown, since the lay of the land may not be totally suitable to mountain biking.

How to get there:

Distances: 320 km from Delhi, 24 km from Nainital.

Nearest Railhead:
Kathgodam (20 km). The Ranikhet Express departs from Delhi at 11 pm and arrives in Kathgodam at 6.10 am. It departs from Kathgodam at 10.45 pm and arrives in Delhi at 4.45 am.

Nearest Airport:
Pantnagar (45 km)

Detail of road route from New Delhi;
Start on ISBT Road (3.79 Km);
Continue on NH 24 – proceed towards Moradabad (153.11 Km) and then onto Rampur (32 km); Turn & proceed towards Rudrapur on SH 87 (47 Km) and then towards Haldwani (32 Km); Proceed towards Bhimtal on SH 37 (25 Km); At Bhimtal, get off SH 37, take the district road to Naukuchiatal (4 Km)

Places to stay:

Lake Resorts (site)
The Lake Village
Deja Vu (Bungalow – small resort) (site)
KMVN Tourist Rest House Lakeside
Paradise Resort
Trh Naukuchiatal

Other articles:

Blog on Naukuchiatal
Nature Walk
Photos from Flickr: Lake Views; Triangle Trees, Naukuchiatal; Lake 1; Lake 2; Lake 3; Panaroma View, Naukuchiatal from Paragliding Point; Sunset; View of Naukuchiatal from para glider;

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