Bhimtal is a lake town situated 22 km from its district Nainital at an altitude of 1370 meters above sea level. Bhimtal has become a mini district headquarters since most of the district administration offices have been shifted to the newly constructed Vikas Bhawan, the building complex for district administrative offices.
The town of Bhimtal is mainly popular among tourists because of the lake which has an island in its center.
You can also travel to the nearby tourist locations like Almora, Pangot, Ranikhet, and Mukteshwar during your trip to Bhimtal.
Bhimtal is a historical place named after Bhima of major Sanskrit epics of ancient India Mahabharata. An old Shiva temple in the bank of Bhimtal lake is believed to be built by Bhima during the period of Pandavas banishment (vanvas) known as Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple. However, the present temple was built in the 17th century, by Baz Bahadur (1638–78 AD), a King of the Chand dynasty, and the Raja of Kumaon.
Bhimtal is considered to be older than nearby Nainital as the city of Nainital is just 150–160 years old whereas Bhimtal might have been part of the ancient silk route which connects Kathgodam to Nepal and Tibet which still being in use, later Bhimtal came under British rule after the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16). They declared Nainital as Summer capital of the region.
Fishing- Bhimtal Fishing in the peaceful surrounding and lazing around with hurry can make your day. For trying your hand on fishing, the fishing rods are available from Bhimtal at Rs 50 per rod.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:-
Most pleasant weather in Bhimtal is from February to April and September to November. A large number of North Indian Tourists prefer visiting Bhimtal during summers Vacation.
HOW TO REACH
The town is 22 km from Nainital and 11km from Bhowali. The local bus stand and taxi stand is situated near the dam. Bhimtal is 21 km from Kathgodam which is the nearest railway station.
The nearest airport is Pantnagar at a distance of 35 km.
1. Bhimtal Lake
A large beautiful lake in the centre of green mountains is the main Attraction of Bhimtal which has a island in middle where one can visit to see aquarium. Tourist can spend peaceful time near the lake. Boating is also available in Bhimtal lake for Rs. 250.
2. Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple
The temple is situated at the shore of Bhimtal lake is believed to be built by Bhima during the period of Pandavas banishment (vanvas)
3. Bhimtal Island Aquarium
A beautiful Aquarian created by Nainital Lake Development Authority in the center island of Bhimtal lake. The aquarium is average but few good collections of aquatic life. Entry cost of the aquarium is Rs.60.
4. Nal Damyanti Tal:
About 2 km from Bhimtal is Nal Damyanti Tal, a small natural lake. It is believed that the palace of the famous king Nala drowned in this lake. It is a very sacred place for the dwellers of the region.
5. Hidimba Parvat:
About 5 km from Bhimtal is a hill known as Hidimba Parvat. It gets its name from demon Hidimba of Mahabharata. Vankhandi Maharaj, a monk, and environmentalist lives on the hill now, and has created a sanctuary for the wild animals around the hill. The area is known as Vankhandi Ashram.
6. Naukuchiatal Lake
Naukuchiatal literally means nine corner lake which is situated 5 km from Bhimtal at an elevation of 1,220mts above sea level.