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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the history of Nainital?

Anupriya Bedi DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Coming to Nainital is like being transported to another time zone and space. This immaculate hill station can be easily approach from the national capital by a New Delhi to Nainital taxi. The grandeur of the mountains, serenity of the lakes, chill that runs down your spine and the deafening silence is what has drawn people since time immemorial. Sprinkled with the relics of British empire, the place has an old world charm to it.

Nainital is one of the most popular hill stations of India. Its honeymoon tour packages are one of the most sought after in the country. Located in the Kumaon foothills of outer Himalayas, it was developed as a tourist spot by a Britisher named Mr.P Barron who being mesmerised by the beauty of the place wrote in his journal, “it is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1500 miles trek in the Himalayas”. However many historians insist that this place was first discovered by Mr. G W Traill, who considered this place holy and decided to leave it untampered.

It's interesting to observe that even though the place was discovered during the British era, it finds itself mentioned in Hindu mythology. The lake of Nainital has been referred to as Tri-rishi sarovar in the Manas Kand of Skand Puran. The Naini temple too is of great importance to Hinduism. It is one of the 64 sacred Shakti Peeths in India, where the eyes of Devi Sati fell, when Lord Shiva was making his celestial journey with her charred body.

Nainital gained prominence as a summer resort during the year 1841, when Britishers began construction in the area. In no time, this hill station gathered the reputation of a health resort as most prominent Britishers came here to escape the heat of the plains. However, things turned ugly in 1880, when a massive landslide destroyed a better part of the town burying 150 people alive. Some of the earliest buildings constructed, including the Hindu temple, Naina Devi was destroyed as well. However, human spirit has no end. Like a phoenix, this place rose from ashes in no time.

Gradually Nainital was converted into the summer capital of the United Provinces. After Independence in 1947, it was developed as a tourist destination. This small hill station has preserved the bits of an era gone by. An era that would only be studied in text books.


One of the most notable figure that props up from the pages of history is an Englishman named Mr. Jim corbett. Legend has it that Jim was an avid hunter, but after seeing his friends massacre water-fowls, he grew an aversion to hunting and swore never to kill an animal without reason. Just 63 kms from Nainital, this national park offers Jeep Safaris, including ones at night, for a wild, wild experience of nature.

Since, this place was regularly flocked by the most eminent Britishers and favoured due to its climate, many schools were established for the education of their kids, that exist even today. The most notable ones are Sherwood College and St. Joseph’s college that still considered few of the elitist schools in the country.

The monuments, buildings and mountains offer you a piece of history that can only be experienced and felt.

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