The Lake City
The Lake City
NAINITAL (29° 24′ N, 79° 28′ E) is a town in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital District in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalaya. Situated at an altitude of 1938 m (6,350 ft) above sea-level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a pear-shaped lake, approximately 2 miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina (2615 m) on the north, Deopatha (2438 m) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2278 m) on the south. From the tops of the higher peaks, “magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bounded by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas.”
Nainital has temperate summers (maximum temperature 27°C, or 80°F; minimum temperature 10°C, or 50°F) during which its population increases more than five fold with an annual influx of tourists predominantly from the plains of Northern India. In the winter, Nainital receives snowfall between December and February with the temperatures varying between a maximum of 15°C (59°F) and a minimum of -3°C (26°F).
The nucleus of Nainital’s exquisite beauty is beautiful lake. In the day, mirrored in its waters stand seven proud hills, dotted with pretty cottages and villas. This reflection alone holds one spell bound. More beautiful than this however is the lake at night when the myriads of bulbs from the hill sides and quite a large number hanging near the lake’s edge stab their magic light into its waters.
Government House, the erstwhile seat of governance when the British designated Nainital as the summer capital of the United Provinces, is now the residence of the Governor of Uttarakhand when he is in Nainital. Built of grey stone, in what is described as the ‘Victorian Gothic style’, along the lines of Buckingham Palace, the building was completed in March 1900.