Day 14 – Nainital

Comfortably settled in the lap of the Naini Peak (also known as the China Peak), the Naini lake has been creating quite a stir among tourists for several generations. If you are still wondering which place I am rambling about…well take out your maps and locate the most touristy water body in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and you will never miss  Nainital.

 Cool and placid, the waters of Nainital has always been regarded as the preferred summer destination of almost half of India’s travel hungry population ever since it was discovered by European Businessman, P.Barron.

 To make a very candid confession, I am among the unhappy other half who can only glean stories from the lucky lot who drive to the lake as a regular summer practice. Nevertheless, they do make for some interesting reads. Such as the one below which is considered to be the most popular.

 It is said that Shiva, the most fearsome of the hindu trinity (the other two being Vishnu and Brahma) on hearing about the self-immolation of his wife Sati got furious. In his maddening fury he carried Sati’s body across his shoulder and danced his famous dance of destruction – The Tandav. Consequently her eyes (meaning ‘Nain’ in Hindi) fell in this area which later came to be known as Nain –Tal or lake of the eye. Subsequently, with usage it came to be popularised as Nainital.

 A place is as magical as you wish to make it. I took it on myself to create this mythical aura around Nainital, donning it with an all new characteristic in my mind. It is the land of bejewelled lakes of mythological origins. Stories abound of how the sages Atri, Pulastya and Pulaha filled up the Nainital with the divine waters of Mansarovar of Tibet. Consequently, the place is also known as Tri-Rishi-Sarovar (the lake of the three sages).

 Myths or mystery, Nainital has been weaving its web of magic around me for several years. The mesh is thickening and I need to do something fast to unravel the whole truth. Travel to see for myself is probably the best option. No doubt destiny demands that I should do justice to my ‘Nain’ by visiting the Nain -tal.   

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