Bhimtal in Nainital : History, Fetaures, Activities, Location & more.

Bhimtal is a famous lake city in a beautiful region called Kumaon. It’s even older than Nainital, and it got its name from a strong character in a story called Mahabharata – Bhima. Bhimtal is high up at 1370 meters above sea level, and when you visit, you’ll see some really amazing scenery.


The coolest thing about Bhimtal is this little island right in the middle of the lake. Guess what? There’s a big aquarium on that island! Bhimtal is super pretty, and if you love nature, you’ll really enjoy it. The lake is a beautiful blue, and there are temples on the mountains around it. So, if you want to relax and be close to nature but not too far from the city, Bhimtal is a great choice.

Historical Background of Bhimtal

Following the culmination of the Anglo-Nepalese War, commonly referred to as the Gorkha War (1814-1816), Bhimtal underwent a transition into British governance.The old pathways that people used to travel during that time still connect Kathgodam and different areas in Kumaon. Some believe that these paths were once a part of the ancient Silk Route, leading to Tibet and Nepal.

Additionally, a famous Shiva temple near Bhimtal Lake is said to be built by Baz Bahadur, who was the king of Kumaon and ruled during the 17th century AD.

Mythological Significance of Bhimtal

Previously recognized as “Bheemsarovar Lake,” Bhimtal derives its name from the renowned Mahabharata character, Bheem. According to mythology, Bhimtal served as a retreat for the Pandavas during their exile, with the lake said to have originated from Bheem’s powerful strike on the ground using his ‘Gada’ to create a water source to satisfy their thirst. In homage to Bheema, the Bhimeshwar Mahadev temple stands as a testament to this mythological tale.

About Bhimtal Aquarium

Bhimtal Aquarium stands as a prominent tourist attraction situated at the heart of the lake, captivating visitors with its enchanting allure. Originally a restaurant, the space has been transformed into an aquarium to safeguard the indigenous aquatic vegetation of the area. Accessible exclusively by boat, the aquarium offers a unique and immersive experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the natural beauty of the aqua-marine environment.

What  Activities one can do at Bhimtal?

Bhimtal, nestled amidst the captivating Kumaon region, offers an array of activities and scenic wonders for visitors to explore.

1. Boating and Fishing:

Bhimtal is renowned for its three picturesque lakes: Bhimtal Lake, Sattal Lake, and Naukuchiatal Lake.

A highlight is the magical experience of boating to the island in Bhimtal Lake, providing a vivid and picturesque encounter.

Fishing and angling are popular activities, allowing visitors to catch their own fish for a delightful meal.

2. Stargazing and Camping:

Escape the urban pollution and enjoy clear skies amidst Bhimtal’s lush green mountains.

Camp in the pristine forests, offering a unique stargazing experience and a refreshing atmosphere.

3. Picnic with Family and Friends:

Relax by the lakeside with family or friends, as Bhimtal’s lakes serve as popular picnic spots.

Pack your favorite food and enjoy a soothing day amid the scenic beauty.

4. Sightseeing:

Explore various temples and sightseeing spots, including Victoria Dam, Hidimba Parvat, Bhimeshwar Mahadev Temple, Hanuman Garhi Temple, Nag Temple, and the Folk Culture Museum.

5. Shopping at the Street Market:

Wander through the local street market to discover Garhwali paintings, carpets, statues, organic products, handmade candles, and savor the exceptional local cuisine.

6. Adventure Activities:

  • Trekking and Hiking: Bhimtal’s surrounding lush green forests offer excellent trekking and hiking opportunities, with both short and long trails.Encounter various migratory and resident birds during your trek.
  • Dirt Biking and Paragliding: Naukuchiatal, just 4 km from Bhimtal, is a hotspot for paragliding and dirt biking.Experience the thrill of flying high above the mountains and forests, gaining a bird’s eye view of the valley.
  • Adventure Enthusiasts’ Paradise: Bhimtal hosts various adventure activities regularly, catering to the adrenaline rush of adventure enthusiasts.

Festivities in Bhimtal

For those seeking to partake in the vibrant celebrations, July emerges as the focal month for festivals and carnivals in Bhimtal. The Harela festival, celebrated during this period, marks the jubilation of a fruitful harvest.

The festivities encompass a spectrum of events, including fairs, cultural performances, and adrenaline-pumping bike and car events such as the death well. These activities not only add a festive flair to Bhimtal but also provide participants with a deeper understanding of the local cultural and historical tapestry.

Noteworthy Facts About Bhimtal

Situated in the Nainital district, Bhimtal boasts an intriguing geographical feature – Garg Parvat. This prominent elevation in the Gagar Village serves as the source of the Gargi River, located in close proximity to the revered Bhimeshwar Mahadev temple.

Optimal Time to Explore Bhimtal

Bhimtal extends a warm invitation to tourists throughout the year. However, the months of March, April, and May showcase the destination in full bloom, while October, November, and December offer a mesmerizing snowy landscape, providing distinct and delightful experiences.

Traveler Recommendations for Bhimtal Exploration

In Bhimtal, convenience is at your fingertips with readily available ATMs, petrol pumps, restaurants, cafes, and hotels, given its close proximity to Nainital city. However, it is prudent to carry some cash for unforeseen circumstances.

For budget-conscious travelers, consider planning your visit during the off-season to avoid peak-month expenses.

Pack wisely and include woolens in your travel essentials, ensuring a comfortable and prepared journey, especially considering the cool climate of Bhimtal and its neighboring areas.

Key Features of Bhimtal

  • Historical Significance

 Bhimtal predates Nainital, with a rich history rooted in the aftermath of the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814-1816), transitioning the city under British rule.

Ancient pedestrian routes connecting Kathgodam and various Kumaoni regions, believed to be part of the Silk Route, contribute to Bhimtal’s historical tapestry.

The renowned Shiva temple near Bhimtal Lake, attributed to Baz Bahadur, the 17th-century king of Kumaon, adds to the city’s historical allure.

  • Mythological Significance:

Originally named “Bheemsarovar Lake,” Bhimtal holds mythological significance, serving as a retreat for the Pandavas during their exile in the Mahabharata.

The lake, created by Bheem’s powerful strike with his ‘Gada,’ houses the Bhimeshwar Mahadev temple, honoring the legendary character.

  • Bhimtal Aquarium:

Situated at the heart of the lake, the Bhimtal Aquarium, born from a converted restaurant, preserves the local aquatic vegetation.

Accessible exclusively by boat, the aquarium offers a unique and immersive experience, showcasing the natural beauty of the aqua-marine environment.

  • Activities in Bhimtal:

Boating and Fishing: Explore the picturesque lakes of Bhimtal, including Bhimtal Lake, Sattal Lake, and Naukuchiatal Lake. Boating to the island in Bhimtal Lake is a magical experience.

Stargazing and Camping: Escape urban pollution with clear skies, offering an exceptional stargazing experience amid Bhimtal’s lush green mountains.

Picnic, Sightseeing, and Shopping: Lakeside picnics, temple visits, and exploring the local street market with Garhwali paintings, carpets, statues, and handmade candles.

Adventure Activities: Trekking, hiking, paragliding, and dirt biking around Bhimtal cater to the adventurous spirit of visitors.

  • Festivities in Bhimtal:

July hosts the Hareli festival, celebrating a bountiful harvest with fairs, cultural performances, and thrilling bike and car events like the death well.

The festivities offer a deeper understanding of Bhimtal’s cultural and historical tapestry.

Experience the charm, history, and natural beauty of Bhimtal, a captivating destination in the heart of Kumaon.

How to reach Bhimtal

Address – Bhimtal, Nainital, Uttarakhand, 263136, India

Latitude – 29.3461° N, Longitude – 79.5519° E

Bhimtal is only 22 km from the famous tourist destination Nainital city. You can choose from different ways to get there.

By Road:

By Car or Taxi: Driving or Hiring a Taxi: You can enjoy a beautiful drive or book a taxi to reach Bhimtal easily. The roads are well-kept, making your journey pleasant.

Bus Services: If you’re looking for an affordable and comfortable option, regular bus services run between Bhimtal and Nainital.

By Train: Kathgodam Railway Station is the nearest train station, just 30 km from Nainital. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from here to reach Bhimtal.

By Air: Pantnagar Airport, 56 km away, is the closest air connection to Bhimtal.

Enjoy a smooth journey to Bhimtal, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and rich culture.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bhimtal

Bhimtal holds historical importance dating back to the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814-1816), transitioning into British rule. Ancient pathways, believed to be part of the Silk Route, connect Kathgodam and various Kumaoni regions. The Shiva temple near Bhimtal Lake, attributed to Baz Bahadur from the 17th century, adds to its historical charm.

Bhimtal derives its name from the Mahabharata character Bhima. According to mythology, Bhima created the lake by striking the ground with his ‘Gada’ during the Pandavas’ exile, leading to the origin of the Bhimeshwar Mahadev temple.

The Bhimtal Aquarium, situated at the heart of the lake, was originally a restaurant converted to preserve local aquatic vegetation. Accessible only by boat, it offers a unique experience, showcasing the natural beauty of the aqua-marine environment.

 Bhimtal offers a variety of activities, including boating and fishing in its picturesque lakes, stargazing and camping in the lush green mountains, picnics by the lakeside, sightseeing at temples and markets, and adventure activities like trekking, hiking, paragliding, and dirt biking.

 Bhimtal welcomes tourists throughout the year. The months of March to May showcase the destination in full bloom, while October to December offers a snowy landscape, providing distinct and delightful experiences.

Bhimtal is 22 km from Nainital. Travel options include self-driving or hiring a taxi for a scenic journey, regular bus services between Bhimtal and Nainital, reaching Kathgodam Railway Station by train (30 km away), or flying to Pantnagar Airport (56 km away) and then using NH 109 for road travel.

 Bhimtal’s key features include its rich historical and mythological significance, the Bhimtal Aquarium, diverse activities such as boating, fishing, stargazing, and adventure sports, vibrant festivals in July, and noteworthy geographical features like Garg Parvat.

Ensure to carry some cash despite the availability of ATMs, petrol pumps, and facilities. Budget-conscious travelers may plan visits during the off-season to avoid peak-month expenses. Packing woolens is advisable for the cool climate.

Bhimtal is situated in the Nainital district, and notable features include Garg Parvat in Gagar Village, the source of the Gargi River, and the revered Bhimeshwar Mahadev temple.

July hosts the Harela festival, celebrating a fruitful harvest with fairs, cultural performances, and thrilling bike and car events. It provides a deeper understanding of Bhimtal’s cultural and historical tapestry.

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