Bhimtal - Bhimtal Lake in Nainital
Bhimtal is a town in the Nainital District in the state of Uttarakhand. Bhimtal is named after Bhima, one of the Pandava Brothers of Mahabharata. It is believed that this place was visited by Bhima and his brothers throughout their exile period. This is the largest lake in the district having an area of 1701x454 meters and is almost 265 meters longer than Naini Lake. Bhimtal is placed at an elevation of 1,371 meters above sea level and 22 km from Nainital. There is a small island in the centre of Bhimtal Lake having a distance of 91 meters from the shore, which is a major point of attraction in Nainital.
It is supposed that Bhimtal is older than Nainital and counted as one of the most visited Nainital excursions. There is an old Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple close to the lake which was built by Baz Bahadur Chand, King of Kumaon, in the 17th century.
An area surrounding the Bhimtal Lake, initially covered by bamboo groves, has been replaced by Chir pines, and tropical trees are diminishing as well. As both the quality and quantity of forest land degrades, the deforested and fallow land is being engulfed by lantana, an irritant weed.
Western side hills are significantly higher than on the east and form such a pattern that the lake can never dry up. Overlooking the lake, there are lots of hotels (budget and luxurious) as well as a Tourist Rest House run by KMVN.