The Emerald Green Eye of Kumaon also popularly known as Nainital got its name from a legendary mythological story. King Daksha held a great 'Yajna' but did not invite his daughter Sati & her consort Shiva. Sati could not bear this insult and in great fury gate crashed into the Yajna and leaped into the high flames of the fire to end her life. It is believed that when Lord Shiva retrieved her half-charred corpse, the eyes of Sati dropped in the lake while her body was being carried to Kailash Parvat. Hence, the lake was given the name of 'Nainital' or Naini Lake
The name "Naini" is derived from a temple to the goddess 'Naini Devi" built on the upper edge of the lake which was destroyed in the landslip of 1880. It was subsequently replaced by a modern structure. The word "Naini" means 'Eyes' and 'Tal' means 'Lake'.
Nainital was founded in the year 1841 by Mr. P Barron, a European merchant and an enthusiastic hunter. Mr. Barron was the first European who took great fancy to this land and moved by the beauty of the sparkling lake he wrote: "It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 mile trek in the Himalayas."
In the Lake District
Nainital is known as a lake district because of a string of closely located lakes, Bhimtal, Sat Tal, Naukuchiya Tal and of course the Naini Lake are all in close proximity. Pangot is like a fairytale village tucked away within the Kumaon hills. Pangot is also a birdwatcher’s paradise as numerous birds exist here. Tiffin Top (Dorothy's Seat) is a popular trekking and picnic destination in Nainital. The place provides a magnificent view of the Nainital town.