About 22 kms from Nainital, nestled in a beautiful pristine valley, Bhimtal is the largest lake around Nainital. In the middle of the lake, there is a beautiful island with an aquarium (earlier a restaurant). The island provides a panoramic view of the lake as well as its luxuriant surroundings.
Bhimtal Lake is home to a large variety of aquatic species. A variety of fishes from countries like South Africa, Mexico and China have been kept in the aquarium that are captivating tourists attention.
Travellers can enjoy boating in the huge lake. One has to ride on the boat to reach the aquarium.
History of Bhimtal
Bhimtal, earlier known as Bhimsarovar, is an ancient place named after Bhima of Mahabharata. Iis believed to be the stamping ground of the Pandavas. It is beleived that Bhim (brother of Pandavas), hit the ground with his "gada", creating the cavity in the ground to find the water which they could quench their thirst.
Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple
Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple, an old Shiva temple in the bank of Bhimtal lake, is believed to have been built when Bhima visited the place during the banishment (vanvas) period of Pandavas.
Folk Culture Museum
There is a Folk Culture Museum in Bhimtal (Lok Sanskriti Sangrahalaya) housing collections of folk paintings and ancient wooden artifacts. It also houses a sizable collection of reproductions and photographs of rock art.
Dam in Bhimtal
There is a large Victorian dam at one end of the lake. Terraced flower gardens can be found on either side of the Dam. Bhimtal is also known for its lovely dappled paths, ravines festooned with dog rose and wild raspberry.
Resorts in Bhimtal
The small town of Bhimtal is famous as a lake resort. It offers to the tourists a quiet vacation and facilities for water sports.