Naini Lake

Top choice lake in Nainital

Image by Dinodia Photos Getty Images

This pretty lake is Nainital’s centrepiece and is said to be one of the emerald-green eyes of Shiva’s wife, Sati (naina is Sanskrit for eye) that fell to earth after her act of self-immolation. Boaters will row you around the lake for ₹210 in the brightly painted gondola-like boats, or the Nainital Boat Club will sail you around for ₹500. Pedal boats can also be hired.

Naina Devi Temple is on the precise spot where the eye is believed to have fallen. Nearby is the Jama Masjid mosque and a gurdwara. You can walk around the lake in about an hour – the southern side is more peaceful and has good views of the town.