While most tourists visit the town of Nainital, home to the Naini Lake, only a few know about the various other scenic routes and places in the Nainital district. The Nainital district has a total of 7 lakes, Naini Lake being one of them. Being the lake district of the Dev Bhoomi of India (Uttarakhand), many lakes and temples in Nainital derive their mythological relevance from the ancient legends.
Here are 3 famous mythological tales associated with the Nainital district that you must know of:
- The Naini Lake and Goddess Parvati
Legend has it that Goddess Sati sacrificed her body in fire when her father insulted her husband and lord, Lord Shiva. Shiva thereafter, in the pain and agony of losing her wife, performed Tandava with the lifeless body of Sati. It is said that Vishnu scattered different parts of her body all across the land and one of her eyes fell exactly where the lake now is, thus deriving its name: Naini Lake. There is also a temple on the banks of the lake called the Naini Devi temple. The locals worship the Naini Devi and the temple holds great relevance for believers and pilgrims.
- Mukteshwar and Pandavas Temple
Mukteshwar is another small town in the Nainital district that is one the most beautiful hill spots in Uttarakhand. Along with offering a scenic view of many tall peaks of Himalayas, Mukteshwar is a heaven for all those who love to be in the presence of nature. Mukteshwar temple situated in Mukteshwar is said to be a thousands of years old temple, first constructed by the Pandavas. Mukteshwar has its reference in the mythological tale of Mahabharata and based on the temple, the town derived its name, Mukteshwar.
- The Nine Cornered Lake of Naukuchiatal
The Naukuchiatal tale is said to be created by Brahma when the locals did tapasya for a water source. This lake, said to be created by Lord Brahma in the legends, has nine corners and it is said that all nine corners cannot be seen at the same time, by one person standing on the ground. It is also believed that if someone does see all nine corners, they attain Nirvana. Doing a parikrama (full circle) of this lake is also a common practice among pilgrims. The people, who do it, are said to have good fortune in their lives.