Bhimtal Lake, perched at an altitude of 4500 ft above sea level is one of the largest natural lakes around Nainital. It derived its name from Bhima, one of the brothers of Pandavas. The lake, which is situated at a distance of 22 km from Nainital, offers ample water sport opportunities for amateurs with paddling and boating facilities. The place is a natural habitat to many aquatic species and attracts various Trans Himalayan and other birds like black eagles, wall creeper birds, tawny fish owls, bulbuls and emerald doves. There is a large island at the centre of the lake, at a distance of 91 m from the shore. Tourists can reach the island by boat to see the magnificent aquarium, which contains a number of rare fishes from China, Mexico and South Africa. Kumaoni hills encircling the place render magnificent scenery.