Uttarakhand, situated in Northern India is a top tourist spot that attracts travellers from all over the world. Popularly known as the 'Land of Gods', Uttrakhand is considered a paradise on earth for its out of the world scenic beauty.
It is a place where the list of attractions are never ending with many new and exotic destinations available to travellers. From worship to sightseeing, trekking and rafting, each tourist hotspot offers a vast range of activities including; pilgrimage sites, beautiful sceneries, and exciting activities to travellers.
One of the major attractions are the many lakes here. Some of these lakes have interesting legends behind their existence. If their natural beauty is not tempting enough, the stories are sure to incite you to travel to the lakes in Uttarakhand. Here is a guide to five of the mystical lakes in Uttarakhand.
Dodital is located at an elevation of 3,024 mt above sea level and is a huge freshwater lake. Legend has it that Lord Hanuman had once stopped here in order to quench his thirst. He was surprised to see that there was no waterbody anywhere close by and hence he struck the ground with his 'Gada' (mace) from where water started to spring forth. Today, it is a beautiful tourist destination surrounded by lush greenery. The lake is famous for the Himalayan trout, and can be reached by trekking from Uttarkashi. Fishing can be enjoyed at the lake with the permission from the Divisional Forest Officer of Uttarkashi.
Scenic view of Dodital Lake.
Photo Courtesy: Nikhilchandra81
Naukuchiatal, also called the ‘Lake of Nine Corners' is also a small hill station in Nainital . The lake is situated at 1,220 mt above sea level, and is surrounded by hills covered in trees and shrubs. It is the deepest of all the lakes in the Nainital region. Stories claim that the lake was the hiding place of a demon who once roamed the region. After his death, the deep hole in the ground got filled by water thus forming the lake. It is located within an enchanting valley and offers excellent opportunities for angling and bird watching. There is ample scope for rowing, paddling and yachting as well.
A shikhara on the lake.
Photo Courtesy: Dr Satendra
3. Bhimtal Lake
The Bhimtal Lake, situated at an altitude of 1,371 mt above sea level is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Uttarakhand. The lake derives its name from Bhima, said to be the strongest of the Pandava brothers. It is said that the lake was formed when Bhima put his foot down while fighting a demon. Today this lake is a hub for many water sports such as boating, paddling, rowing and many more such activities. It is also a perfect place to catch glimpses of birds such as the black eagle, wall creeper birds, tawny fish owls, bulbuls and emerald doves.
Misty morning at Bhimtal Lake.
Photo Courtesy: Cruze17
4. Roopkund Lake
Ever thought a lake could be scary? Well the Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand is exactly that! Located in the lap of the Trishul range, the uninhabited region is an ideal trekking destination for travellers. The shallow lake here is said to have skeletal remains at its bottom that is believed to belong to the 9th century. No one knows how these skeletons came here, though there are many legends associated with who these people were, what they were doing here and what happened to them. Travellers trekking here can see the skeletal remains in this lake. In fact, the lake has been growing in popularity and the skeletal remains are reducing in numbers as travellers take them home as souvenirs of the journey.
The Skeleton Lake
Photo Courtesy: Utsav Verma
5. Naini Lake
One of the prime attraction in Uttarakhand is the Naini Lake at Nainital. The lake is surrounded by dense green hills and tourists can enjoy many activities here like yachting, rowing and paddling to name a few. Legend has it that the lake was formed at the spot where the left eye of Goddess Sati fell. The lake is considered holy by the Hindus and during Shivaratri many festivities held here.
Boating at Naini Lake.
Photo Courtesy: sporadic