Known as the ‘Town of Seven lakes’; Sattal, located at an elevation of about 4000 feet in Nainital district in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, is famous for its freshwater lakes. Attal along with Nainital, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal and others form part of the Lake District of India. The seven lakes, aet amongst dense forests of oak and pine trees, are among the few unspoiled and unpolluted fresh water bodies in India.
The lakes – Ram Tal, Sita Tal, Laxman Tal, Nal Damyanti Tal, Sukh Tal, Garud Tal and Purna Tal – have been named after mythological figures and are said to be interconnected. There are several mythological stories attached to the place. One such story says that famous king Nal of Mahabharat era is drowned in Nal Damyantital another story says that this lake was named on their name because at the time of their exile they took shelter in this place.
These lakes are a paradise for migratory birds. It is home to a few camps being operated mostly by local people catering to tourists looking for outdoor vacations. Hills around Sattal are ideal for activities like trekking, rappeling, mountain biking, rock climbing and many more. Activities like boating and angling can also be enjoyed at the lakes.
Sattal is an ideal destination for a weekend gateway if you are in and around Delhi. Just 280 kms from the capital city, it should only take about 5 to 6 hrs to reach depending on the traffic. A weekend trip to Sattal with family and friends could prove to be a memorable experience.
Route to take: New Delhi → Bangarpur → Rajabpur → Rampur → Bazpur → Sattal
BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best time to visit the town is during the months of March to June and September to November.
Places to Stay:
- KMVN GuestHouse, Sattal: They have Cottages and Deluxe rooms. It is a mid-range hotel that provides decent rooms and basic amenities. The Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam has been serving travelers since 1974.The hotel also offers discounts upto 20% during off-season. Rooms prices range about 2000 INR.
- Country Inn, Sattal: Tucked away in the dense forests of oak and pine trees, and surrounded by the bounty of nature, Country Inn Sattal is the perfect getaway. Rooms are priced starting at 2500 INR.
Things to Do:
- Seven Lakes of Sattal: Panna Tal or Garud Tal, Nal-Damyanti Tal, Purna Tal, Sita Tal, Ram Tal, Laxman Tal, Sukha Tal or Khurdariya Tal
This place is the land of lakes, thus you could also enjoy the boating in the lake. Boating is very popular amongst families with children so Sattal can be an absolutely marvelous experience. There are several camps which are available in this area. You can contact them in advance and get yourself enrolled with a number of activities namely kayaking, rappelling, river crossing, obstacle course etc. All these activities are light and can easily be done by a non-athlete.
- Butterfly Museum: There is a rich butterfly museum built by Frederic Smetacek at Jones Estate, which has over 2,500 butterfly and moth specimens and 1,100 species of insects that are found in this region.They are a beautiful sight.
- Trekking: The rhododendron and oak forests will welcome you in the beautiful periphery of Sattal, while trekking.The place is a heaven for a photographer. The lush green valley surrounded with lakes gives you ample opportunity to be click happy.
- Sattal Mission Estate and Methodist Ashram: The Sattal Christian Ashram situated on the banks of Sattal lakes, on a former tea estate. St. John’s Church is part of this ashram and showcases a mixed colonial architecture. It was established in 1930 to introduce Christianity into the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand.
- Indulge in Bird-Watching: Sattal is unique for its biodiversity and ecological amplitude. It has 500 species of resident and migratory birds, 20 species of mammals, over 525 species of butterflies and over 11,000 species of moths, beetles, bugs and other insects.Bird-watching would prove to be such a fruitful leisure activity for the bird lovers. It’s for sure that you’ll not be disappointed.
- Subhash Dhara: There is a spectacular natural spring of fresh water arising out of dense oak forest west of Sattal.The water is crystal clear is very captivating to look at.
- Try Kayaking and Fishing: Sattal has many different varieties of fish. If you wish to do kayaking, you can ask your camp to arrange the same for you.For fishing, you can take permission from the local authorities and hire equipments from the camp.
- Visit nearby Bhimtal: Situated 3 kms from Sattal, Bhimtal at an altitude of 1375 mts above sea level, is famous for Bhimtal lake and a small island in the centre.Named after the grest Bhima from Mahabharata, this place is said to have been a part of the famous silk route.
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