About 22 kms from Nainital, nestled in a beautiful pristine valley, this jem of a lake is the largest around Nainital. The beauty is enhanced by a small Island surrounded by crystal blue water. One road from Bhimtal leaves for Naukuchiatal while the another one goes to Kathgodam 21 Kms from here.
Bhimtal is one of the largest lake around Nainital named after Bhima of Mahabharata. It has a island in the center approached only by a boat and at present it has an Aquarium there. A gaggle of ducks has made the lake their home and give company to the lake visitor. Bhimtal is much less crowded than Nainital and the lake, Bhimtal is much cleaner than it’s better known counterpart Nainital. Bhimtal can be reached directly from Delhi in 6-7 hours.
Bhimtal is slightly on the warmer side in mid June, but makes for an all year round destination. For recreation one can do boating at the lake or explore the surrounding jungle on foot. It can also be made as a center for exploring the surrounding lakes. There is a large Victorian dam at one end of the Bhimtal lake and terraced flower gardens can be found on either side. Next to the dam is the Bhimkeshwar temple dedicated to Bhim. There is also the Godhakhal Temple 3 km from Bhimtal. Another interesting place in Bhimtal is The Museum of Folk Culture (Lok Sanskriti Sangrahalaya) housing collections of folk paintings and ancient wooden artifacts. Bhimtal makes for an interesting off beat destination both for the family and corporate traveler. .
Bhimtal is an ancient place named after Bhima of Mahabharata. Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple, an old Shiva temple in the bank of Bhimtal lake, is believed to have been built when Bhima visited the place during the banishment (vanvas) period of Pandavas. Bhimtal, earlier known as Bhimsarovar, is believed to be the stamping ground of the Pandavas. According to the locals the town is named so because when the Pandanvas had been exiled in this region they could not find a water body from which they could quench their thirst. It was then that Bhima, the powerful, hit the ground with his “gada” or club thus creating a cavity in the ground, which was filled with an underground source of water.