Nainital also spelled as Naini Tal, is a popular hill station in the india state of uttarakhand. Nainital is the judicial capital of Uttarakhand, the high court being located here, and is the headquarters of the kumaun division as well as an eponymous district. It also houses the Governor of india who resides in the Raj bhawan. Nainital was the summer capital of the United provenience.
Nainital is located in the kumaon foothill of the outer Himalayas at a distance of 285 km (177 mi) from the state capital Dehradun and 345 km (214 mi) from New delhi the capital of India. Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres (6,837 ft) above sea level, the city is set in a valley containing an eye shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatta (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south. From the tops of the higher peaks, “magnificent views can be obtained of the vast plain to the south, or of the mass of tangled ridges lying north, bound by the great snowy range which forms the central axis of the Himalayas.”
The city of Nainital covers a total area of 11.73 km2 (4.53 sq mi), and is located at 29.38°N 79.45°E, at an average elevation of 2,084 metres (6,837 ft) above sea level. The slopes of the nearby mountains are most populated, with an elevation ranging from 1,940–2,100 m (6,360–6,890 ft). The highest point nearby is the Naina Peak or China Peak, with an elevation of 2,619 m (8,593 ft). The city is located in the Kumaun foothills of the outer Himalayas at a distance of 285 km (177 mi) from the state capital Dehradun 345 km (214 mi) from New Delhi, the capital of India.
Scenic view of the Nainital from Tallital, the lower end of the lake.
The city is set in a valley around the Nainital Lake – an eye-shaped lake, which is located at an altitude of 1,940 m (6,350 ft) from sea level. The lake is 1,433 m (1,567 yd) long and 463 m (506 yd) wide, and is approximately two miles in circumference. The bed of the lake is at a depth of 85 m (93 yd) near Pashandevi, the deepest point of the lake. The lake is deduced to have been formed tectonically. Balia Nala, which is the main stream feeding the lake is along a fault line and the subsequent streams align parallel to major joints and faults. 26 major drains feed the lake including the 3 perennial drains.
Nainital is surrounded by the mountains of Ayarpatta (2,344 m (7,689 ft)), Devpata (2,435 m (7,989 ft)), Hanibani (2,180 m (7,153 ft)), China (2,612 m (8,568 ft)), Alma (2,430 m (7,980 ft)), Ladiya Kanta (2,482 m (8,144 ft)) and Sher ka Danda (2,398 m (7,869 ft)).
The Krol group of rocks, comprising slates, marls, sandstones, limestones and dolomites with a few small dykes intrusives, is the dominant geological formation of Nainital’s surroundings, although, Nodules, laminae and stringers of phosphatic material, followed upward by the purple green shales intercalated with muddy finegrained sandstone and siltstone; recognised as the Tal Formation; are also prevalent. The region has a complex geological framework; the rocks are fragile and newly formed. The city is completely located in the catchment area of the Nainital lake, which has highly folded and faulted rocks due to poly phase deformation.
Landslides are a frequent occurrence in the hill slopes surrounding the lake, which are steep. The slopes are highly vulnerable to landslides and mass movement due to various geological and human factors. The first known landslip occurred in Nainital in 1866 on Alma hill, and in 1879 there was a larger one at the same spot. The greatest landslide in Nainital occurred on 18 September 1880, on the slope which rising from the north of the flats ends at Alma peak, and resulted in 151 people being buried under the debris. Another heavy landslip occurred on 17 August 1898 outside the Nainital valley.
Nainital after snowfall (2007)
Nainital experiences subtropical highland climate (Cwb) according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification system as the city’s climate is influenced by the elevation. The city is a bit dry during winter and very wet during summer due to South Asian monsoon system. The lowest precipitation total occurs in November with total 7.9 millimetres (0.31 in), while the highest precipitation total occurs in July with total 725 millimetres (28.5 in). Like most places in temperate region, Nainital has relative cool summer. The hottest month is July with temperature ranging from 16.4 °C (61.5 °F) to 23.5 °C (74.3 °F), while the coldest month is January with temperature ranging from 1.7 °C (35.1 °F) to 10.7 °C (51.3 °F). The highest Temperature ever recorded in Nainital was 30 °C (86 °F) recorded on 18 June 1972, while the lowest temperature was −5.6 °C (21.9 °F) recorded on 17 January 1953.
The winter season in Nainital commences by mid November, and lasts till mid-March. Temperature gradually declines from the month of November onwards and January is the coldest month. Frost and mist are common features in the months of December and January. Occasionally widespread rainfall also occurs due to western disturbance, with snow occurring on peaks higher than 2000m. The winter rainfall is sometimes associated with the cyclonic activities. The temperature, however, shows an increasing trend by the end of February or the first half of March. By mid-March, there is a progressive rise in temperature, which indicates the onset of summer season. While days get slightly warmer; the nights continue to be cool. There is a constant increase in temperature during May and early June, when the highest temperature is recorded. The months of March and April are also associated with the occurrence of hailstorms, which brings a short spell of cold.
The onset of the summer in the hills is relatively earlier than the plains and is also very lengthy and humid. The mean temperature in July and August goes down and humidity rises abruptly during this season. The monsoon usually begins by mid-May when the rain strikes and continue until mid-October. Nainital, due to its proximity to the outermost high ranges of the Himalaya, receives a high annual rainfall. Generally, by mid-September, the monsoon gets weakened and rain occurs generally after long intervals. With the retreat of the monsoon the winds blow in a reverse direction. The weather during the post-monsoon months is characterised with bright skies. It is in fact a transition between the rains and the winters and with reduced rainfall, the monthly temperature records a progressive decline till mid-January.