The Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple, an ancient temple mentioned by Atkinson, is located on the banks of Bhimtal. According to legend, it was built by Bhima during the exile period of the Pandavas. The temple was later renovated by Baz Bahadur of the Chand Dynasty in the 17th century. Bhimtal is older than Nainital city and was once part of the ancient silk route.
The Bhimtal Lake, with an island in its midst located 91 meters from the shore, is known for its masonry dam built in 1883, which serves as a storage facility. It is claimed to be the largest lake in the Kumaon region and is a major source of drinking water supply. The lake also supports aquaculture with various fish species. Situated at an elevation of 1,375 meters, the lake has a catchment area of 17.12 square kilometers, characterized by dense forest cover consisting of Chir Pine, Ban Oak, and mixed deciduous forests. A peripheral road along the lake provides scenic views of the fish life in the lake, while the banks of the lake have steep shingle-covered lower elevations and bushes and grass at higher elevations.
The Bhimtal Lake is larger than the Nainital Lake and attracts thousands of tourists throughout the year who come to enjoy its serene and pristine beauty. Boating, both traditional and modern paddle-boats, is a popular activity on the lake, offering a memorable experience. The surrounding pine forests with their gentle balmy aroma invite visitors to explore the pristine nature, with brooks, rocks, villages, and friendly village folk to encounter.
Bhimtal is a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, and many enlightened souls from all over India have chosen Bhimtal and its surroundings as their post-retirement home in recent years. The town has a well-developed market where visitors can find everything they need for a relaxed holiday, including hotels, resorts, eateries, and stores selling local produce such as rhododendron juice and organic Himalayan products.
Bhimtal is a popular tourist destination in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India, and can be reached through various modes of transportation. Here are some ways to reach Bhimtal:
By Air: The nearest airport to Bhimtal is Pantnagar Airport, which is approximately 55 kilometers away. From Pantnagar Airport, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bhimtal. However, Pantnagar Airport has limited flight connectivity, and the nearest major airport with better connectivity is Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, which is about 300 kilometers away from Bhimtal.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Bhimtal is Kathgodam Railway Station, which is approximately 22 kilometers away. Kathgodam Railway Station is well-connected to major cities in India, and from there, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bhimtal.
By Road: Bhimtal is well-connected by road to major cities in Uttarakhand and nearby states. One can take a bus, hire a taxi, or drive their own vehicle to reach Bhimtal. The nearest major city is Nainital, which is about 22 kilometers away from Bhimtal, and other nearby cities include Kathgodam, Haldwani, and Ranikhet.