History of Nainital is rich and diverse. One of the darling of the Britishers. So much so, that they chose it to be their Winter Capital. Nainital after it’s discovery have continued to attract famous personalities from across the Globe. Some of them have been mentioned in our article ‘famous celebrities of Nainital’. The History of Nainital is filled with dramatic events.
Even before Britishers set their eye on Nainital, the place has a rich mythology associated with it.The lake of Nainital finds its place mentioned in Sakand Purans “Trishul Sarovar”. Tri Rishis (three sages Atri, Pulastiya, and Phulla) had come there for Pilgrimage while they were in the Gagar range (Now called China Peak) they felt thirsty and could not find some water.
After that, they thought of Mansarovar and dug a hole which at once got filled with water. The lake then formed was called Tri Rishi Tal (The Lake of Three Sages). Bathing in the lake is considered as beneficial as visiting Mansarovar. Unfortunately, it is illegal to take a bath in the lake now.
History of Nainital
Once upon a time this place wasn’t meant for humans, it was only a pilgrim, natives use to come here only once a year to worship the presiding deity, Naina Devi. It was a well-kept secret until 1839 when P Barron stumbled across this gem and was too mesmerized by its beauty that he went on to write an article about it in Agra Akbar. Thus, Nainital was put on the tourist map by this adventurous Englishmen.
The landslide which happened on 18 September 1880 is the biggest tragedy that Nainital witnessed.Two days preceding the slip there was heavy rain. 20 inches to 35 heavy downpour fell during the 40 hours and the rain still lasted and continued for hours after the slip. The total number of dead and missing were 108 Indian and 43 British nationals.The landslide led to the creation of flats.
The calamity did not stop the Britishers. They keep flocking in, making their settlements here which continued to happen till the 1920s. The lower mall road was used by the natives while the Upper Mallroad was reserved for Britishers. There are several schools, churches, hospitals which continue to exist as the heritage of British Raj. A part of British legacy still continues to linger in this small place.
Even after Independence Nainital continued to host big meetings. Bollywood fell in love with place. Nainital became a part of Uttar Pradesh. The Prime Ministers were frequent visitors. National and International summit still were common thing in Nainital. In the year 2000, after a long struggle, Uttarakhand was carved from UP. The High court was shifted to Nainital. Mr. Nityanand Swami was the first chief minister of Uttarakhand. Nainital has never really looked back and attracts lakhs of tourist every year.