Sattal Lake
Tejas Soni

Sattal is often compared as the Westeros of UK. I have no clue what Westeros looks. But we an old colonial hangover with Europe. Sattal is one of the most well preserved and unpolluted lakes in the Nainital District. You will know it when you get there. Not only for humans, but the place is also a paradise for migratory birds in the winter season.

Truly a place that gives preference to Nature than humans. After it gets dark, it is no an uncommon sight to see a leopard strolling around. Gurrals, Barking Deers, Kakkars can bestow their presence at any point of Day. I believe the continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is essential to the quality of life of humans.

Related: Kasar Devi: The hippie village of kumaon

Sattal
Sattal – Sun Set View

Sattal, at an altitude of 1370 metres,  translates into, ‘Sat Tal’ meaning ‘Seven Lakes’. Interestingly, three of these lakes are named Ram tal, Lakshman tal, Sita tal and other are Bharat tal, Hanuman tal, Nal damyanti tal and Garud tal. These seven interconnected lakes and are surrounded by tall oak and pine trees. All seven lakes of Sattal are untouched from human encroachment. For the lovers of wilderness, Sattal is an excellent hideout.

Things To Do In Sattal


Much of the land in Sattal area belong to the Methodist Christan Sattal Ashram, which was opened in the year 1930 by St. Dr E Stanley Jones, who was also a close friend of Gandhiji. The ashram has done a commendable job in maintaining the sanctity of the area.

The place does provide its visitors with a wide variety of activities that are in line with the ecosystem that surrounds it. Bird watching, for instance, has been a favorite sport in Sattal. Of the 1400 odd species listed of Birds in India, 500 can be spotted here depending upon the season.

Sattal Bird Watching

These include the lights of bird like the blue-throated barbet and brown-headed barbets, lineated barbet, Himalayan Bulbul, Jungle Mynah, Long Tail Minivet, Kingfisher and many more.Other than that 20 species of mammals, over 525 species of butterflies.

Adventure in Sattal


Sattal has gained a reputation as a place for adventurers. Several Camping sites including the lights of Get Away Jungle Camp, YMCA Campsite, Wildrift Camp conduct camping activity in dark woods.As Night approaches, a campfire is organised where people talk sing and dance in front of the flames.

Sattal Camping

Adventure Sports Activities:

One can go for activities like kayaking, river crossing, flying fox, rock climbing, rappelling, and nature walk.

Sattal Adventure

Suicide Rock is the most famous climbs here, and the Burma bridges attract thrill-seekers interested in making a daring river crossing.It is also an ideal place for hikers and trekkers and even for rock climbing experts. Star Gazing is also gaining prominence in the area.

Waterfall in Sattal:

Sattal also contains a hidden waterfall, that is a jewel in the wilderness and is situated at about one km walk through the jungle.The path is well laid out you; a guide is not required for you to get there. It is a must go if you are visiting Sattal and lies half a km before it.

Meditation in Sattal:

A 3 km hike from Sattal will lead you to Hidimba ashram on the top of a hill, and is a grand place for meditation.

Sattal Trek

The area is named after the demoness “Hidimba” from the Mahabharata. After the couple of decades of hard work of the sage “Hidimba Maharaj, ” the place is well flourished with hundreds of meditational plants and herbs. One can stay there and can feel the magnificence tranquility of the place.

Sattal Lake:

There are various mysteries that the Sattal lake hides within. But that’s the story for another day. Boating in Sattal lake is a must do.

Sattal Lake

Sattal also offers many different varieties of fish. Mahseers, Cirrhinus, Schizothorax richardsonii are found in large numbers.

Butter Fly Museum:

It was the great Frederick Smetacek who started this museum to conserved and preserve biodiversity. It is not very huge but encompasses years of dogged patient work and painstaking research for the preservation of exotic butterfly specimens, larva, and other insects.Butterfly Museum, with about more than 2,500 butterflies, moth and insects specimens at Jones Estate.

Mr. Peter would should you around with great patience, knowledge and understanding. It is a steep hike but will be well worth your time, children will love it. The Butter Fly Museum charges Rs 150 person.(Open 9 a.m –5 p.m.; 05942-247068; call before visiting)

Sattal Weather


The weather in Sattal remains pleasant throughout the year. The winters might bring in chills so take your woolen clothing along. It also receives some snowfall in the winter season.

When to visit Sattal :

Sattal is open well-connected with roads. In the peak season of April- June there is a fair bit of tourist so the room rents in Resorts go up. Any other time of the year, off season one can always bargain for room prices.

Excursion from Sattal


1. Ghorakhal:

10 km from Sattal, Ghorakhal is famous for two places Ghorakhal Golju Temple and Ghorakhal Sainik School. It is a pleasing place at an altitude of 2000 metre. Golju Maharaj, the presiding deity, is the God of justice. They write letters,(sometimes on stamp paper) to their beloved deity. The temple is filled with bells which tied by the pilgrims. It’s a perfect picnic spot. Paragliding Activities have also started here.

2. Bhimtal:

Bhimtal is at a distance of 10 km from Sattal, Bhimtal is named after Bhim, one of the five Pandavas. The lake of Bhimtal is named after Bhim, one of the five Pandavas. The lake at Bhimtal is bigger than Nainital lake. Boating, Swimming, Canoeing, Trekking, Paragliding are the main tourist attractions. An aquarium is located on an island at the centre of the lake which is quite famous among the tourists,

3. Nainital:

Nainital is approx. 17km from Sattal, Nainital is one of the most alluring destinations in the state. The city has evolved around the Naini Lake. The summer capital of United Provinces continues to be known as the ‘lake district of India” .The buzz and noise, the tranquillity of Nature, the growing needs of modern traveller Nainital has it all packed in one hill station.

4. Jeolikot:

Jeolikot is 28km from Sattal is on Nainital Haldwani Highway. A health resort and is an excellent spot for those who are interested in floriculture and butterfly catching. The beekeeping centre is an added attraction.

5. Naukuchiatal:

Naukuchiatal is 16 km from Sattal, lies Nakuchiyatal, which means the lake with nine corners. Bounded by dark woody forests, and lush greenery, Nakuchiyatal remains a place where nature is given preference over man. Famous for its boat rides, it offers some of the best scenic vistas of the sparkling bluish water lake and its delightful environment.

6. Ramgarh:

Located 31 km from Bhimtal, Ramgarh is also known as the fruit bowl of Kumaun is divided into two part Talla(Down) Ramgarh and Malla (Ramgarh).The other very famous thing about Ramgarh are the orchards which provide you with one of the best apples, pears, and peaches. It has a history of hosting poets, writers, and artist who come to the hills seeking inspiration.

7. Mukteshwar:

At a distance of 37km, Mukteshwar is a stunning place nestled between the dense conifers and fruit Orchards and is situated 2,286 metres above sea level. Mukteshwar offers 180-degrees view of the Himalayan Ranges. One can see the peaks of Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, Nandakot, Trishul, and Panchachuli. It is a famous hill station in Kumaon.

8. Kainchi Dham:

Kainchi Dham is at a distance of 18km from Bhimtal is this Small Ashram Compound where Maharaji spent much of his later years. Kaichi Dham had its share of the limelight when in a candid interview, Mark Zuckerberg revealed to the Prime Minister, that he had visited a temple in India on the advice of Steve Jobs.

How to Reach Sattal?


By Rail:

Nearest railhead is Kathgodam Railway Station at a distance of 26 km from Sattal is well connected to Delhi. Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti in which tickets are available even few hours before the departure arrives at night. You need to make sure that a cab, a booked hotel, and hot dinner is waiting for you in midnight.

Ranikhet Express is an excellent overnight journey which needs booking well in advance. The Shatabdi Express is the favorites; tickets are available easily a few days before the trip. It is the fastest leaves Old Delhi at 6 A.M and reaches Kathgodam by 11:30 AM. The only low of Shatabdi is the food offered in the train.

By Road:

Regular buses leave from Anand Vihar ISBT for Nainital. Try (utc.uk.gov.in) for online reservations and timings. It takes 700 bucks to book a complete taxi from Kathgodam to Sattal. For others, you may come out at Haldwani, which is a station before Kathgodam. The bus stand is a walk of 10 minutes.

If you have heavy luggage,  you can hire a rickshaw.  Buses regularly leave from Haldwani to Bhowali between 5 A.M to 6 P.M. By taking that bus, you can reach till Mehragaon near Graphic Era College route. Then you can take a shared taxi is another option which will cost Rs 30 per person. Play the “We-are-not-going-to-Sattal-for-the-first-time” card if the cab driver quotes otherwise. You can even take a walk directly to Sattal from Mehragaon.

Road Distance Chart of Sattal-
  • Delhi to Sattal –  290 km
  • Nainital to Sattal – 25km
  • Bhimtal to Sattatl- 8 km

How to Reach from Delhi to Sattal, Uttarakhand:

Below is the complete directions map to reach from Delhi to Sattal, Uttarakhand by road starting from Anand Vihar, New Delhi. Total journey distance between Delhi to Sattal is approximately 298 km when you start your journey from Anand Vihar by Road.

Starting Point – Anand Vihar Terminal, Delhi
  • Take Chaudhary Charan Singh Marg, Dr Burman Rd and Madan Mohan Malviya Marg to NH 24 in Sector-1, Ghaziabad 13 min (5.0 km)
  • Continue on NH 24 to Tanda Range 4 h 16 min (230 km)
  • Continue to Rampur, Haldwani 31 min (24.4 km)
  • Follow NH 87 to Bhowali-Bhimtal-Haldwani Rd/Haldwani-Bhowali Rd 19 min (9.4 km)
  • Continue on Bhowali-Bhimtal-Haldwani Rd to your destination in Bhowali Range 59 min (29.1 km)
Destination: Sattal, Uttarakhand India

By Air:

Nearest airport is Pantnagar, 60 km. Different flights might be available from Delhi to Sattal.

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