Tourism: Town of seven lakes Sattal
Sattal or Sat Tal is an interconnected group of seven freshwater lakes located in the lower Himalayas, near Bhimtal, a city in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. It is best suited for tourism for many of the tourists who need a peaceful enviornment. It is located at an altitude of about 1350 meters above sea level. Nestled among dense oak and pine forests, Sattal is one of the few freshwater biomes preserved and uncontaminated in India. These lakes are a paradise for migratory birds. It is home to some camps run mainly by locals and intended for tourists looking for an outdoor vacation.
Sattal is unique for its biodiversity and its ecological breadth. It has approx 500 species of resident and migratory birds, 20 species of mammals, more than 500 species of butterflies and more than 11,000 species of moths, beetles, insects and other insects. The flora covers a wide range of plants ranging from bryophytes, orchids, rare climbing plants, ferns, lichens, mushrooms, medicinal herbs and shrubs. Each lake has its own diatom index. The index of trophic diatoms uses the composition of freshwater diatom assemblies to assess water quality and ecological status.
Seven Sattal lakes are:
- Panna Tal or Garud Tal
- Nal-Damyanti Tal
- Purna Tal
- Sita tal
- Ram tal
- Laxman tal
- Sukha tal
The lavish Sattal, which means “the seven lakes”, is linked to a popular legend related to the Mahabharata epic. According to the famous mythology, King Nala drowned in the waters of one of the seven lakes of Sattal with his wife Damayanti, during his fourteen-year exile offered by his brother. As a result, the lake became Nal Damyanti Tal.
The hills around Sattal are ideal for activities such as hiking, abseiling, mountain biking, climbing and much more. Activities such as sailing and angling can also be enjoyed in the lakes. Camps are also available to spend the night near the lake. The Butterfly Museum is another attraction of the city. It was created to raise awareness of butterflies. Festivals such as the Nandadevi Fair and Vasantotsav are celebrated with tremendous fervor in the city.
There is a lively tourist market and a playground near the lakes. This is mainly treated as a lunch spot for tourists visiting Nainital and other places. Many restaurants are available here. Here, the famous food is Kadi Chawal. Instead of Dal, you will get a juicy recipe of Kadi with diluted curds mixed with rice.