One of the main attractions of Bhimtal is the Bhimtal Lake, which has an island in its midst located 91 meters from the shore. The lake is known for its masonry dam built in 1883, which serves as a storage facility and is claimed to be the largest lake in the Kumaon region. It is also a major source of drinking water supply and supports aquaculture with various fish species. The lake is situated at an elevation of 1,375 meters and 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 offers 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 Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple, mentioned by Atkinson, is an ancient temple located on the banks of Bhimtal. Legend has it that it was built by Bhima during the exile period of the Pandavas and was later renovated by Baz Bahadur of the Chand Dynasty in the 17th century. Bhimtal, which is older than Nainital city and was once part of the ancient silk route, is a popular tourist destination in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India.
Bhimtal Lake is larger than Nainital Lake and is a popular spot for 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, providing 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 in recent years, many enlightened souls from all over India have chosen Bhimtal and its surroundings as their post-retirement home. 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.
To reach Bhimtal, there are several transportation options. The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport, approximately 55 kilometers away, but it has limited flight connectivity. The nearest major airport with better connectivity is Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, which is about 300 kilometers away from Bhimtal. Another option is to reach Bhimtal by train, with the nearest railway station being Kathgodam Railway Station, approximately 22 kilometers away. Kathgodam Railway Station is well-connected to major cities in India. From there, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bhimtal. Bhimtal is also well-connected by road to major cities in Uttarakhand and nearby states, and 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, and other nearby cities include Kathgodam, Haldwani, and Ranikhet.