Coming straight out of a fictional serial is the Sattal lake in Nainital which is a mysterious interconnection of seven freshwater lakes. Sattal is amongst one of the few freshwater biomes present in India which makes it even more precious and worthy. The lake is unharmed by modern civilization and is home to a large number of species of aqua-marine life.
Geography of Sattal
The Sattal lake is situated in the lower range of Great Himalayas at a height of 1370 m above the sea level. The area is called Mehragaon valley under the Nainital district.
Flora and Fauna at Sattal
Sattal is surrounded by lush orchards around the valley and huge coniferous trees like pine and oak constitute the main flora of this area. The forest around the lake is dense which is home to migratory birds and mammals. The other flora present around the area are mainly mainly ferns, orchids, fungi, climbing plants, medicinal herbs and shrubs etc. there is a slight difference in the flora and fauna of all seven lakes due to different Diatom indices.
The fauna at Sattal majorly comprises of Birds, fishes and butterflies. This place is a paradise for people who love watching birds and butterflies. With the unpolluted waters and ecology, one can find the rarest species of butterflies here. The lake is also home to around 20 species of mammals.
The avian fauna of Sattal in quite versatile and diversified. The lake is home to a number of resident and migratory birds. Around 500 bird species migrate to Sattal from the Great Himalayas during winters. Some of them are Himalayan Griffon, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Kingfisher, barbets, parakeets, flycatchers, tits, rock thrush, babblers, owlets, woodpeckers, lammergeier, pheasants, black eagle, pigeon, minla etc.
There is a huge variety of fishes at the Sattal. The main variants are Mahseers, Catla Catla, Labeo Rohita etc. The Mahseers are of two types- Tor Tor and Tor putitora.
The next best thing about Sattal is its butterflies. There are around 525 species of butterflies recorded at Sattal with 11000 species of moths and beetles. These delicate beauties are rich in vibrant colors and make it look like an area in a fairy tale with their grace. Some of the butterflies present here are Indian Fritillary, blue peacock, peacock pansy, Paris peacock, red lacewing, red-base Jezebel, yellow pansy, red Helen, tawny Rajah, Indian Oakleak, large silverstripe etc.
Image Gallery of Sattal Nainital
Mythological Significance of Sattal
The word Sattal means Seven lakes (Sat-tal). This place is associated with a legend going back to the times of Indian epic Mahabharata. As the legend goes, the great ruler Nala drowned in the waters of one of the lakes along with his wife Damiyanti during their fourteen-year long exile cursed by his brother. Hence, one of the seven lakes is named as Nal-Damyanti Tal.
The remaining six lakes are named after the characters of Mahabharata as Lakshman Tal, Purna Tal, Sita Tal, Sukha Tal and Garud Tal. The Sukha Tal was initially known as Khudariya Tal but due to a leakage at its western end, the water from this lake drained out and the lake dried up. Hence, it is now called Sukha Tal.
History of Sattal
Due to its divine beauty and bewitching formation, the Sattal Lake is compared with Westmorland of England. The British who had set up colonies at the Nainital city used to visit Sattal with their families and on solo trips as well. Sattal had one of the four Tea Plantations of the Kumaon region during the colonial era.
Things to do at Sattal
Sattal attracts a huge number of tourists due to its beauty and number of activities which can be carried at and around the lakes.
1. You can go camping at the lakeside which is organized by local people. The camp offers a peek into the natural habitat of fauna there and an opportunity to the tourists to connect with the heartfelt beauty this place beholds. You can plan a camping trip anytime during the year except for the monsoon season.
2. Boating is another attraction at the lake. Tourists can take a boat ride at the lake and get close to the overwhelming beauty of this place.
3. Bird Watching is one of the most popular activities at this place. Sattal is home to the resident as well as migratory birds which are a striking sight to look at. You can capture pictures of these birds flying in flocks and pairs.
4. Butterfly Watching is a bonus here. Homing more than 525 species of butterflies, Sattal is no less than a paradise. Vibrant colors, sweet humming and elegance all around, this place is a beautiful vista.
5. You can get a fishing permit from the local authority and enjoy a leisurely day at the lakeside fishing and angling. The handout for fishing all day is that you can take your fish home or to the hotel and cook it.
6. If you are an adventure enthusiast, Sattal will not disappoint you. activities like Rappelling, rock climbing, mountain biking, trekking, angling, boating etc are carried out at the Sattal lake area.
7. Visit the butterfly museum at Sattal which was built by Frederic Smetacek at Jones Estate housing over 2500 butterfly and 1100 insect specimens.
8. Get refreshed at the Subhash Dhara which is a natural freshwater spring located towards the west of Sattal forest.
How to Reach Sattal
Sattal is around 23 km from Nainital, 302 km from Delhi and 355 km from Agra if you are traveling by road. It takes around 6 hours from Delhi to reach Sattal if you are driving on your own.
Bus Stand- Tallital Bus stand in Nainital is the nearest bus stand. There is no dedicated Bus stand at Sattal. You will have to travel to Nainital or any other major city in order to reach Sattal by bus. From the bus stand, you can hire a taxi cab to reach Sattal. For a hassle free commutation to Sattal, you can also book a private cab from top rental companies in Nainital.
Railway station- Sattal is one of the places in Nainital which still retains its natural beauty and hence not much development has taken place here. Sattal does not have its own railway station. The nearest station is Kathgodam Railway station which is about 33 km away. You can hire a bus or private taxi from the Railway station to Sattal.
Airport- Pantnagar is the nearest airport about 67 km away. The distance from the airport to Sattal is motorable, offering a picturesque drive to the outskirts of Nainital city. Private taxis are available at the airport to reach sattal. It takes around 2 hours to reach Sattal from the airport.
Best Time to visit Sattal
Sattal is at its picturesque best during the monsoon but traveling there during monsoon can be a little difficult as the roads and treks get slippery and there is always a possibility of landslides during monsoon.
The months of March, April, May and June are best to visit Sattal. Winters are also quite popular with tourists who are passionate about snowfall.
Carrying heavy woolens is highly advisable during all seasons while visiting Sattal. The evenings get quite chilly and if it rains, the days are cold as well.
Carry a first-aid kit and some food while you camp or go for a trek.
For your convenience, we at Nainital Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA, offer plenty of all-inclusive Nainital tour packages.You can choose the best available package according to your preferences at affordable rates. In addition, we also guide our clients with the top sightseeing places in Nainital. Please fill the Contact Us form to know more about the various packages and have a fun trip to this beautiful city.