Nainital is a district of Uttarakhand state of India. Its headquarter is at Nainital. It is also divisional headquarter of Kumaon Division of Uttarakhand State. Nainital district is located in Kumaon Division. It is bounded on the north by the Almora District and on the south by the Udham Singh Nagar District. Haldwani is the largest town in this district. Also known as lake district of Uttarakhand, Nainital, named after lake Naini, is a major tourist destination of the state. This district is 1938 meters above sea level on the foothills of beautiful Himalayan ranges. District Nainital came into existence on 15th October, 1891. legends believe that the Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, or religious sites where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. The spot where Sati's eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be known as Nain-tal or lake of the eye. The goddess Shakti is worshiped at the Naina Devi Temple, known by locals as Naini Mata Temple on the north shore of the present day lake.
The district of Nainital lies at 29°39'N latitude, 79°45'E longitude and 2084 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 71.55% forest area of total geographical area. Champawat district flanks it in the east and district of Pauri Gahwal on the west. On its northern side lies the Himalayan ranges while on the southern side lies the plains. The total geographical area is 4251 sq. km. The district is divided into two zones, namely Hilly and Bhabar. The hilly region in outer Himalayas is known as Krol. The highest peak of the district is Baudhansthali (2623 mt. high near Binayak adjoining Nainital town). The foothill area of the district is known as Bhabhar. The name Bhabhar is derived from a tall growing grass which grows in the region. The underground water level is very deep in this region. Kosi is the main river of the district. This river arising out of Koshimool near Kausani flows on the western side of the district. There are a number of smaller rivulets such as Gaula, Bhakra, Dabka, and Baur. Most of these have been dammed for irrigation purposes. Nainital district has good received good rainfall in recent years. The actual rainfall in the district was 1733.0 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Nainital district has 8 sub-districts, 11 towns and 1141 villages. Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar Lok Sabha constituency is one of the five Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituency in Uttarakhand. Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar Lok Sabha constituency comprises 14 Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) segments. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to the national census 2011, Nainital has a total population of 954,605 with 4,93,666 are males and 4,60,939 are females. The urban population is 38.94% of the total population while 61.06% of the population is rural. The district has a sex ratio of 934 (females per 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 25.13% including 23.34% were males and 27.10% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 84.82% and 12.65% of the total population. The population density in the district is 225 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 89.74%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 18,827 out of which 8,904 were males and 9,923 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 6,014 out of which 3,348 were males and 2,666 were females.
Tourism is best flourished in Nainital district. Trading in goods and merchandise has been the major source of income for the people of Nainital district for the past many decades. This includes trade in the field of baked goods, flour mill, jam, pickle and spices. Agriculture has traditionally been and an integral means of livelihood for the people of this district. Crops in the high land areas such as wheat, maize, etc are grown by the farmers and most of them are exported outside the state. Every year the apples from Nainital are export to the different parts of the country. There are many industries throughout Nainital. Mostly, they are in the paper and candle works. But there are also industries in the field of fibre glass, steel industries and leather works. The large scale industries in this district are: Indane bottling plant, Jalpack India Ltd, Century Pulp & Paper; HMT Ltd, Biolife foods Pvt Ltd. The items being exported from this region are phytochemicals, herbal concentrate, barberin hydrochloride JP, metallic polyester film, water filters and paper, decorative candles and pulp and paper. Processed fruits, candles and handicrafts items are exported from this district. In the year 2016-17 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 13,45,261 lakh at current price and Rs. 11,16,974 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 2,57,050 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,08,136 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2016-17 was Rs. 1,15,117 at current price and Rs. 94,937 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
There are four degree colleges, one government university and many government and private schools. For well over a century, Nainital district has been known for its many schools. Sherwood school, St. Josephs’, Kumaon University, ARIES (State Observatory) are some of the top educational institutions within city limits. Four schools from the British period continue to exist today: Sherwood College, All Saints’ College, St. Mary’s Convent High School and St. Joseph’s College. In addition, a number of new schools have been established since independence. A number of celebrities have passed out from these schools in the past. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 83.88% including 90.07% are males and 77.29% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 6,96,500 out of which 3,85,779 are males and 3,10,721 are females.
Govind Ballabh Pant, statesman and leader of India's independence movement, first Indian Premier of British India, the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and the first Home Minister of India was from the district. Narayan Dutt Tiwari, also from Nainital district, is an Indian politician of the Indian National Congress. He was born in 1925 in village Baluti in Nainital district. He was thrice Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (1976-77, 1984-85, 1988-89) and once Chief Minister of Uttarakhand (2002-2007).
The district has numerous centres of attraction which has boosted the tourism in the district. Corbett National Park is the magnificent park established way back in 1936 and is one of the best known sanctuaries of India. It is named after Jim Corbett, the famous hunter author and conservator. Naini lake or the eye (naina) shaped lake surrounded by lush hills is named after Goddess Naini and is the icon of Nainital. According to legends, the lake was formed when the eye of Goddess Sati fell here, while Lord Shiva was carrying her body. Naina Peak is a popular picnic spot at a height of 2,610 metres. Hanumangarhi is another pilgrim site and has spectacular sunset views. Land’s end offers splendid view from altitude of 2118 meters of neighboring hills and Khurpatal Lake. Bhimtal is a serene scenic lake resort which is 22 km. from Nainital. Mukteshwar is a small hill station amidst thick wooded forest affords majestic view of the Himalayas. Nearby is a stone hole of Chauli Ki Jali, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Other important tourist destinations are Naukuchia Tal, SatTal, Jeolikot, Kilbury. Ram nagar is an important town of the region which is located on the banks of river Kosi. It is the headquarter of ‘Project Tiger’ and famous Corbett National Park is just 50 km. from here.