The seven interconnected lakes that make Sattal (literally, seven lakes) are named after mythological gods and heroes. While the beautiful and isolated Garur Tal (or Panna Tal) is said to be haunted, Nal Damayanti has shoals of silver carp. Bharat Tal lies a short distance away; while Ram Tal, Sita Tal, and Lakshman Tal combine to make the actual Sattal lake. Legend has it that these heroes of the epic Ramayana had lived here for a spell during their exile from Ayodhya, hence the names of the seven lakes.
Things To See And Do
There are two ways of getting the full flavour of Sattal: carrying your tents and equipment and setting up camp by the lakes or staying at one of the organised campsites. Leave the gentle boat rides on the lakes to day-trippers who want nothing more from Sattal than a hot plate of chana and rice and a soda, coffee, or tea after a long float.
If you have your boots on, the only way to go is up the hills, climbing rocks, or trekking along the trails. Accompanied by experienced mountaineers, rappelling and river-crossing are other heady choices. These, along with mountain biking, are some of the best dry experiences in Sattal. Even if you are a first-timer who has never experienced the thrill of adventure sports, Sattal will make it possible. You are spoilt for choice here. Climb up Suicide Rock under the watchful eyes of an instructor. You will wear a safety harness for this and all adventure activities at Sattal. Another easy thrill is the Tarzan Swing, a long rope you use to swing over a ditch. Cool off later with a swim.
Go rafting or kayaking on the lakes. If you do not have your equipment, the camps here will arrange it for you. Plenty of boatmen are happy to take you around the lakes at a moderate price.
Looking down from the tree-lined bend in the winding road to Sattal, you can spot a tiny church in deep verdure on the banks of a tiny nearby tal. The church is part of the Sattal Mission Estate and Methodist Ashram. During India's Raj days, two British planters (Thomas Oldham and Richard Vicar Boyle) bought the original estate from the British government in 1867. The estate (known then as the Bharatpur Free Simple Estate) eventually flourished and gained a name for itself for quality Hyson-grade tea. The estate changed hands again in 1924 when William Henry Jones acquired it and named it the Bhimtal Estate.
Rail Nearest railhead: Kathgodam (34 km). From here, a taxi costs approximately Rs 2,600 to Sattal.
Road: Take NH24 from Delhi to Rampur and then NH87 to Ranibagh. Turn right at Ranibagh to Bhimtal, and continue towards Bhowali. About 7 km after Bhimtal, turn left
at Mehragaon. Sattal is 5 km from here.