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Sattal

Where lakes and mountains create an irresistible combination

A hidden gem in the vast state of Uttarakhand, Sattal is only six hours away from Delhi. Lush and green, what sets Sattal apart from other hill stations is the fact that it has a really rich biodiversity, making it a paradise for a variety of birds, including, Barbets, Himalayan Kingfishers, Babblers, Himalayan Griffon, Dollar Bird, among others. Not much happens here—and that is precisely what makes this place unique. The quaint town forces you to slow down, and to observe small details around you, like the way sunlight filters through trees, right outside your room.

Spend your day walking around the charming town, admiring the scenic views  and enjoying the local cuisine. The town might be fairly ordinary, but with spectacular views of the mountains and lakes, who needs any extra trimmings right?

 

VIEW POINT

Explore Sattal Lake

Don't forget to have chai and maggi!

 The mountains demands that you wake up on time. And in Sattal, the clear morning air, chirping birds and soft sunshine, are in total sync with the serenity of the pretty Sattal lake. Rich in aquatic life, you can spend countless hours, watching fishes dart around the lake. Another popular activity at the lake is angling (it is prohibited during the breeding season, so make sure you check in advance), with licenses that are issued by the Fisheries Department, costing INR 50 per day. You can also rent a colourful canoe or paddleboat for a slow ride around the river (INR 300 for canoe and INR 350 for paddleboat; duration: 30 minutes for both).

 If you prefer the solitude, find a restful spot on the lakeshore and spend time admiring the   majestic views around the lake. There are plenty of waterfront stalls near the lake, so make sure you pack a snack for a little picnic (we recommend a hot plate of pakoras and a cup of chai).

Visit The Butterfly Museum

Guaranteed to perk up a rough day.

The temperature in Sattal is ideal for floriculture and this is reflected in the multiple  greenhouses and fields of scarlet roses, exotic lilies and hydrangeas that litter the hill-station. That is why it is no surprise that Sattal attracts so many butterfly. And situated on the premises of the Methodist Ashram is the Butterfly Museum, that is home to over 2,500 species of butterflies and 1,100 species of other insects (contact: 05942-247043; open Mon-Fri 9 AM -5 PM, entry ₹100 per person).

Stop At Subhash Dhara

Perfect for picnics or short trips from the city.

 Although Subhash Dhara is more known for the trek that leads up to it, it is a destination that merits a visit on its own. One of the most offbeat places to visit in Sattal, Subhash Dhara is a freshwater spring whose waters emanate from an unknown source below the ground. Situated just a few kilometers to the west of the main hamlet, this is a unique place where you can spend an afternoon relaxing and even taking a dip in the waters.

activities

Go On a Birding Expedition

Take your binoculars!

A popular destination among birding fans, Sattal attracts nature enthusiasts from all over the country.  Some common birds that you can spot here include the Great Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, the Kalij Pheasant, the Red-billed Blue Magpie, Brown Wood Owl, Crested Kingfisher and Pygmy Woodpecker, among others.

There are multiple birding trails that you can take around Sattal, Maheshkhan and Sattal Studio are unmissable. If you have time on you hand, head to Chaafi, which is around 15 km from Sattal,  and boasts of some unique species of local and migratory birds.

Angling On Lake Sattal

Connect with nature and yourself!

Angling is a great way to connect not just with nature but also with your inner self. And Sattal Lake  is one of the few places in North India, where you can spend quality time immersed in this activity. However, keep in mind that angling is regulated and a permit might be needed, although tour guides and operators can help you get one pretty easily.

 Fair warning: Angling often involves a long wait for a bite, but there are uninterrupted views of mountains all around and the heady fragrance of pine in the air.

Trekking

Climb up the mountain!

The seven lakes, surrounding rhododendron and oak forest and white mountains make Sattal a trekker’s paradise. Based on each traveler’s preference, there are clearly etched-out trails -- easy, moderate and challenging, so make sure you’re fit before signing up.

how to get there

  1. By Air: Pantnagar Airport: 55 km
  2. By Rail: Kathgodam Railway Station: 23 Km
  3. By Road: Distance from New Delhi: 312 Km

when to visit

Sattal experiences pleasant weather throughout the year. This means that summers are warm with moderate temperature while winters can get to be a bit chilly. However, monsoons usually result in landslides and it is recommend you do not travel here during those months, especially if you are planning to go by road.

March to June: This is the best time to visit Sattal as you can enjoy all the sightseeing and adventure activities, without worrying about the extreme temperature. So whether you want to trek in the mountains or just go boating with your SO, this is a great time to explore and experience Sattal in an unforgettable manner.

July to August: These two months in Sattal are the monsoon period and this town experiences quite a heavy share of it. This results in a lot of damaged roads and landslides, making it a very inconvenient time to visit the place. It is best to avoid travelling to Sattal during this period.

September to February: Winters in Sattal are pretty chilly, but they make for a good time to visit this town, as snow truly make the mountains and valleys look magical. So if you are planning to head here during this period, pack enough warm clothes as temperatures can dip into negatives as well.

Local cuisine

Uttarakhand Cuisine

There is something here for everyone!

 The food in Sattal is a part of the Uttarakhand cuisine, it has some endless variety and flavours, guaranteed to satisfy all types of foodies. Although the primary food of Uttrakhand includes vegetables, they also have a fair of non-vegetarian dishes that are enjoyed by both the locals and tourists.

Another element that sets the cuisine of this state apart from the rest of the country is the fact that they are mostly cooked over burning wood or charcoal. This results in food becoming more nutritional and tasty.  So while you are busy exploring and experiencing all the sights and sounds of Sattal, don’t forget to gorge on local delicacies that are popular in this region.

Here are some of the popular dishes that you have to try include:

  • Mandua Ki Roti : Gluten free and extremely easy to digest, mandua ki roti is extremely popular through Sattal, especially during breakfast. Made from wheat flour and madua floor, it is usually served with an assortment of vegetables. It is also a good option for people suffering from diabetics.

  • Kafuli: Perfect for people who are calorie conscious, kafuli is a dish that is prepared from spinach and fenugreek leaves. It is best eaten with rice and is extremely high on the health meter and has really low calorie count as well.

  • Jhangora Ki Kheer: Dessert lovers, this one is for you and is pretty popular throughout the state of Uttarakhand. Jhangora is a type of millet and is one of the key ingredients in this dish. End your meal with this dessert, which has a rich texture and creamy taste of milk, that will make you keep you coming back for more.

Local Shopping

Shopping in Sattal

Shopping with a view!

Sattal is not exactly a paradise for shoppers, but it definitely has a few shops, from where you can pick up statues, carpets, jewellery, wooden craft items, beautiful Garhwali paintings and souvenirs. Many shops also stock organic products and handmade candles by local artisans. Pick them up for your own personal use or as gifts for family and friends. You can also buy local products from the V Resorts Pitara store at Sattal as well.

In you are keen to shop more, head to Nainital for more variety and options.  

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