Sattal King Nala story and places to visit

Located just 22 km from Nainital and 320 km from Delhi, Sattal is one of the untouched and unspoiled places in the Nainital district and falls under the Kumaon region of Uttarkhand. Sattal literally meaning seven lakes is the group of seven pristine freshwater lakes. These seven lakes name are Panna Tal or Garud Tal, Nal-Damyanti Tal, Purna Tal, Sita Tal, Ram Tal, Laxman Tal, Sukha Tal or Khurdariya Tal. These lakes are set amidst dense forest of oaks and pines. You can enjoy exploring exotic Himalayan birds, vibrant colored butterflies, long nature walks, boating, fishing, camping in Sattal.

Sattal lake boating and Sattal king nala and damyanti story
source: Alosh Bennett

Mythological Importance of Sattal: King Nala and Damyanti story

According to local folks of Sattal king Nala used to live with his young and extremely beautiful wife Damyanti in their palace. Damyanti’s unparalleled beauty was known across earth and heavens and her choice of king Nal as her husband comes at the cost of ignoring gods.

Many people oppose Damyanti that she might have angered gods by marrying a human. Damyanti, however, remains true to her love.

Damyanti starts getting nightmares in which some strange sound would ask her “May I come inside”. When Damyanti discussed her nightmares with king Nal, he suggested she should say ‘yes’ the next time she has such nightmares.

She follows his advice and it was the evil spirit of water which was asking for permission. After this, the evil spirit submerges her palace. The palace itself is the Nal Damyanti Tal that we see today in Sattal!

Activities and Places to visit in Sattal

Subhash Dhara

Subhash Dhara is a stream of fresh water that arises from the dense oak forests of Sattal. It is a natural water spring and its source is still unknown. With its crystal clear water, it offers a delightful sight to behold for tourists.

Subhas Dhara Sattal King Nala Story
source: Holidify

Butterfly Museum

One of the popular tourist attractions in Sattal is Butterfly Museum at Jones estate. Housing around 2500 vibrant species of butterflies and 1100 species of insects, in this Butterfly museum you will feel close to nature. It is surely a paradise for wildlife lovers.

Butterfly Museum Sattal and Sattal King Nal story
source: Max pixel

Methodist Ashram

Amid a dense forest of oaks and pines, Methodist Ashram was founded by a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, named Stanley Jones, in the year 1930. Because of its historic significance and its colonial architecture, it is one of the popular tourist destinations in Sattal. The renowned  St. Johns Church is also located in the premises of the Ashram giving this place a feel of solitude and serenity. It also offers dormitories for the guests. Because of its silent and serene ambiance, it is a perfect silent retreat for relaxation and peace of mind.

Sattal Christian Ashram or Methodist Ashram

Bird Watching

Dense oak and pine trees forest of Sattal is a paradise for bird lovers. Sattal has a lot of species of local and migratory birds, moths, beetles, bugs, and other insects. You can find Kingfishers, different types of Barbets, Parakeets, Eagles, Woodpeckers, and plenty of other species.  These species are a delight to watch and capture with the camera.

Bird Watching in Sattal
source: Soumyajit Nandy


Trekking in the nearby snow-covered Himalayas is quite popular among tourists visiting Sattal. With the beautiful views of dense oak forests, you can enjoy the lush green trails during trekking. You can also take long nature walks along the lakes.


With so many lakes in the town, boating is a popular attraction in Sattal. While boating one can enjoy the serenity of the place nestled between green woods and the mountain peaks of the Himalayas. Boating during the full moon is highly recommended to tourists visiting Sattal.


Sattal, a town known for its lakes, Fishing is definitely a popular activity here. But you might need to take a permit from local authorities for the fishing.


Camping is organized on the banks of the lakes. Visitors can either carry the tent equipment themselves or avail the same at the campsites. 


Kayaking can also be enjoyed in the town, amidst its lush greenery and charming lakes.

How to reach Sattal?

By air:

Around 60 km from Sattal, Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport to Sattal. Taxis are available for pick and drop from Pantnagar airport to reach Sattal.

By train:

Around 30 kms from Sattal, Kathgodam is the nearest Railway Station. And from Kathgodam taxis are available for Sattal.

By road:

Sattal is 308 km from Delhi and is well-connected by roads. Plenty of buses leave to Sattal from ISBT, Anand Vihar.

Also read: Beautiful train routes in India