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Sat Tal ??? ???  Sat Tal ??? ???  Location of Sat Tal ??? ???
in Uttarakhand and India Country  India State Uttarakhand District(s) Nainital Time zone IST (UTC+5:30) Area
"? Elevation
"? 1,370 m (4,495 ft)

Coordinates: 2912"?N 7919"?E? / ?29.20N 79.31E? / 29.20; 79.31 Sattal or Sat Tal (Hindi: ??? ???) is an interconnected group of seven freshwater lakes situated in the Lower Himalayan Range near Bhimtal, a town of the Nainital lake district in the Uttarakhand state of India . During the British Raj, the area also had a Tea plantation, out of the four such plantation, run by the British .

These lakes sit at an altitude of 1370 metres below lush orchards in the Mehragaon valley.

In Hindi, Sattal means seven lakes. This group of lakes is set amongst dense forests of oak and pine trees. Sattal is one of the few unspoiled and unpolluted fresh water biomes in India. These lakes are a paradise for migratory birds. It is also home to a select few camps being operated mostly by local people catering to tourists looking for soft outdoor vacations.

Sattal Lake Lake type Freshwater Primary inflows Local streams and springs Primary outflows Gaula River Basin countries India Max. length 2-3 km Max. depth 20 m Shore length1 Oak and Pine Forest Surface elevation 1370 m above MSL Settlements Bhimtal, Bhowali, Nainital, Uttarakhand 1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Seven Lakes Of Sattal
  • Panna or Garud Tal
  • Nal-Damyanti Tal
  • Purna Tal
  • Sita Tal
  • Ram Tal
  • Laxman Tal
  • Sukha Tal or Khurdariya Tal

Geology and Physiography

Sattal is situated in the Lower Himalayas and is the result of tectonic activities and the up-lifting of sediments between the Tibetan plain and the Indo-Gangetic plains. The rock type mainly comprises sedimentary rocks. Quartzite is the dominating rock type in the region. Physiographically the area can be divided into lower Himalayas and terraces.


Sattal is an ecologically fragile mesotrophic group of lakes and under the impact of heavy environmental degradation. Extensive deforestation, dumping of Non Biodegradable waste, uncontrolled urbanization of the catchments and nearby forest area of the lake region is harming its ecology. This results in scanty rainfall, decrease in the number of plant and animal species and rapid drying up of perennial springs. Reduced oxygen content and high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus is also hurting these lakes. Poaching has eliminated wild animals thus affecting the food chain at consumer trophic level. Khudariya Tal became Sukha Tal (Dry Lake) due the leakage of water from western extremity. An extensive growth of threatening vegetation like Lantana , Parthenium and Eichhornia is also endangering the ecological survival of these lakes.

Nature & Flora-Fauna

Biological Amplitude

Sattal is unique for its biodiversity and ecological amplitude. It has 500 species of resident and migratory birds, 20 species of mammals, over 525 species of butterflies and over 11,000 species of moths, beetles, bugs and other insects. The flora covers a wide and diverse range of plants ranging from Bryophytes, orchids, rare climbing plants, ferns, lichens, fungi, medicinal herbs and shrubs. Each individual lake has their unique Diatom index.

Birds of Sattal

The unique Avian fauna of Sattal includes Red-billed blue magpie, Kingfishers, Blue-throated and Brown-headed Barbets, Lineated Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet Plum-headed Parakeet, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Chestnut bellied Rock Thrush, Tits, Babblers, Jungle Owlet, Fish eagle, Pied Woodpecker, Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Himalayan Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape Woodpecker, Greater Yellow-naped Woodpecker, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Scaly-bellied Woodpecker, Common Flameback Woodpecker,Indian Tree Pies, Blue Whistling-thrush, Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon, Crested serpent eagle, Flycatchers, Cheer Pheasants, Kalij pheasant, Koklas Pheasants, Dollarbird, Leaf Birds, Flowerpecker, Purple sunbird, brown headed stork-billed kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Crested kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Himalayan Kingfisher, Mrs. Gould's Sunbird, Green-tailed Sunbird, Black-throated Sunbird, Black-breasted Sunbird, Crimson sunbird, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Thick-billed Flowerpecker, Plain-leaf Flowerpecker, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Russet Sparrow, Rufous Babbler, Black-headed Jay, Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler, Black-capped Sibia, Blue Whistling thrush, Finches, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, Eurasian Jay, White-rumped needletail, Black-headed jay, Black-lored, Black-throated tits, Black bulbul, Ashy-throated warblers, Black-chinned babbler, Rufous-breasted accentor, Red-billed blue magpie, Grey-winged blackbird, Eurasian griffon, Common buzzard, Black-chinned babbler, Pink-browed rosefinch, Common wood pigeon, Slaty-headed parakeet, laughingthrush, Chestnut-tailed minla, Lemon-rumped warblers, and many more.


Sattal has many different varieties of fish. Mahseers (Tor tor and Tor putitora) are found here in large numbers. Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigala, Schizothorax richardsonii and Catla catla are some other important fish found in the lakes.

Butterfly Museum

There is a rich butterfly museum built by Frederic Smetacek at Jones Estate, which has over 2,500 butterfly and moth specimens and 1100 species of insects that are found in this region.

Some Butterflies of Sattal

Some of the butterflies found at Sattal includes Indian Fritillary (Argynnis hyperbius), Peacock Panzy, Blue Peacock, Paris Peacock, Red-base Jazebel, Red Lacewing, Yellow Pansy, Tawny Rajah, Red Helen, Large Silverstripe and thousands of others.

Adventure and Excursions

Sattal is naturally conducive to adventures and excursions. It is the best place for mountain biking, rock climbing, night-trekking, nature trail, backpacking, angling, kayaking, rafting, rappelling, river-crossing, birdwatching, swimming, boating and night camping in the deep jungle.

Sattal Mission Estate and Methodist Ashram

The Sattal Christian Ashram was established by Revered Stanley Jones (1884-1973), the evangelist and missionary. This Christian Ashram is situated on the banks of Sattal lakes, at its very entry point. Previously, it was a tea estate. St. John's Church is the part of this ashram and showcases a mixed colonial architecture. There is also a Sattal Christian Ashram chapel situated nearby.It was established in 1930 to introduce Christianity in the Indian way into the Kumaunregion of Uttrakhand. Revered Stanley Jones was a friend of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Earl Denman, who attempted Mount Everest alone and secretly with Tenzing Norgay in 1947, stayed in this Ashram for many years.

Subhash Dhara

There is a spectacular natural spring of fresh water arising out of dense Oak forest at Sattal towards the west.

Nearby Places of Interest
  • Bhimtal
  • Naukuchia Tal
  • Bhowali
  • Ghorakhal
  • Golu Temple


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All images and video © Copyright 2006-2016 Christopher Taylor, Content and maps by their respective owner. All rights reserved.
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