According to a legend Parwati the daughter of King Daksha held a great 'Yajna' but did not invite Parvati and her consort Shiva. Parvati could not bear this direct insult, in her great fury Parvati gate-crashed into the 'Yajna' ground and leaped into the high flames of 'Yajna' fire to end her life.And later lord Shiva retrieved her half-charred corpse himself. The majority of the local people believe that the eyes of Sati dropped in the lake while her body was being carried by Lord Shiva to Kailesh Parvat. Hence,the lake was given the name of 'Nainital' or Naini lake. Later the spot became famous by this very name.
Nainital was founded in the year 1841 by Mr. P. Barron, a European merchant and an enthusiastic hunter from Rosa, near Shahjahanpur. Mr.P.Barron was the first European who took great fancy to this land. Moved by the beauty of the sparkling lake he wrote: "It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles treak in the Himalayas." It is very less is known about the history of Nainital. This region was called Khasdesh in ancient times and Khasis ruled this region before Christ was born. The name "NAINI" is derived from a temple to the goddess 'Naini Devi" built on the upper edge of the lake and was destoyed by the landslip of 1880. It was subsequently replaced by a modern structure. The word "Naini" means 'Eyes'and 'Tal' means 'Lake'.