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Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Nainital

Nainital, "eye lake," became a British hill station in the 19th century; it's now an Indian resort, still offering relief from the heat of the plains 5,000 feet below.

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Approach.

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What could this be?

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But of course: a British cemetery, in fact the cemetery of the headquarters of the Eastern Command, which was located here in Nainital.

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Still in ranks; it seems as though the ill were sent here to recover or die.

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An exception.

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The lake, known simply as The Lake. The elevation is about 6,300 feet.

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The view from the western end.

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A quiet moment. Switzerland?

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The Boating Club.

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Baskets of strawberries and possibly raspberries and mulberries.

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A lakeside hotel.

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Hillside housing.

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A walk through the bazaar, at the west end of the lake.

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Much of the neighborhood is physically unchanged since the British era.

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A steep staircase to the apartments above.

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Several floors are stacked atop the shops.

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A conversation between neighbors.

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The municipal market building.

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Sign provided courtesy of Coke.

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The High Court, still much as it was long ago, when Nainital was the hot-weather capital of the United Provinces. It's still the judicial capital of Uttarakhand, a new state cleaved off U.P in 2000.

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Another sturdy survivor. It's a bank.

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The Church of St. John in the Wilderness.

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Tomb of Colonel David Ward of the Royal Engineers, Chief Engineer and Joint Secretary for the North West Provinces and Oudh Public Works Department.

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Tombstone of Alexander Muddiman, a career bureaucrat whose career peaked with his appointment as governor of the United Provinces. At 53, he died six months later.

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A tombstone noting the death of one of the hundreds killed in a huge landslide at the west end of the lake in 1880.

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Cricket ground on the site of the landslide.

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Under the white lettering, an almost illegible inscription commemorates the landslide.

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Several Raj-era hotels survive. Here's one.

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Another view.

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The dining room.

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A second hotel, seen from the back.

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From the front.

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Sign.

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The Assembly Rooms, converted to a movie theater.

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Interior.



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