Nainital is a glittering jewel in the Himalyan necklace, blessed with scenic natural spledour and varied natural resources. Dotted with lakes (Naini Lake, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Khurpatal, Sattal), Nainital has earned the epithet of ‘Lake District’ of India. The most prominent of the lakes is Naini lake ringed by hills . Nainital has a varied topography. Long walks along the charming forest trails in the neighboring woods is another added attraction in Nainital. Nainital’s unending expense of scenic beauty is nothing short of a romance with awe-inspiring and pristine Mother nature.
Location of Nainital
Nainital (popularly known as The Lake District of Kumaon) is located in Uttarakhand at a height of 6,358 feet above sea level. 34 km from Kathgodam and 304 km from Delhi, Nainital is a pear-shaped lake surrounded by mountains which includes Naina (2,615 m (8,579 ft)) on the north, Deopatha (2,438 m (7,999 ft)) on the west, and Ayarpatha (2,278 m (7,474 ft)) on the south.
What to see in Nainital?
From lakes to mountain peaks from the Mall to the Zoo, Nainital has loads to offer its tourists.
Naini Lake: Naini Lake is divided into two divisions, Mallital at the north end of the lake and Tallital at the southern end. The beauty of the lake is mesmerizing and at night the beauty is enhanced by the reflection of the bulbs that lit up the hill sides. It is believed that Lord Shiva performed his tandava with Parvati’s body at this place.
The Mall: The Mall which is now renamed as the Govind Ballabh Pant Marg is dotted with restaurants, offices, shops and restaurants. It is popular place among the toursist who hangout in the mornings and evenings.
China Peak: The China Peak or the Nainia peak is the highest peak of Nainital at a height of 2611 mts. You can have one of the best views of the Himalayas and Nainital from this peak. Hire a pony or a horse to reach this peak.
Snow View: Snow View at a height of 7,448 ft on Sher-ka-Danda Hill is accessible on a ropeway. It is a treat for people who can appreciate the snow of the Himalayas.
Nainital Zoo: The high altitude zoo in Nainital, situated at 2,075 meters above the sea-level, is fast becoming a major fascination for tourists visiting the picturesque region. The Zoo named after Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo is one of its kinds, which provides a safe haven to the rare Himalayan Black Bears, snow leopards, and Siberian Tigers and other high altitude fauna.
Eco Cave Gardens: This is the latest addition in Nainital and has already gained popularity among the tourists. If you want your kids to learn about ecosphere then, you must bring them to this park.
Tiffin Top: At 2292mts, Tiffin Top, 3kms from Nainital offers an excellent view of the Himalayas and the countryside. It is also known as Dorothy’s seat known after an English painter Dorothy Kellet.
Land’s End: At an altitude of 2118 mts. Land’s End provides an exceptional view of the Khurpal Tal. You can reach Land’s End in car till Barapathar and then walk upto 1km toll you reach Land’s End.
Governor’s House: The Governor’s House or the Raj Bhavan was the residence of the Governor of the North West Province built by the British. With its sprawling gardens, it is one of the very few Raj Bhavans that are open for the public.
Observatory: The Observatory or the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences(ARIES) is located 9kms from Nainital on Manora Peak and is the center for astronomical studies and optical tracking of artificial satellites.
What to do in Nainital?
At Nainital you will never be short of recreational activities. If you love walking and want to enjoy the beauty of nature away from the hustle and bustle of city life, then you take a trail along the Mc Donald’s Circular Road or walk from Tiffin Top to Land’s End and enjoy a wonderful view of the Khurpatal. Another interesting walk is the stretch from Land’s End to the Stables. You can also hire horses or climb rocks to reach the place.
The main attraction for visitors at Nainital is boating and yatching on the Naini Lake. Rope Way is another fascinating attraction for both young and adults. The cable car which connects from the Snow View to the town below offers a panoramic view of the lake. You can also take a walk down the Mall Road and shop for your loved ones.
Excursions from Nainital
Bhimtal: Situated 22kms form Nainital, Bhimtal is a serene valley the beauty of which is enhanced by a small island surrounded by a small island. This lake is the largest around Nainital.
Naukuchiatal: 4kms from Bhimtal and 26kms from Nainital, lies a charming and mystique lake Naukuchiatal which is also a popular excursion destination from Nainital.
Khurpatal: 12kms from Nainital and at a height of 1635 mts, Khurpal is considered to be a paradise for anglers. Its spade like shape gives it the name Khurpatal, khurpa meaning spade.
Jim Corbett National Park: 120 kms from Nainital, Jim Corbett is India’s first national park famous for its tigers, Leopards, Elephants, Wild Boar, Jungle Cat, Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Crocodile, Jackal and other lesser known animals. More about Corbett National Park
Ranikhet: Ranikhet, 60kms from Nainital, charms its visitors with its maginificent natural beauty and majestic pine trees. The panoramic view of the Himalayas, the chirping of the birds and swaying of the trees are enough to create a mesmerizing effect on its visitors. More about Ranikhet
Jageshwar: 100 kms from Nainital, Jageshwar is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage spot and has more than 200 temples big and small. Hundreds of tourists visit Jageshwar each year especially during Shivratri as it is believed to represent one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India. Jageshwar is famous as a center of worship of Lord Shiva and is believed to possess tantric powers.
Kainchi Dham: Kainchi Dham is a scred place founded by Neem karoli Baba situated a height of 1400mts.
Accomodation selection in Nainital
Being a very popular tourist spot, Nainital offers a variety of hotels from mid-budget to luxurious ones. Some of the popular hotels in Nainital include Manu Maharani, Arif Castles, The Pavilion, Hotel Shervani, Vikram Vintage Inn and KMVN Snow View and KMVN Mount View resorts
Best season to visit Nainital
The best time to visit Nainital is between April – June. If you want to enjoy the snowfall, visit Nainital during late December to early January. Nainital is flocked with tourist round the year.
How to reach Nainital
By Air: Nearest airport is at Pantnagar (71 kms) near Nainital, connected by air service with New Delhi.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kathgodam (35 kms). Kathgodam is connected directly by rail with Agra, Bareilly and Lucknow.
By Road: Nainital is well connected with all major cities in northern India. Some of the road connections are Delhi via Hapur(316 kms), Delhi via Meerut (336 kms), Bombay (1729 kms), Almora (66 kms), Kausani (120 kms), Kausani via Ranikhet (138 kms), Ranikhet (59 kms), Corbett Park(128 kms), Badrinath via Almora (346 kms), Badrinath via Bhowali-Ranikhet (340 kms). Bareilly (140 kms), Haridwar (310 kms) and Dehradun (387 kms). Taxies: Available at Kathgodam, Haldwani and Nainital. Local Transport: Rickshaws, Dandies and Cycle Rickshaws are available at Nainital. Poneis are also available for joy rides and rates are negotiable.