‘I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills….’ William Wordsworth, it seems, captured the soul of a nature lover! If you’re a rookie for nature travel, there ain’t no better subject to begin with than the land of overflowing beauty, called Nainital. This quaint little hill resort with the immaculate beauty of Naini lake, will swept you from hubbub of city life and offer much needed peace and solitude for all travellers.
The paradise at the of Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas, stands as an example of what it is to be surrounded by the ‘best of all worlds’. Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres (6,837 ft) above sea level, Nainital District or Nainital is one of the best known tourist attractions in India and earned the epithet of Lake District of India. Famous for its tal or lake, this bean shaped district is often addressed as a gem embedded in the Himalayan necklace, by poets!
As you rake in the lush greens interrupted by the indispensable breaks for Chai, the road journey is one to experience! Notwithstanding that, Nainital is a photographer’s muse… While I get started, you get virtually transported to Nainital!
Much Ado About…….
A busiest road during day time, The Mall runs side by side of the Nainital Lake.Britishers constructed The Mall Road which passes through the centre of Nainital and connects two main ends of Nainital city, Mallital and Tallital. Shop the local artisans’ creations at the Mall Road.
Snow View Point
About 3 kms from the town, Snow View is one of the most visited tourist spots of the town. It provides enchanting view of the town and 350 km long range of the Himalayas.
Known as Dorothy’s seat, in memory of an English lady Mrs. Kellet Dorothy, who was killed in an air crash, Tiffin top is a short trek of about 3 kms from Nainital and provides excellent view of the Himalayas and the town.
Cable car or Aerial rope-way is a major attraction in Nainital, which draws hundreds of tourists each day to enjoy the breathtaking view of Naini Lake and Nainital Hill Station. The Rope-way connects Snow view point with Mallital. It takes less than 3 minutes to reach Snow view point in aerial rope-way.
Naina Peak is highest hill top and one of the the famous tourist spots in Nainital. This peak is also called as China Peak and Cheena Peak by the locals. Due to high altitude and lush green forest path, Naina Peak is favourite place in Nainital for trekking among travellers. Naina Peak offers the splendid Bird’s eye view of the Nainital town, the Himalayas and also the vast expanses of the Kumaon region.
At a height of 2611 mts, Naina Peak is the highest peak in the area, 6 kilometers from the town.
Sukha Tal cocooned in Mallital was earlier a part of the pristine Nainital Lake. Sukha Tal or Suka Tal literally suggests dry lake which is located half a km from the picturesque lake of Nainital.
At a distance of 3 km from Tallital Bus Stand, Raj Bhawan also called as Governor House is a colonial building located at Tallital area of Nainital. It serves as the official residence of Governor of Uttarakhand. Raj Bhawan previously served as summer residence of British Governors. The Golf Course of Raj Bhawan, built in 1936, is one of the most vintage golf courses in India, and is affiliated to Indian Golf Union. Jhandidhar Modi Heights, Munshi heights are the other places in the complex worth seeing.
Eco Cave Garden
Eco Cave Garden is an excellent example of nature-and-man’s combined effort. Eco Cave Garden is a cluster of natural rocky caves which are developed into a garden. With its close proximity to the Mall Road, the garden offers a majestic view of 6 caves formed in the shape of animals.
The Eco Cave Garden is open for the tourists from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on all days of the week.
Naina Devi Temple
A well known Shakti Peeth of Hindu religion, Naini Devi Temple entails Goddess Naini Devi as the deity. Located at the northern end of the famous Nainital Lake. The temple is located atop the Naina hillock near the Naini Lake, and draws thousands of devotees every year.
After the landslide, this place was developed as a leisure hub of Nainital. Most of the cultural activities are organised here, during different festivals. Visitors can taste mouth-watering chat and other local dishes at the Chat Bazaar. Besides, they can shop for nicely woven woollen garments at reasonable prices at the Bhotia Market. A mosque, gurudwara and the Naina Devi Temple are also located in this area, besides the Capitol Cinema and the Rink Theatre (famous for roller skating). The New Club, Boat House Club and Masonic Hall are located along the periphery of the location.
Officially named as Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo Nainital, this well maintained zoo is the only zoo in entire Uttarakhand state.
Covering a small green area of 4.693 Hectares, Nainital Zoo is the home of numerous endangered species, many of which are adopted by people and animal organizations. This high altitude zoo is located at an height of 2100 mtrs which makes this zoo a favourable place for many animals and birds. Locally called as ‘Sher ka Danda’, Nainital Zoo is located at hill slope in Nainital.
If Adrenaline Needs A Rush…
….. Nainital gives you a true blue authentic experience…..
Snuggled amidst the beautiful Kumaon town of Nainital, the Naini lake is nothing less than fresh out of dreams. The crescent-shaped freshwater lake is surrounded by snowy peaks at the north, Tiffin point at the south-west and Naini peak (after which the town and the lake are named) at the North-west. The Nainital Boat Club offers yachting facilities at the lake.
Paragliding is the most simple form to fly and all you require is a Para glider. A Para-glider is a non-motorized, foot-launched inflatable wing, which is easy to transport, launch, and land.The Para gliders can fly in the air for hours with the help of the glider and climb to altitudes, more than 10,000 feet high .Paraliding activities in Nainital are operated in surrounding areas of Naukuchiatal, Bhimtal.
Bara Pathar gives a breathtaking view of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges including Nanda Devi, mountains on the Tibetan border and a bird’s eye view of the entire town of Nainital. If you are an avid trekker then this trek is your challenge. Now the other view, the snow laden peaks of Banderpunch to the entire range till Api and Nari peaks in Nepal, is awe striking!
A visit to Nainital cannot be complete unless and until you get some horse riding on your list, especially in the Mall area. Apart from that, you can hire a horse or pony ride to Snow View Point, Tiffin Top, and Kilburi, from the Mallital area.
Being a hill station, Nainital offers its visitors a large number of trekking options, amidst the scenic beauty of nature. The most popular trails include Nainital Betalghat Trek, Nainital Binayak Trek, Nainital Kainchi Trek, Nainital Kilbury Trek, Nainital Kunjakharak Trek, and Snow View Trek. The trek to Naina Peak is yet another one that is frequented by adventure lovers.
Naina Devi Jungle Camp
The Camp is around 20 km from Nainital, 3 km inside the jungle in Bhowali Ramgarh road. The Camp is situated in quite and dense forest and this FRH built by Britishers, is more than a century old is recently renovated.
Stay… With A View!
Historically referred to as the residence of the Maharaja of Pilibhit, The Naini Retreat Hotel is among the best heritage hotels located in Nainital near the lake. The hotel is situated on the picturesque Ayarpatta Slopes, providing a breathtaking view of the Naini Lake at an altitude of 1,995 meters.
Where: Hari Bhawan, Ayarpatta, Slopes, Mallital, Nainital
Oak Chalet is a unique, quiet, eco friendly, forest lodge guesthouse in Mukteshwar, Nainital, in the Kumaon Himalayas of Uttarakhand, situated near the temple town of Mukteshwar. Panoramic views, natural beauty, traditional mountain craft, comfort, hospitality and adventure await you in this offbeat family-run accommodation.
Where: Gahana Orchards, Sargakhet, Mukteshwar, Nainital
Call: 9837787501, 9411289043
This boutique hotel in Nainital, earlier known as Manu Maharani Lodge, is a Stellar Group property, refurbished to a rustic, tranquil cottage , now christened as Ann’s Cottage. The place offers immense opportunities to rake in the freshness of the lush greens while you sit out on the deck and gawk at the flickering lanterns of Nainital or just open out to Nainital Lake beside it.
Where: Thandi Sadak Toll Barrier, Nainital
Touted as the more idyllic one, as compared to Nainital, Bhimtal, revered for its aesthetic beauty, proudly sits at an altitude of 1,370 metres above sea level. Bhimtal Lake is the hotspot for peace loving tourists and copious activities as boating, paddling, nature walks and treks. The scenic lakeside destination, also nestles some of the holiest temples- Bhimteshwar being the most prominent. Bhimtal offers splendid views and visual vistas of nature’s beauty, and is well connected by roads and is a perfect destination to visit in any month.
A backpacker’s happy place and a writers dreamland, Kausani is one such village of Uttarakhand which is also enjoying its stature as a quaint hill station. Cradled 3 and half hours away from Nanital, Kausani is known for offering a panoramic view of the massive Himalayan peaks such as Trishul, Nanda Devi, and the mighty Panchachuli peaks.
This picturesque hill station is famous for its scenic splendour and spectacular 300 km-wide panoramic view of the Himalayas, and the birthplace of famous Hindi poet Sumitra Nandan Pant, and houses Anasakti Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi visited while scripting his book titled ‘Anasakti Yoga’.
Known for its cultural diversity, Almora is a bewitching hill station which is situated 2 hours drive from Nainital, spread across a 5 kilometre long ridge on Kashyap Hill. Surrounded by the dwindling pines and old oaks, the village-town has a divine natural aura that is blissfully alluring. To make the scenery even more mesmerizing, the snow-capped Himalayas stand in utmost grandeur lending a sort of majesty to the hill station. Almora is known for its rich cultural heritage, unique handicrafts and delicious cuisines, thus claiming it’s name as the cultural capital of Kumaon.
Bhowali is a little hill-station that lies in the vicinity of several popular hill stations like Nainital, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Ramgarh, Sattal and Mukteshwar. Bhowali’s strategic location has lead to its popularity among tourists and also as a point of junction of Nainital District. Located at an elevation of 1706m above the sea level, Bhowali is a town of panoramic vistas and bounty of nature. Once tagged as health resort before independence, today this beautiful place serves as a major hub of export of exotic fruits like apples, peaches, strawberries, plums and apricots.
Perched at an altitude of 1700 mts above sea level at a distance of 15 kms from Pauri, Khirsu is an exquisite and quaint station situated in the midst of Oak, Deodar trees and Apple orchards. Khirsu has been a less travelled destination till now, but fast gaining popularity owing to the main hill stations being over crowded! Rife with ancient Ghandiyal Devi temple, apple orchards and village tourism, this tiny hamlet is an epitome of tranquility.
Nature isn’t a place to visit…. it must be home!