Going to Uttarakhand and missing out on the lovely city of lakes, Nainital is a big no-no. This diamond in Uttarakhand’s crown is a charming hill station that sits pretty at the foothills of the Kumaon range in the Himalayas. 1938 meters above the sea level this hill station is named after the stunning Naini Lake. The British founded this town as it resembled the Cumbrian Lake District, they were fond of. Home to several colonial houses that add to the charm of Nainital, it is the perfect weekend getaway spot in India especially, families and honeymooners.
The best time to visit Nainital is in summer from March to June. You can also visit during the winter from October to February. If you are on a budget, then the best time to visit the city of lakes would be July to September. Remember, check the weather before you embark on your journey.
To give you a better idea of things you can look forward, we at Kesari Tours have created a Nainital trip guide.
Famous lakes in Nainital: Not just Naini lake it is named after, but Nainital is also home to several other lakes. Sariyatal, Sattal, Naukichiatal lake are some of the most popular after the Naini lake. Visit these lakes in the morning to make the most of the panoramic view and go on a boat ride in one lake. Don’t forget the Bhimtal lake, surrounded by snowbound peaks, and scenic hills. The boating service is available from 9 am to 6 pm every day at the Bhimtal for an entry fee of INR 150. Check out the aquarium on the island in the center of the lake, which was once a restaurant.
Places to visit in Nainital: Among the several places, there are some that you must not miss out on when in Nainital.
Naina Devi Temple: According to mythology, one of the charred body parts of the Goddess Sati fell in this town. Locals believe it was the eye, which is why Nainital is home to one of the Shakti Peethas in India i.e. the Naina Devi temple. It is also one reason Nainital means The Lake of the Eye. On a hilltop in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh 1219 m high, King Raja Bir Chand built the temple in the 8th century. Open from 6 am to 10 pm make sure you have at least an hour or two to visit the temple complex that houses three deities inside. An event you can attend is the 8-day Nanda Ashtami that attracts visitors from all over the country.
Eco Cave Gardens: Known for its interrelated rocky caves, a musical fountain and hanging gardens, the Eco Garden is a set of six caves in the shape of animals in Mallital in Nainital. The caves in the Garden are like the natural habitat of animals lit with petroleum lamps. The Tiger, Ape, Bat, Panther and Flying Fox Caves are some of the most famous caves in the garden. Remember, you must crawl to get inside the cave, so it is not for toddlers and elders. Open from 10 am to 4.30 pm you must pay a small fee to enter the garden.
Snow Viewpoint: The Snow Viewpoint in Nainital is at a height of 2270 meters in the mountains. One of the most gorgeous spots offering stunning panoramic views of the Himalayas wrapped in a milk-white snow blanket. You can see the Trishul, Nanda Devi, and Nanda Kot peaks together from this point. To get a closer look check out the large pair of binoculars installed. If you want to see the whole town then take the cable car ride from Mall road to the Snow Viewpoint. Try your hand at shooting targets hung up in the stalls. For a small fee, you get 6 chances to shoot. For children, there are other smaller stalls with fair games they can play to win toys and other goodies. Open hours 10.30 am to 5 pm Sunday to Friday.
Things to do: Not indulging in any activity doesn’t make for an enjoyable holiday. Here are a few things you must try when in Nainital.
Adventurous activities: When you holiday on a hill station, you must check for various adventurous activities. Try paragliding in Nainital if the season allows or head over to the Himalayan mini golf club for a few enjoyable hours. Better yet, trek to the Naina-China peak, 2611 m high, as it offers an amazing 360° view of the area. Lookout for Sunbirds, the Himalayan Griffon Vultures, and the dense coniferous cover on your way. Another trekking spot is the Tiffin Top Trek, a sedate 3 km trail that finishes in a campfire at dusk at the base. Snow view and Camel’s back trails are other trekking options.
Shopping for sure: Shopping is must Nainital. The narrow street markets are the best places to find a good deal. From branded items to local produce and apparel, you can find everything in the city. The Mall Road market is the most popular street market where you can find souvenirs at a bargain. Check out the Tibetan or Bhoti market, which is known for its shawls, scarves, and clothes for women. For a varied range visit the Bara Bazaar in Mallital.
With so much to do and see Nainital is an excellent choice for your next vacation. If you haven’t planned your holiday, then do so now. Speak to Kesari Tours for customized travel deals.