Perched atop the Kumaon Hills, Nainital is one hill station in Uttarakhand that satisfies the wanderlust of every traveller with its extraordinary natural charm. Situated 1938 meters high above the sea level, the city harbours beautiful lakes bounded by snowy-veiled Himalayan ranges; hence, aptly getting the title of Lake District of Uttarakhand.
Being Kumaon’s largest town, Nainital got its name after a deity’s eye that seemed to have fallen where the town’s famous Naini Lake is located. A calm water body, the lake is engulfed within lush-green hills on three sides with the Mall covering its other end. Filled with peddled and rowboats whipping up the water waves, the entire spectacle gives Nainital its fascinating allure. Also, its main highlight is the Mall Road- a dynamic boulevard having tasteful eating joints and bustling markets giving the town most of its action. The town also reserves a bundle of tourist spots and adventures that makes it a perfect weekend getaway with your family and friends.
Hence, the best way to explore the marvellous landscapes of Kumaon region, Nainital forms an exotic gem in India’s bandwagon of famous hill stations. Visiting Nainital is the best that you can make out of your weekend. It’s a year round destination but the best time to make your travel plans is between May to mid-July and October.
Come to Nainital and have an experience filled with adventure, divinity, natural beauty, and peacefulness- all at the same time. A trip to Nainital is fun as it has some amazing and unique marvels of nature which never fails to impress any visitor. When there, don’t forget to include the following in your checklist.
The innocent peacock, the royal crocodile or the roaring tiger- all can be spotted at the enclosures in the famous Nainital Zoo. Exciting the child inside you, this wildlife diversity at a single space is worth getting the attention of your photographic skills.
Entry Fees: Rs25, camera Rs25
Opening Closing time: 10am-5pm Tue-Sun
Come here to get a dose of rejuvenated love for nature! Reached via an excitement-filled ride of the cable car that commences from Mallital, the Snow View spot gives a mesmerising view of the majestic Himalayas. Located at a distance of 3 km from town, the place has a pair of binoculars installed to give you a bird’s eye view of the 350 km vastness of the Himalayan ranges. The site also has a temple and stalls selling souvenirs and snacks, to be an icing on the cake.
Opening Closing time: 10:30 am-5pm (Closed on Saturdays)
What could have been a better place than this spot to test your boating skills while enjoying the awe-inspiring greenery surrounding the lakeside. Ideal for spending some quality time with your loved ones, a boat ride is worth staying in your memory lane.
The boat can be hired on an affordable rate of Rs. 210. There are paddled boats available as well at Rs. 150 per hour.
Experience the architecture of London in Nainital by visiting Raj Bhawan. Designed on the castle-like structure of the Buckingham Palace, it is an official residence of the Governor of Uttaranchal. Its splendidness lies in its regal presence and an extensive tour of the ground is allowed only when the governor is out. In the grounds, an 18-hole golf-course is maintained adding to the royalty of the architecture.
Entrance Fee: Rs. 20 per person
Opening Closing Time:
8 am to 5 pm (March to April and September to October)
8 am to 6 pm (May - August)
8 am to 4 pm (November – December)
(Closed on Sundays and Gazetted holidays)
Get soaked in the divinity of the Lord! Nainital provides space for some of the holiest churches in India which gives the city an aura of sacrosanctity. The St. John Church is built upon the sacred grove above the town and holds the supremacy of being one of the oldest buildings in Nainital. The city is also host to some other well-known churches namely, St. Francis Catholic Church, and Methodist Church which is considered to be the most ancient Methodist church in India.
If a quick cup of tea with a beautiful view of the mountains is something that you have always craved for, then Tiffin Top is a must-entry in your travelling check list for Nainital. Occupying a top seat at an elevation of 2290 meters on Ayarpatta Hills, it is popularly known as the Dorothy’s Seat. A trek of 3 km trek on the cobblestoned walkway emerging from Sherwood College leads you to this spot. Also, one can reach there on a horseback while getting a feel of a warrior. So, get ready with your shoes to map out an adventurous way.
A person can enjoy the goodness of the traditional Garhwali cuisine by trying some mouth-watering dishes served by a number of eateries and restaurants in Nainital. Packed with great flavours a treat of some of their flavourful dishes can satisfy your everlasting cravings.
Prepared from a combination of Dals, their local dish, Raas is served with steamed rice and the famous Bhaang ki Chatni. (Yes, that’s true! Get ready to experience a pleasant high.) The popular Bhatt ki Churkani is made of rice paste and plain flour giving company to curry dishes of the local cuisine. A unique kind of Roti, Bhatt ki Chukarni is a must-try. Another lip-smacking local dish is Baadi which is a mixture of various dals that has a zingy flavour of Bhaang dazzling your taste buds. If a sweet-lover, then try their famous Baal Mithaai and you are in for a delight. The dish is an exquisite delicacy prepared from roasted Khoya and the coating of the white sugar balls makes it a finger-licking treat that revives your love for sweets and desserts.
All this can be found in the famous food joints covering the alleyways of Nainital. So, while on a trip to Nainital, do remember to visit some of its famous eateries and food joints!
- Cyberia Restaurant and Pastry Shop - Serving a variety of veg and non-veg dishes to food lovers, this restaurant is famous for its flavourful thalis, exotic variety of momos and homemade chocolates. The ambience is peaceful with many tourists frequently coming to the place, keeping it busy all the time.
Prices meals: 40-140
Café De Mall- This café is situated at the lakeside frequently filled with customers demanding for its famous cappuccino. The eatery serves and exquisite variety of dishes ranging from exotic pizzas to veg sizzlers.
Opening hours: 9am-4pm & 5.30-10.30pm
Address: the Mall
- Embassy- Providing world-class hospitality service to every customer since 40 years, Embassy has earned popularity among the top famous restaurants in Nainital. Have a liking for drinks? Try their famous dancing coffee and rosewater lassi.
Opening hours- 9.30am-10.30pm
Prices meals - 100-350
Address- The Mall Mallital
- Sakley’s Restaurant- Treat yourself with some of the unusual delicacies served by this restaurant including, honey chicken, pepper steaks, Thai curries, roasted lambs and some of the Chinese dishes. Always flocked with tourists, the eatery is also famous for its amazing desserts, cakes and pastries.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 10 pm
What is the first thing that comes to our mind when we hear a festival or an event? Colourful stalls, funky items, tempting food and ever-enjoyable festivities- all in all a sneak peek into the local culture and traditions of a place. Nainital hosts two famous events that give a view of their local Garhwali traditions.
Nainital Mahotsav- Organised in the month of October, the event is a sneak peek into the local culture and traditions of Nainital. The event gives a glimpse of the culturally laden society of Nainital which is visited by tourists and foreigners alike. Cultural programs, folk dances and songs in addition to stalls selling local cuisines make this festival make this event very popular.
Vasantostav- Held during January- February in Ramnagar, which is the gateway to Jim Corbett national Park, the Vasantostav or the spring festival, is a peep into the culturally rich Kumaon tradition. Visited by thousands of foreigners and local tourists, the festival is celebrated with huge vigour.
Ranibagh Fair- The fair is held at Ranibagh which is at a distance of 30 km from Nainital. It is organised on the occasion of Uttarayani every year and carries an important religious significance. It receives many footfalls as many cultural programmes add to its richness.
Chhota Kailash Fair- The fair is organised in the month of February on the occasion of Shivratri. Being a religious fair, it attracts devotees of Lord Shiva from all corners of the country. Various cultural programmes are organised to showcase the local culture and traditions of the Kumaon region.
Doing something different from sitting in front of the computer screen and brainstorming at a project is the need of the hour! Getting a break from the dull and monotonous daily routine by indulging in some activities energises your inner being. Nainital being a hill station offers various activities and expedition to give you an unavoidable adrenaline rush. So, come and explore these marvels of nature while infusing its spirit in yourself.
Trekking to Guano Hills and Tiffin’s Top- Get a break from the corporate rat race and try some adventure! Nainital is an ideal location to leave you with enough adrenaline rush. Lush greenery, twisted paths and beautiful views is what is offered on a trekking expedition to Guano Hills and Tiffin’s Tops. Isolated stretches covered with bamboo, oak and deodar trees on Guano Hills, provides an awe-inspiring view. The trek to Tiffin’s top is a 4 km journey from the centre of the city. Remember to carry a nice pair of shoes, a sunscreen lotion and a bottle of water to the trek.
Sailing across the Lakes- With soaring mountains all around lined with green tree tops, the lakes of Nainital are ideal spots to relax and admire the marvels of nature. A much-required break from the blistering summer heat, rowing or paddling across the Naini Lake gives you memorable moments of relaxation.
Find a Temporary Home in Camps- Apart from nature lovers; Nainital has much to offer for our adventure seekers. There are many camping sites scattered around the Lake city, out of which the most famous camping excursion is Naina Devi Jungle Camp. Other camping sites include Sattal, Naukuchiatal, Mangoli and Mukhteswar.
Get energised and relaxed at the same time by enjoying your camp activities like hiking, trekking, yoga, Tarzan swing, star –gazing and bonfire. The best option to enjoy with friends, camping in Nainital will surely give you memories to cherish for your lifetime.
No matter which age group you belong to, everyone loves retail therapy! Right from junk jewellery, handicrafts, and woollen garments to handmade candles, cane sticks and wooden carved showpieces- all stocks the bustling bazaars of Nainital. Come, shop and explore.
Mall Road- From colourful accessories to hand-crafted showpieces, buy everything at the Mall Road. A walk through the Mall Road allows you to explore a line of shops and stalls selling beautiful items including key chains, handicrafts and artificial jewellery.
Opening-Closing Time- 11 am to 8:30 pm
Bara Bazaar- Don’t hesitate to spend your savings on buying beautiful items including woollen garments, handicrafts and accessories, stuffing the beautiful shops of Bara Bazaar. Located in the busy Mallital region of Nainital, the market has been attracting several tourists from decades. The best purchasing items include handmade candles, cane stick and wooden showpieces, woollen garments like shawls, scarves and cardigans. Jam lovers must not leave the place without laying their hands on freshly prepared squashes, jams and other items.
Opening-Closing Time- 11 am to 8:30 pm
Tibetan Market- Lined with shops selling some unique Tibetan treasures in the form of artefacts, The Tibetan market gives a glimpse of proficiency and skilfulness of Tibetan artists. Located along the Naini Lakeside, the major shops and stalls are run by the Tibetan natives of Mussoorie. The items are avalaible at an affordable price among which the bestsellers include Tibetan bags, woollen mufflers, junk jewellery, exotic scarfs and unique handicrafts. Don’t forget to apply your bargaining skills!
Keeping in mind the natural essence pulsated by the Lake City of Nainital, accommodation facilities are designed to give you an experience of nature’s tranquillity. Equipped with all kinds of staying options ranging from 5-star luxury hotels to grungy cheapies guesthouses, Nainital welcomes every individual eager to explore its wonders. During the peak season, all hotels are packed with tourists making it difficult to bargain. However, during the low season, many hotels offer a virtual discount of 50 %. A prior research and booking is advisable. Some of the popular staying places are mentioned below. Come and enjoy your stay!
- Shervani Hilltop- A 4-star luxury hotel located at a distance of 230 m from Naina Devi temple and 3.2 km away from Tiffin Top is a good option for a family holiday. Having 47 rooms, ranging from Deluxe, Premium, Suite to Hill-View and Garden-View rooms, and the hotel is equipped with all staying facilities. Situated over the green mountain side of Nainital, it hosts an exclusive rally on Christmas as well.
- The Manu Maharani- A premium hotel for your family and friends, it can be good option to enjoy therapeutic massages and wellness treatments. The fully-furnished and wooden-floored rooms enable you to view the beautiful landscapes of Nainital. Treat yourself with some amazing delicacies served by their in-house restaurants- Viceroy, Gardenia, Coffee Shop and Panorama. Have some wine and get your spirits high!
- Vikram Vintage Inn- The hotel is a best option for getting luxury on a budget. With an attentive room service, fully furnished rooms with stylish outdoor seating and excellent facilities, it will make your stay in Nainital worth remembering. Situated at a distance of 1.5 km from Mall Road and 1.75 km from Naini Lake, the hotel offers word-class facilities without being an out way on your pockets.
Choose the best ones and make your trip an experience worth keeping in your memory lane!
As a popular tourist destination and weekend getaway, the city is filled with flocks of tourists looking for a break from their daily routine. As far as local transport is concerned, the best way to explore the city is to walk around on foot as most of the shops, restaurants and tourist spot are situated at a minimal distance from each other. One can also hop on to a cycle rickshaw avalaible at a reasonable cost. The service begins from 8 am in the morning and continues till 9 pm. Private taxis are also avalaible at an affordable price for full day sightseeing.
Reaching Nainital by Air - the nearest airport to Nainital is the Indira Gandhi International Airport situated at New Delhi. It is connected with almost all the cities in India. One can hire a taxi, board a bus or take a train from New Delhi Railway Station to reach Nainital.
Reaching Nainital by Rail – The nearest railway station for Nainital is situated at a distance of 34 kilometres at Kathgodham. The railway station has an efficient railway network to important places including Delhi, Lucknow and Howrah, with daily trains running to New Delhi.
Reaching Nainital by Road- Nainital is connected with other major cities by regular bus services which include luxury, deluxe and Volvo buses running to and fro from major cities like Delhi, Garhwal and Kumaon region. Most buses leave from the Tallital Bus stand. Also, buses direct to Ramnagar leave from Sukhtal bus stand, northwest of Mallital.
If travelling via a private vehicle, one can take NH 87, which links it to Rudrapur and Rampur.