Nainital is a beautiful & fascinating hill station nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. Known for its picturesque natural beauty, tranquil lakes, and lush green surroundings, the town is 6346 ft above sea level. Nainital is centered around eye shaped lake named Naini Lake, which is surrounded by lush green hills and is the main attraction for visitors. Nainital is also famous for its viewpoints that offer breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. This picturesque town also offers a range of adventure activities such as trekking, rock climbing, and boating. With its tranquil environment and stunning natural scenery, Nainital is an ideal place for those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst the beauty of nature.
The culture of Nainital is a blend of Kumaoni and North Indian traditions. The Kumaoni people have their own unique customs, music, and dance forms that are still prevalent in the region. Locals of Nainital celebrate traditional festivals such as Nanda Devi Mela, Sharadotsav, and Bikhauti Mela with great zeal and enthusiasm. The people of Nainital are known for their warm hospitality and respect for nature. They have a strong connection to the mountains and the forests, which is reflected in their daily lives. The traditional attire for women is a sari with a pichhora (shawl) and for men, it is a dhoti-kurta with a pagri (turban). The culture of Nainital is deeply rooted in its history and natural surroundings, making it a unique and vibrant place to visit.
- Naini Lake : Surrounded by huge hills and heightened forests, Naini Lake is an alluring eye-shaped lake. Often called Naini Tal, Naini Lake is a major attraction of the town and it offers fun activities like boating and yachting.
- Tiffin Top : Tiffin Top, also known as Dorothy's Seat, is a popular viewpoint of Nainital. Situated at an altitude of 7519 ft, Tiffin Top offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding Himalayan ranges. The viewpoint is named after Dorothy Kellet, an English artist who used to visit this spot to paint the remarkable views.
- Jim Corbett National Park : Located at a distance of less than 1 km, Jim Corbett National Park is a famous wildlife reserve in India. Named after the famous hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett, who played a crucial role in its establishment, Jim Corbett National Park is home to a wide range of wildlife including tigers, leopards, elephants, and many more.
- Naina Devi Temple : Naina Devi Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located on the northern bank of Naini Lake. Devoted to the goddess Naina Devi, who is believed to be an incarnation of the goddess Parvati, the Naina Devi temple is considered to be one of the 51 Shakti Peeths.
- Snow View Point : Snow View Point is a popular tourist attraction that offers a spectacular view of the mesmerizing snow-carpeted Himalayas including Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Kot. Situated at an altitude of 2,270 meters, Visitors can reach the viewpoint by a cable car ride or by a short trek from the town.
- Eco Cave Gardens : Eco Cave Gardens is a beautiful garden in Nanital that features six interconnected caves, each named after an animal they resemble, Panther Cave, Tiger Cave, Bat Cave, Squirrel Cave, Flying Fox Cave, and Ape Cave. The caves are illuminated with electric bulbs and are open to visitors for exploration. This garden also has a musical fountain and a small waterfall that adds to the beauty of the place.
- Hanuman Garhi : Located on a hilltop, Hanuman Garhi is a famous Hindu Temple. Devoted to Lord Hanuman, the temple has a 4 m tall statue of the chief deity. Apart from being a holy place, this temple also offers breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset over the Himalayas.
Things to Do
- Boating on Naini Lake : Naini Lake is a beautiful lake with a serene view. Apart from its beautiful surroundings, the lake also offers to enjoy fun activities like boating and yachting. One can easily rent a boat or a yacht and can enjoy the alluring nature while enjoying the ride with friends and family.
- Trekking : Nainital has many trekking routes that offer stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges. Experience the adventurous trekking experience in the beautiful lake town by trekking to Tiffin Top, Snow View Point, or Naina Peak, all of which offer breathtaking panoramic views of the town and the surrounding mountains.
- Wildlife Safari : Enjoy an exciting and thrilling safari ride in Jim Corbett National Park and spot the remarkable wildlife including tigers, leopards, reptiles, and many more.
- Shopping : Nainital has a bustling market that offers a variety of local handicrafts, woolen garments, and jewelry. Stroll around the market and shop for souvenirs to take back home.
- Visiting Temples : Nainital has many ancient temples that offer visitors a glimpse into the town's rich history and culture. Visit the ancient Naina Devi Temple, Hanuman Garhi, or the Kainchi Dham Ashram to explore the spiritual side of Nainital.
- Adventure sports : Apart from the mesmerizing natural beauty, Nainital also offers many activities for thrill-seekers. adventure sports such as rock climbing, rappelling, and zip-lining.
- Mall Road : The main marketplace in Nainital, Mall Road is located close to Naini Lake. It is a jaywalker-only street lined with shops selling a wide range of products such as clothing, jewelry, handicrafts, and local souvenirs. The market also has several restaurants and cafes serving local and international cuisine, making it a popular spot for both shopping and dining.
- Tibetan Market : Located near the Mall Road, the Tibetan Market is a vibrant and colorful marketplace popular for its handicrafts, woolen garments, and accessories. Here, visitors can find a variety of products made by the local Tibetan community, including shawls, carpets, and silver jewelry.
- Bara Bazar : Bara Bazar is a local market located close to Naini Lake, known for its fresh produce, including fruits, vegetables, and spices. The market also has several shops selling woolen garments and other local products. It is an excellent place to get a glimpse of the local culture and lifestyle.
- Bikhauti Mela : Bikhauti Mela is a major festival celebrated in Nainital and other parts of Uttarakhand. A week-long festival, Bikhauti Mela is held in the month of April and is devoted to Goddess Kali. The festival is observed through processions, folk dances, and other cultural events.
- Phool Dei : Phool Dei is a harvest festival that is celebrated in March to honor the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month Chaitra, Phool Dei is observed by exchanging flowers and sweets among family members and friends.
- Nanda Devi Mela : Also known as Nanda Devi Mahotsav, Nanda Devi Mela is a major festival celebrated in the month of September. The Nanda Devi Mela is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Nainital and is one of the biggest festivals in the region. The festival is marked by a grand procession, in which a beautifully decorated palanquin carrying the idol of Nanda Devi is taken out in a parade.
- Bal Mithai : Bal Mithai is a popular sweet dish that is a must-try in Nainital. Made of roasted khoya, coated with sugar granules, and shaped like small balls, this sweet is a perfect dessert after a hearty meal.
- Aloo ke Gutke : Aloo ke Gutke is a simple yet delicious dish made with boiled potatoes, spices, and herbs. It is a spicy dish, perfect for those who love simple yet flavorful food.
- Bhatt ki Churkani : Bhatt ki Churkani is a unique dish made with black beans, ginger, and garlic, cooked in a tomato-based gravy. Packed with flavors, Bhatt Ki Churkani is perfect for those who love spicy food.
- Ras : Ras is a flavourful dish prepared from various dals with great nutritional value. Made in an iron skillet, Ras is cooked through simmering over low heat to maintain the nutritional benefits. It tastes delectable with steaming rice and Bhang ki Chutney.
- Kafuli : Kafuli is a popular vegetarian dish made with spinach, fenugreek leaves, and spices. This dish is packed with nutrition and is perfect for those who love healthy and flavorful food. Spinach and fenugreek leaves are the key ingredients of this dish.
- Singori : Singori is a sweet made of khoya, coated with a layer of malai and wrapped in a local leaf called 'Malu'. One of the popular sweet dishes of Nainital, Singori is a must-try for those who love sweet and creamy desserts.
- Gulgula : Gulgula is a popular sweet delicacy in Nainital, which is effortless to prepare. It has a similar appearance to malpuas and is made using wheat flour and jaggery. These sweets are incredibly soft and have a perfect balance of sweetness. To add variety, ripe bananas are sometimes added to the Gulgula batter.
- The Naini Retreat : Located on the picturesque Ayarpatta slopes, The Naini Retreat is a luxurious heritage hotel offering spacious and elegantly furnished rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, and a range of amenities such as a spa, gym, and indoor games.
- The Manu Maharani : Situated amidst the scenic beauty of Nainital, The Manu Maharani is a 5-star hotel that boasts comfortable and spacious rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a bar, a wellness center, and an indoor pool.
- Shervani Hilltop : Shervani Hilltop is a boutique hotel that offers modern amenities in a serene and peaceful environment. The hotel features well-appointed rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a spa, and a gym.
- The Pavilion : Located in the heart of Nainital, The Pavilion is a colonial-style hotel that offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a bar. The hotel also features a terrace garden and a conference room.
- Arif Castles : Arif Castles is a luxury hotel located near Nainital Lake. The hotel offers spacious and well-furnished rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a spa, and a range of recreational activities such as horse riding and boating.
- Machan Restaurant : Machan is a popular restaurant in Nainital known for its excellent North Indian and Chinese cuisine. A nice family restaurant, Machan Restaurant is known for its humble staff, good food, and nice ambiance.
- Giannis Pure Veg : Giannis Pure Veg is a must-visit restaurant in Nainital for vegetarians. The restaurant offers a range of vegetarian delicacies including North Indian, South Indian, and Chinese cuisine.
- Sakley's Restaurant & Pastry Shop : Sakley's is a well-known restaurant in Nainital that offers a range of delicacies including Italian, Continental, and Indian cuisine. The restaurant also has a pastry shop that offers a variety of cakes, pastries, and bread.
- Embassy Restaurant : Embassy is a popular restaurant in Nainital that serves delicious North Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisine. The restaurant has a cozy and comfortable ambiance and offers a beautiful view of the Nainital Lake.
- Zooby's Kitchen : Zooby's Kitchen is a popular fast-food restaurant in Nainital that offers a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. The restaurant is known for its burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches.
- Café Chica : Café Chica is a cozy and charming café in Nainital that offers a range of delicacies including Italian, Mexican, and Continental cuisine. The café has a beautiful outdoor seating area and is perfect for a relaxing evening with friends and family.
Best Time To Visit
If you want to enjoy the snowfall and experience the snow activities like skiing and snowboarding, then the best time to visit Nainital is during the winter season between the months of December to February. Another preferred time is during the summer season between the months of March to June, although you won’t be able to enjoy the snow, the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities like sightseeing, boating, and trekking. The temperature during this time ranges between 10°C to 27°C.
How to Reach
- By Air - The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport situated at a distance of 70 km from Nainital.
- By Train - Nearest Railway station is situated at a distance of 180 m from Nainital.
- By Road - The Nearest Bus Stand is located at a distance of 1.8 km from Nainital.