Top 5 Places in Nainital, Temperature, Best Time to Visit, Hotels etc. – A Complete Guide
India, one of the largest and most beautiful countries in the world. It is one of the rarest nations which include all landscapes. From the world’s largest and tallest mountain chains to deep blues of the oceans or the cold and hot deserts, India has it all. Your feet will take steps where your heart falls.
If your heart beats for mountains, Uttarakhand, known as ‘Land of Gods’, is home to many serene and blissful hill stations including Nainital. Apparently built on the lines of Cumbrian Lake District by the British, Nainital is one of Uttarakhand’s most popular hill stations.
Nainital is set in a valley around an eye-shaped lake. According to folk legend, the eyes of goddess Sati have fallen here, coining the name for the city as ‘Nain’ means Eyes and ‘Tal’ meaning lake. Nainital is a place where tourists enjoy the cool breeze and beauty of the Himalayas.
Thousands of people, across the globe, head to the fascinating city of Nainital, often referred to as the lake district of India, to witness the calm and admire the beauty of nature.
For the millennials in the northern part of the country, Nainital is a must-go destination for road trips. Just 336 km drive away from the national capital makes it a viable option for an all-season cozy holiday with friends and family.
But even before we make a plan, there are a lot of questions that lock us from a successful trip. Answers to them help us to finalize our plans and live the dreams in reality. Let’s see what are the possible barriers and solutions for the same.
Why is it special?
Nainital has gathered fame due to its all-around beauty and pleasant weather. Naini lake and Naini peak add fuel to the fire. Oh, fire embarks it as a decent option for a bonfire at night under the glaze of clear skies, full of stars.
From crowded malls and streets to peaceful places for relaxation, the city has ample options for all. Naini lake, the water body amidst the town, offers an escape to your eyes, mind, and soul.
Likewise, Naini’s peak measures the city from the highest point. It is one of the pivotal trekking targets for energetic souls, seeking some peace from the daily routine life.
Must Have Places to visit in Nainital
1. Naini Peak: Start your trip from a high note, literally. The highest point of the hill station is the Naini peak, which is at an altitude of 2,611 meters. You can explore the natural vistas, catch a glimpse of the Himalayan birds, indulge in butterfly watching, and much more.
2. Mall Road: The vibrant mall road is one of the busiest alleys of the city. If you are a shopaholic, you can spend some bucks to chip in some traditional attire and cozy woolens for your special ones.
3. Zoo: When it comes to nature, Nainital owes enriched fauna culture as well. Animal lovers must take a visit to G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, situated on the Sher Ka Danda hill at a height of 2,100 meters above sea-level and is spread over 11 acres.
The zoo has several endangered species of animals like the Royal Bengal tiger, Tibetan wolves, sambar, leopard cat, and Himalayan bear. It is the only High Altitude Zoo in north India, besides those in Darjeeling and Sikkim. Do not forget the rider of it being shut on Mondays.
4. Eco-Cave Gardens: Situated in the neighbors of Mall road, Eco Cave Garden is one of the famous tourist spots in Nainital. This newly developed spot would be a decent attraction for your little fellas.
5. Planetarium: Even if you are not a sci-fi geek, ascend to the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences for an otherworldly experience. Lose yourself in the stars and beyond as you delve deep into the sublime universe and its underlying mysteries.
Adventures and Activities
1. Rock Climbing: Just four kilometers away from Nainital, Bara Pathar is the rock climbing area. Quite obviously named after twelve huge rocks, it attracts a decent number of climbers and trekkers. The climb on natural rock is fairly tough and requires a lot more resilience than a normal wall at an activity center.
2. Ropeway: The cable car is an opportunity not to be forsaken. It provides an irreplaceable odds for bird’s eye view of the breath-taking Naini Lake and the entire hill station. A treat for the senses, relax as you glide across the air over tranquil topography.
3. Picnic near waterfalls: Settle down for a rejuvenating lunch amidst the cascading waters of the waterfalls in Mukteshwar or Corbett, which will take another hour. This is worth a try if you intend to break the unending buzz and monotony of the chaotic city life.
4. Sunset: If you wish to end your day with beauty, it’s good to go for the sunset view. Best place to celebrate the diving fireball? It is the Hanuman Garhi temple, almost 2,000 meters above sea level. Gorgeous descent beyond the mountains silhouetting the statue of Hanuman, its palm open in blessing.
Nainital is adjacent to many thrilling and adventurous spots. If your holiday calendar allows, ensure to put them in your checklist before finalizing plans.
Bhimtal, Ranikhet, Almora, Mukteshwar, Ramgarh, Corbett National Park, Rishikesh are some of the possible contenders for your spare day/time during the up or downstream of your journey.
When to Visit?
Nainital lures people a dozen months in the year. This counts as the entire calendar. Seekers of adrenaline rush and admirers of nature must head towards the city between March and June. July to September are wet monsoon months.
October to February marks the weather for wacky chills. So if you are planning to enjoy snowfall, do not forget to hop on some extra woolens. Book your plans and mark your holidays accordingly.
Oh not to forget, chilling winters are off-season for hill stations. So, if you are seeking a less crowded soulful stay, visit Nainital between December and February. However, you may fall short of a few activities and spots.
How to reach?
Well connected modes of transit make Nainital an alluring destination for tourists. If you are planning a self-driven wheeling journey, you are just 7-8 hours away from New Delhi. If you are seeking a hassle-free journey via bus, you can enjoy the majestic beauty at an affordable cost from most of the cities of north India.
Kathgodam is the most proximate railhead for Nainital, which is less than 40 km away from the ‘Queen of Hills’. Flying to Nainital might be a tedious task. However, 70 km away, Pantnagar is the nearest airport, well connected to most of the important cities of the country.
You can book buses or hire a cabbie if you are traveling via train or aerial route.
Where to Stay?
It depends on the depth of your pockets. Nainital offers luxurious resorts to affordable hotels. You can opt for the luxury of five-star resorts or youth hostel/HOTs hotel, which charge for a bed in a dormitory room as economical as a movie ticket. After all, it’s the company and the companion, which make the difference.
Things to remember
Pack as light as possible. Cotton for summer and a light jacket are viable for cool evenings. Winters would take a toll on your bags as you would require to pack woolens, along with thick socks and warmer jackets.
Hill stations shout out for Sturdy walking shoes. Keep your feet covered with comfort. Alas, if you are concerned about your skin tone, dare not to miss sunscreen.
As rightly said by Benjamin Disraeli- “Like all great travelers I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” Travel before you run out of time. If mountains are calling… Bon Voyage.