NAINITAL – The lake city of India
Named after the pear-shaped Naini lake. Nainital is a beautiful hill station located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Surrounded by mountains on three sides Nainital is located around the beautiful lake Naini Tal. It is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in India since the British period. The town is situated at an elevation of 2,084 meters above sea level and is mentioned as the place where the eyes of the Hindu goddess Sati fell after her act of ‘self-immolation’ according to Hindu mythology. (‘Naina’ means eyes and ‘Tal’ means lake ). There is also a temple dedicated to the goddess on the northernmost shore of the lake.
This beautiful small town is surrounded by mountains on three sides and the town is spread around the beautiful Naini lake. The majestic mountains and the sparkling waters of the lake add an immense lot to the beauty of the town. The Nainital town not only lures the domestic travelers and tourists but also a number of foreign tourists. It shines as a glittering jewel in the Himalayan Mountains and is surrounded by lakes and nature’s bounty.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Nainital is from March to June & For the snow lovers, a trip can be planned from December to February. Monsoons are not always recommended when it comes to exploring the town as it receives heavy downpour.
Activities to do in Nainital
1. Boating in Nainital lake
The majestic Naini Lake is the centerpiece of Nainital and boating is one the most popular activity among tourists and honeymoon couples. You can enjoy boating in several lakes like Naukuchiyatal, Bhimtal, Sattal, Khurpatal, and Nani.
2. Trekking & Hiking
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 Kunjkharak Trek, and Snow View Trek. The trek to Naina peak is yet another one that is frequented by adventure lovers. Also, the city of Nainital looks even more beautiful from the peak. The trekking to the top, and taking in the views from there, can together be called the best things to do in Nainital.
Jim Corbett national park offers tourists the perfect opportunity to explore the wild creations of nature. Not only wildlife, but the park also has a good population of bird species and is quite known for fishing and angling as well.
The aerial ropeway connects the town to the snow viewpoint. A Cable Car or Ropeway ride is one of the most popular activities in Nainital, attracting a number of tourists every day. A ride on the cable car is an enthralling experience and one can enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains and panoramic views of Nainital on the way to the top.
Located amidst lush green forests and hills, Nainital is an amazing place to do camping such as camping in sattal, naukuchiatal, mangoli and mukteshwar, packed with fun-filled activities like hiking, trekking, yoga, Tarzan swing, star gazing and much more. For maintaining the natural jungle environment, no electricity is used at the camp rather kerosene/solar lanterns are used to light the camp adequately during the night. Here you can harvest fresh vegetables for your next meal, go swimming in river pools or rock climbing and rappelling over a waterfall.
There are many local markets in Nainital like Bara Bazaar, Tibetan market and Mall road market from where you can do shopping. Nainital’s local market has its specialty in candle making, key chains, books, and artificial jewelry. Moreover, you can explore and enjoy street food especially momos and soup Thupka is famous in the Tibetian market.
7. Nainital zoo
A Nainital zoo is a must-visit place in Nainital, Located at a height of about 2,100 m above sea level, the zoo is one of the best places to visit in Nainital. Housing animals like Royal Bengal tiger, Tibetan wolves, sambar, leopard cat, and Himalayan bear, the zoo also has many bird species like Kalij pheasant, Lady Amherst pheasant, rose-ringed parakeet, golden pheasant, and red junglefowl. A visit here is surely one of the best things to do in Nainital.
8. Horse Riding
A visit to Nainital cannot be complete unless and until you get a taste of horse riding, especially in the mall road area. Many people love to ride a horse to the Naina Peak as well, enjoying the views of the majestic Himalayas, covered with snow, and Nainital city, on the way.
9.View of the Himalayan mountain range
If you wish to witness snow-covered mountain tops emerging from clouds, offering different shades of sunlight and a mirror-like glare from far away, Snow View Point is your destination. Located just 2 km away from the Nainital city center is the Snow View Point offering a panoramic view of the mighty Himalayas draped in a blanket of milky-white snow. One can see a picturesque view of all three important peaks- Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Kot peaks together from this point.
10. Rock climbing
Apart from being a popular hill station, Nainital is a great place for adventure enthusiasts. A roster of adventure sports waiting for you to explore is present in the lake town, It offers a host of sporting activities including rock climbing. Rock climbing is not for the fainthearted, it is a test of physical strength and mental endurance.