Nainital is known as the ‘Lake district of India’ as it houses some of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Nainital is an offbeat destination in the state of Uttarakhand. This city is famed to be one of the pristine hill stations and has been a getaway spot since the colonial days and is best enjoyed while camping.
Eco Cave Gardens
The Eco Cave Gardens at Nainital are a series of interconnected rocky caves, hanging gardens and a musical fountain. The Eco Gardens are a set of six small caves in the shape of various animals. In the evenings, one can see the spectacle of the musical fountain with various audio video effects.
Naini Lake is an iconic landmark of Nainital. It is a pretty lake that has been a major tourist spot since the colonial days. Naini Lake today serves as a major tourist spot for people from all over the country.
Naina Devi Temple
The Temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji is situated on a hill at a height of 1219 m above sea level, it was built by Raja Bir Chand in the 8th century. Several folklores about the temple have existed ever since it was built, the temple is considered very holy by the pilgrims who pay a visit regularly.
The Mall Road of Nainital runs along the Naini Lake and connects the two ends of the hill town, mall road is the prime shopping, food and cultural centre of Nainital. Whether it is digging into some luscious food or shopping for the cutest local woollens that are to be found, Mall Road is your go-to for it all.
Snow View Point
Snow View point is a spot dedicated to offering its visitors an expansive and majestic view of the Himalayas. It also houses a quaint little local temple. You can take either the cable car, taxi or a trek up the undulating slopes.
Tiffin Top is a grand picnic spot at an elevation of 7520 feet in the Ayarpatta region, Tiffin Top also known as Dorothy’s in the loving memory of an English lady Mrs Kellet Dorothy, who was killed in an air crash. Tiffin top is a short trek of about 4 kms from Nainital and provides an excellent view of the Himalayas and the town of Nainital.
Naina peak is also called the China Peak, this range has an average height of 2615 m and offers an adrenaline inducing challenging trek. The way up the slope is dotted with beautiful rhododendron trees which have pink blooms and fruits on it. From the peak one can view the Tibet Border and Nanda Devi Peak.
Jeolikat is known as the Gateway to Naini Lake, Jeolikot is a pristine hill station brimming with life, colors and butterflies. It is famous for its butterfly population along with its floriculture.
Neem Karoli Baba Ashram
The ashram 3km away from the nainital city centre is dedicated to Shri Neem Karoli Baba, who was a Hindu saint and Guru and had a lot of devotees from all over the world. Steve Jobs had come to India in 1974 to become his devotee, though sadly Neem Karoli Baba had passed away by that time.
The governor house hosts a popular golf course. The Governor’s House itself is a Victorian Gothic gem built in 1899 by designer F.W. Steven. It resembles the Castle of Scotland very closely and consists of two stories of buildings with 113 rooms, garden, swimming pool and of course, the golf-course.
High Altitude Zoo
The High Altitude Zoo was established in 1984. Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo or Nainital Zoo is situated on the Sher ka Danda hill in Tallital, Nainital. The zoo is at an average height of 2100 metres and spread over an area of 4.6 hectares makes it the only one of its kind. The zoo is home to several endangered species and is a popular tourist spot.
Hanuman Garhi is a temple around 2km away from the heart of Nainital and sits at a height of 6,401 ft, the temple was built by a local saint Baba Neem Karoli in more than half a century ago.
Nainital Ropeway or the Cable Car Ride is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Nainital and believed to be one of the fastest ropeways in the entire country. The aerial ropeway connects Mallital to the Snow viewpoint- from the base to a height of 2270 metres. The aerial trip hovering over the Naini lake and the valley offer panoramic views of the breathtaking landscape.
Tibetan market is located close to the famous Mall Road in Nainital. Tibetean or Bhutia Market is the most popular street market in the city. The market deals in an extensive variety of woollens and winter wears but the market’s main attraction is its sumptuous Tibetan food. Roadside stalls and eateries sell mouthwatering thukpa and momos among other regional food items.
Khurpa Tal is at a distance of 12 kms from the city centre of Nainital. It is a pristine lake situated at an altitude of 5500 feet. The lake’s surroundings are dotted with tall trees and the lake is considered ideal for fishing given its crystal clear waters and abundance of freshwater fish. The lake is a serene retreat that has remained untouched and unpolluted.
The astronomical observatory at Nainital is perched on top of the Manora Peak in Beluwakhan, Nainital. Astronomical Observatory or Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Science (ARIES) helps one observe the stars, planets, the moon and other heavenly bodies with the help of high powered, imported telescopes. The centre requires visitors to make a prior appointment before visiting the place.
Sariyatal is an artificial lake constructed as a tourist spot. The tiny lake hosts a large amount of activities like paddle boating and water sports. It is also popular for the Himalayan botanical garden which is a research centre and also acts as a herbarium and a butterfly park. A steep waterfall in the corner of Sariyatal just adds to the beauty of the lake.
Himalayan Centre of Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Himalayan Centre of Sri Aurobindo Ashram is situated in the Kumaon Valley at Talla Ramgarh, away from the hustle bustle of the city, Himalayan Centre of Sri Aurobindo Ashram aims at helping its visitors attain, peace, health and relaxation of mind through yoga and meditation. The ashram conducts regular workshops, talks, training programmes for stress management and regulating the lifestyle. Permission has to be obtained from the administration before visiting the place.
Gurney house in Nainital was formerly a home to a well known British hunter, conservationist, naturalist and author – Jim Corbett!! Gurney house is a charming colonial cottage, located near the iconic Nainital Lake, the house has a comfy museum which tells the tale of the achievements and story of Jim Corbett. Gurney House is a private residence but tourists are welcome to visit the house by prior permission. The lovely owners also give a complimentary house tour to the Corbett lovers.
St John Wilderness Church
The church of St. John in the wilderness rightfully deserves its name, this neo gothic style church is nestled between thick Himalayan woods.
The church boasts to be one of the oldest Anglican churches in Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj and of two magnificent stained glass panels, and a bell brought all the way from England!
The church was built in 1852, to provide a place of worship for the British soldiers posted here, and the church is full of memorial stones of those who passed away here, one is dedicated to Lord Elgin, the Viceroy of India from 1862-1863. The church also boasts of two magnificent stained glass panels, and a bell, cast by Mears and Stainbank, and brought all the way from England
Sitabani are beautiful woods around 22 km from the heart of Nainital. Sitabani is lush and filled with a huge number of Sal and Oak trees, that one finds in the Shivalik Himalayan ranges. Sitabani is not only a majestic forest but also a place of great historical significance, it houses splendid temples.