Commonly known as the “Lake District of India”, Nainital is one of the most beautiful hill stations in North India. Surrounded by mountains on three sides Nainital is located around the beautiful lake Naini Tal. This lake resort is situated at a height of 1,938 meters. There are many legends associated with the place. According to one, Nainital has derived its name from the Goddess Naina while the other legend says that when the Goddess Sati lost her eyes, she was being carried by Lord Shiva and a lake was formed. (‘Naina’ means eyes and ‘Tal’ means lake.) This beautiful small town in surrounded by seven hills, popularly known as ‘Sapta-Shring’ – Ayarpata, Deopata, Handi-Bandi, Naina, Alma, Lariya-Kanta and Sher-Ka-Danda. The majestic mountains and the sparkling waters of the lake add an immense lot to the beauty of the town.
Constructed during the British colonial rule, Mall Road is the primary road which goes through the core of the Nainital town parallel to the lake, interfacing the two closures of the town. It is now named as the Govind Ballabh Pant Marg. The road is one of the most vibrant places to visit in Nainital.
Mall Road has a number of hotels, travel agencies, banks, showrooms, department stores, shops, restaurants and cafes. You will find some of the best hotels and restaurants of Nainital located on the Mall Road.It is one of the busiest and crowded during the day time. Parking is prohibited and the road is closed for vehicles during the peak seasons so that the tourists can easily walk besides the lake on this famous road in Nainital.
The High Altitude Zoo, officially known as GB Pant High Altitude Zoo, is a one-of-a-kind zoo that is known for its intriguing location at 2,100 meters above sea level. Expanded across 4.6 acres of lush greenery, the zoo was built in 1984 and is one among the only three high altitude zoos in India. Home to numerous endangered and rare species of birds and animals, the zoo allows you to spot Royal Bengal tigers, Tibetan Wolves, the Himalayan Bear,
Hill Partridge, Kalij Pheasant, and Red Junglefowl. Most of the inhabitants of the zoo are either adopted by animal organizations or individuals. Located between the Great Himalayas and the Shivalik Range, the zoo provides its visitors a spectacular landscape to admire and be lost in.
One of the popular picnic spots in Nainital, the Tiffin Top is a place where you can get enjoy the spectacular scenery of Nainital from its highest point. Also called the Dorothy’s Seat, it is located on the Ayarpatta Hills, offering a gorgeous 360 degree view of the Lake District. It was named Dorothy’s Seat by a British Army Officer in the memory of her wife Dorothy Kellet who died from septicemia.
The Kumaun Hills which surround this location give the place calm and serene scenery making it a delight for all visitors. If you love hiking, the Tiffin Top makes for an exemplary 4 km ride from the main city where you can go by foot or hire a pony that are easily available from the Mall Road. The horse riding up the hill is full of adventure and fun if you go with your friends and family. Other activities like Rapelling and Rock Climbing are also conducted in the Tiffin Top. However, most activities are recommended to be undertaken during the day to enjoy the experience.
Kilbury bird sanctuary is the ultimate destination for anyone who loves watching birds. Due to this reason, it is also called as the bird watcher's paradise.
Most of the people who visit the place are frequent visitors who take time out of their lives to watch birds and fulfil their desires. This sanctuary is placed in midst of the reserved forest of Nainital.
Location: Kilbury Bird Sanctuary is at a distance of 12 KM from Nainital. You can choose to reach here through any convenient public transport or your private vehicle. Many affordable options like taxis are available from Nainital to bring you here.
Highlights: The bird sanctuary has more than 580 different species of birds which is a delight for all the bird lovers. Some of the most famous birds which are a part of this sanctuary include Brown wood owls, white throated laughing thrushes, forktails and many other birds.
One more religiously significant sites in the list of famous places to visit in Nainital, Kainchi Dham was built in 1962 by Neem Karoli Baba, the founder of Hanuman Garhi. A temple and an ashram, Kainchi Dam is engulfed by lush greenery and marvelous hills. Set alongside a glistening river, the temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and is visited by several believers and worshippers regularly.
Made famous to the world by Ex-Apple CEO, Steve Jobs’ visit in the 1970s and followed by Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the temple hosts a massive fair every year on June 15th which is attended by locals and visitors alike.
Location: 17 kilometers from Nainital
Situated within proximity of Nainital's famous Mall Road, Eco Cave Garden is one of those tourist places in Nainital which have gained importance in the recent past. A cluster of natural caves transformed into a cave garden, Eco Cave Gardens is home to 6 intriguing animal-shaped caves that offers children as well as adults an opportunity to experience several animals in an almost-natural habitat.
Adorned with a musical fountain with audio-visual effects, the caves also have a series of exquisite hanging gardens along the caved pathways. Dedicated to the wildlife species of the Kumaon region, the Eco Cave Gardens is of high importance to Nainital tourism.
Location: Sukhatal, Mallital, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263001, India
Highlight: Cave Gardens and children entertainment
One of the primary tourist places in Nainital, specifically for family vacationers, Nainital Ropeway sees hundreds of visitors daily. A three-minute ride over the spellbinding landscape of Nainital, the aerial ropeway takes you from Mallital, near Mall Road, to Snow View Point which offers one of the most astonishing views in Nainital.
Constructed with Swiss technology, the ropeway offers a steep climb up and down the hill and can carry a maximum of 11 passengers in each of its two-cabin cars. While the market at the starting point of the ropeway offers an amazing opportunity to shop for candles and pinewood souvenirs, the Snow View Point, at 2270 meters above sea level, presents you with an unadulterated view of the Great Himalayas.
Location: Ropeway Rd, Mallital, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263002, India
Highlight: Cable car and views
It is a famous lake located in the town of Bhimtal. The reason why it is so famous is because of the masonry dam built in the year 1883 which enabled a good storage facility. It has a catchment area of around 17.12 sq km which is quite large.
Location: The lake is located in Bhimtal, which is a famous town in Nainital. It is more than 22 km away from Nainital. If you want to reach a railway station from here, the nearest one is Kathgodam which is at a distance of 20 km from the lake.
Highlights: The Bhimtal lake is the largest lake in the region of Kumaon, which is popularly known as the lake district of India owing to the density of lakes present here. This lake helps in providing drinking water as well as makes sure that the different species of fishes are habitable here.
Sattal as the name says is a body of 7 freshwater lakes in the lower Himalayan range. The place is near Bhimtal which is a popular town in the district of Nainital. As the pollution level has grown in the recent times, Sattal is one of the few unpolluted and unspoiled freshwater biomes in our country.
Location: The river of the bodies is situated at and height of 1370 meters and it is right below the lush orchards of the Mehragaon village.
Highlights: The lake has oak and pine trees surrounding it which make the whole experience of visiting the lake better. If you are an avid birdwatcher, this place shall not disappoint you, you will find a lot of migrated birds in the vicinity.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Sattal is probably during early mornings or just before dusk, it is the time when you will spot a lot of birds and find the calm.
Located at a height of 2,312 meters above sea level, Mukteswar Temple is regarded as one of the most significant tourist places in Nainital. Dating back 350 years, the temple is dedicated to Hindu deity, Lord Shiva, the destroyer and the highest of all gods. Rumor has it that the temple was constructed by the Pandavas during their exile.
As the story goes, the brothers were firm believers of Lord Shiva and they created the temple to be blessed with deliverance from their uneasy life. The area surrounding the temple is bestowed with immaculate natural beauty. From the temple, you can view the snowclad Himalayan Peaks of Nandakot, Trishul, and Nanda Devi, the second-highest peak in the country.
Location: Link Road, Simyal Gaon, Nainital, Uttarakhand, 263138, India
Naukuchiatal, literally meaning ‘lake of nine corners’, is a quintessential hill station coined after the namesake lake which is believed to be the deepest in Nainital. An extremely beautiful yet peaceful place, the area is a hub of interesting activities for adventure lovers.
Bestowed with picturesque views and a shimmering lake, Naukuchiatal offers great opportunities for bird watching as well as angling. Some of the other popular activities to be enjoyed in the area include but aren’t limited to fishing, paragliding, rowing, and parasailing. Every year in May, the region celebrates the ‘Escape Festival’, one of the most popular music and art festivals in the country.
Location: Nainital, Uttarakhand
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