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Nainital Tourism And Travel Guide
5.5° C / 41.8° F
March to September
3 to 5 Days
Pantnagar Airport (70 kms)
Kathgodam Railway Station (35 kms)
The state of Uttarakhand is blessed with many beautiful hill stations, but one of the most captivating is Nainital, located in the Kumaon region. Overlooking the pearly waters of a pear-shaped lake and the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas, Nainital is known as the ‘lake capital of India'. Providing panoramic views of the valley and surrounding hills on one side and views of the magnificent Himalayan Range on the other, Nainital tourism is all about hill-station love. To know more, read this travel guide to Nainital.
How To Reach
Being one of the most visited places in the State of Uttarakhand, Nainital is easily accessible to visitors. It is well connected with most major cities in the country.
By Air: At about a distance of about 70 kilometers from Nainital, the Pantnagar Airport is the nearest airport to Nainital. The Pantnagar Airport is well connected to all the major cities in India; it has flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, and Chandigarh and so on. There are taxi services from the airport to Nainital or one can take taxis up to Kathgodam and take a bus to Nainital from there.
By Train: The nearest rail-head to the hill town of Nainital is the Kathgodam railway station in Haldwani. Kathgodam railway station is connected to most major cities with trains plying frequently. It is at a distance of about 35 kilometers from Nainital. There are bus services and taxi services that will take you to Nainital. The taxi rates are around 1000 INR to 3000 INR depending on the type and season while buses are very cheaper, usually costing about 50 INR. Lalkuan and Ramnagar are other major railway stations that are close to Nainital.
By Road: Nainital is well connected with motorable roads throughout North India. It has good road connections to most major cities like Delhi, Dehradun, and Lucknow. There are bus services to Nainital from most major cities in North India considering it is an important tourist destination. Driving to Nainital can be fun and refreshing. Some routes pass close to the Jim Corbett National Park and the ascent to Nainital can be a breathtaking experience. Nainital is only a 7-hour drive (depending on traffic conditions) from Delhi, the National Capital.
Weather and Best Time To Visit
Nainital, like all other hill stations, is pleasant throughout the year with temperatures going only to up to about 23 degree Celsius in the summer and dipping to about 10 degree Celsius in the winters.
The months of March, April, May, and June are relatively warm, with pleasant temperatures of about 20-23 degree Celsius. These are also considered as the tourist season with a lot of people traveling to the town of Nainital around now. It is important to book hotels and other accommodation early to avoid the frenzy of the season. The rates of all services usually tend to go up around this season.
The rainy season in Nainital is from late June to August and sometimes can even go on until September. The monsoons are very calm, with white mists surrounding the town that will make you feel like you are floating in the clouds. There are fewer people visiting Nainital around this time of the year making it the perfect time for quiet getaways. Don’t forget to carry raincoats or umbrellas if you want to look around.
The temperatures begin to drop around November and the winters range from November to February. The mists clear up and one can see the ends of the horizon. The chill sets in slowly and the view of the snow-clad Himalayas is one to cherish. If you find the cold enjoyable the winters are the perfect time to visit Nainital.
Things To Do
The picturesque hill station offers a variety of activities for everyone. From boating, trekking, hiking, taking the ropeway or going camping, Nainital has it all.
Boating: Built around the Naini Lake, Nainital is famous for its boat rides. The stunning view of the three mountain peaks, the Naina Peak, Tiffin Top and the Snow View while floating on the graceful waters of the Naini Lake will definitely leave you mesmerized.
Trekking: Trekking is a major attraction in Nainital. There are a number of routes and trails to choose from like the Nainital-Betalghat trek, the Nainital-Binyak trek, the Nainital-Kainchi trek, the Nainital-Kilbury trek and more. Like many places in Uttarakhand, Nainital too is known for its trekking routes offering tourists amazing experiences of the green and mountainous terrains of the Kumaon region.
The Ropeway: The Ropeway is the most convenient yet adventurous way to commute in Nainital and brings people from all parts of the country for the chance to view the majestic Himalayan range on one side and the endless valley on the other. Starting at Mallital, the Ropeway will take you all the way up to Snow View from where the snow-capped peaks of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and many others are visible.
Explore Nature: Nainital has a number of trails for nature lovers and birdwatchers. If lucky, one might be able to catch glimpses of the Sambar and Barking Deer or the plumaged Khaleej on the many trails in Nainital. Nainital also has a high altitude zoo that houses many different species of animals and birds native to the Himalayan region like the Himalayan Civet, Himalayan Martin, Himalayan Black Deer, Tibetan Wolf and the Japanese Macaque.
Given its popularity among tourists, several eateries and restaurants have been set up all around the town. There are a number of different cuisines to choose from - Thai, Chinese, Italian, Continental, and Indian. There are numerous eating joints lining the Mall road along with some fine dining restaurants where food is enjoyed with the marvelous view of the Naini Lake.
There are three major markets in Nainital - the Mall market, the Tibetan Market and the Bara Bazaar, each of them have their own specialties. The Mall market has shops that sell everything you can think of, but the wooden handicraft and the colorful candles are popular. For trendy scarves, bags, shawls, mufflers and ethnic clothing, head to the Tibetan market or the Bhotia market located near the Naina Devi temple. Usually referred to as a foodie’s delight, the Bara Bazaar is known for its fresh cherries, Apples, Mulberries, and Blueberries. The homemade jams are also very popular among tourists.