I have visited Nainital twice, once by bus which was direct from Delhi to Nainital and second time by train which goes till Kathgodam, the nearest railway station, from where taxi or buses are easily available for Nainital which is about 36 km. The route from Kathgodam to Nainital is scenic with tall deodar trees lined on both side of the curvaceous road.
Both the times I stayed in the guest house of Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam, which I booked online through their website www.kmvn.gov.in. Their guest houses are well kept and comparatively cheap . It is always advisable to pre-book your hotel especially if you are going on weekends, as there is huge rush and It would be difficult to find accommodation there or you might have to compromise on cost or condition of hotel. The room I stayed in provided a good view of Naini lake and the surroundings.
Nainital is better known as “Lake District”. Situated in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand in the foothills of Himalayan ranges , Nainital is about 1938 meters above sea level and is named after Naini Lake which is at the center of the district. There is Naina devi temple towards the north of lake, the temple is dedicated to goddess Sati. Naini lake is surrounded by seven hills and the beautiful district is situated within these hills. Interestingly the two ends of the lake are referred to by different names the northern end where Naina Devi temple is situated is called ‘Mallital’, while the other opposite end is known as ‘Tallital’.
Mornings at hill station: The most beautiful thing about a hill station is the refreshing morning. Waking up to the chirruping of birds, awesome weather, fresh cold breeze, with hot morning tea served to you and a great view of lake with hills at the backdrop. Straight from Claude Monets’s canvas! can it be more beautiful! You feel like spending your entire life in the serenity and charm of this place.
Visiting the Tals (Lakes) and boating: Nainital as it is known as lake district of India. There are numerous beautiful lakes in and around the district Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal (lake with 9 corners), Sattal (7 lakes at one place), Khurpatal ( hoof-shaped lake), Sukhtal, Garudtal, Ramtal, Sitatal to name a few. These lakes are must see in Nainital. . Being close to each other, this lakes tour does not take a lot of your time. Boating is available in most of them. Being in the middle of a lake surrounded by scenic mountains with cold breeze touching your face is bliss. Nainital lake tour and boating should be a must in your Nainital itinerary.
Himalayan Snow view: love for nature and probably hills have brought you to Nainital right! For nature lovers and mountain lovers (I definitely am) Himalayan snow view is a must. You can take a ropeway to this popular tourist attraction. If you are lucky to have a clear sky day, you will be able to see the mesmerizing snow clad mountains ranges. View of this farfetched snow clad mountains is exhilarating. Some telescope options are also available. Unfortunately I wasn’t that lucky both the times as I visited in the month of August, when the mountains are mostly hidden behind clouds.
Do not miss the local sightseeing : the local site seeing in Nainital include Nainital zoo –a well kept places with a number of animal and bird species. Eco cave Garden- A interesting group of interconnected natural caves, a place is well maintained by KMVN. Governor’s House- one of the prime attraction in Nainital , building resembles a lot to the queen’s Buckingham Palace in London. There are other points like lovers point, tiffin top, Hanuman Garhi, St John’s church etc. I always prefer local sightseeing even if they are similar to other places; they give wonderful view of the surroundings.
Take a stroll around the lake and mall road: Spend your evening strolling on the Mall Road. From 6 PM onwards entry of cars in the Mall Road is curtained so that tourists can have leisure strolls. Pathways are made besides the Naini Lake till mall road. The mall road has the lake lined up with trees on one side and hotels and shops on the other side. A carefree stroll besides the lake makes your evening so mesmerizing.
Shop at Tibetan Market and Mall Road: Shops at the mall road and Tibetan marked situated at the far end provide a lot of shopping options. The shops sell rich trendy clothes, ornaments, toys, wax candles etc. Small vendors sell tea, spicy chats and other eatables. There are a number of eating options available. Hotels and vendors provide a variety of delicacies. One must try eating at Chandani Chowk in Nainital based on theme Chandani Chowk in Delhi and provide everyone’s favourite street food.