Nestled in the foothills of the Kumaon ranges in Uttarakhand, Nainital is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Uttarakhand. This charming town situated at an elevation of 2084 m above sea level is famous for its pristine nature and year-round pleasant weather, thus luring everyone from solo travelers to honeymooners to those traveling with friends or family. The top tourist places to visit in Nainital are a mélange of colonial buildings, scenic lakes, snow-covered peaks, beautiful temples, and several viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the hill station. Here are some of the most popular tourist places in Nainital you must visit.
Naini Lake or Nainital Lake situated at the heart of the town is unarguably the most famous of all the tourist places to visit in Nainital. The gleaming kidney-shaped lake is surrounded by verdant hills and the mist hovering over the hillsides covered in coniferous trees adds to the romantic aura of the place. Hordes of tourists arrive here seeking peace in its tranquil setting. Boating on the lake or strolling by the lake is the best thing to do to soak up the tranquility of Nainital Lake. The sunset at this place is simply breathtaking!
At an altitude of 2615 km, Naina Peak is the highest point in Nainital. Obviously, it is the best place to catch the bird’s eye views of the charming town and the snow-covered mountains that surround it. You can even see the Nanda Devi Peak and Tibet border from this point. The lush green trail with a steep incline and the crisp mountain air makes trekking to this peak a favorite activity among adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Horse riding is another popular activity to do here. It is recommended that you make arrangements for food and water as you would hardly find any eateries along the way.
Snow View Point:
Another of the best places to visit in Nainital for witnessing the majestic beauty of snow-capped Himalayan mountains is Snow View Point. The Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Kot peaks in the far distance will leave you speechless! This memory, we are sure, would be the most cherished one from your Nainital trip. The Snow View Point is easily accessible by motorable roads. You could also trek uphill or take a cable car ride from the Mall Road of Mallital to elevate the whole experience. You’ll find plenty of shops at this viewpoint, where you get everything from tea and snacks to souvenirs.
Naina Devi Temple:
An important Hindu temple, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, Naina Devi Temple is visited by a huge number of pilgrims arriving in the town on cheap flights from across the country and the world. This temple is situated on top of Naina hillock toward the northern shore of Naini Lake. The inner sanctum enshrines Naina Devi (Sati Mata) who is represented by a pair of eyes and there are idols of Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha on either side. According to Hindu mythology, this temple was constructed at the exact spot where the eyes of Goddess Sati’s corpse fell while Lord Shiva traveled around the world carrying her self-immolated body in his arms.
The Mall Road:
Officially known as Govind Ballabh Pant Marg yet popular as the Mall Road, the bustling area running parallel to the Naini Lake is filled with some of Nainital’s best hotels, restaurants, shopping markets. It is among the most popular places to visit in Nainital for souvenir shopping. You can buy a variety of items like wooden handicrafts, handloom products, and Nainital-special candles that come in various shapes and sizes. If not for shopping, do visit this vibrant place for the best views of the Nainital Lake.
Eco Cave Gardens:
The next one of the top tourist places in Nainital to check out is the Eco Cave Gardens, located at a distance of around 1.5 km from Mall Road. A popular family-friendly tourist attraction, Eco Cave Gardens are a group of 6 interconnected caves naturally formed in the shapes of different animals (Panther Cave, Tiger Cave, Bat Cave, Apes Cave, and Flying fox Cave). Exploring the wildlife habitat of the Kumaon region is the best thing in Nainital to do with kids. The hanging gardens along the pathways and a musical fountain with audio-visual effects are the other major highlights at the Eco Cave Garden.
In addition to the above, Tiffin Top (Dorothy’s Seat), Nainital Zoo, Land’s End, Hanuman Garhi, Raj Bhawan, Gurney House, St. John Church in the Wilderness, and Bhimtal Lake are some of the other interesting places to visit in Nainital. So, when are you planning a holiday to this charming hill station? Pantnagar Airport, at a distance of 70 km from Nainital, is the nearest domestic airport. However, if you are flying to India from abroad, you need to book flights to Delhi and then take a connecting flight from Delhi to Pantnagar. You could also opt for a train journey from Delhi to Kathgodam railway station, which is nearly 24 km away from Nainital. From the railway station, you can take a bus or auto or taxi to Nainital.