Must Visit Places in Nainital
One of the most beautiful lakes of the country, Nainital lakes is known for its exquisiteness. It is one of the four lakes of Kumaun Hills which includes the Sattal Lake, Bhimtal Lake and the Naukuchiyatal Lake besides the Nainital Lake. The famous lake finds its mentions in ancient scriptures and many poems by prominent writers. Naina Devi Temple is situated on this lake where it is believed that Sati’s eye’s fell to earth after her act of self-immolation.
The lake is surrounded by the green hills which give the town a mesmerizing landscape. Being a natural freshwater lake, all nature lovers find the lake a charming site to sit, relax and spend some quality time either by oneself or with their loved ones. Lately, environmentalists have cited worries regarding the health of this lake and preservation measures are gaining momentum to save this natural treasure.
Your visit to Nainital Lake will be incomplete if you do not try out the famous boat rides. The activity will give you a picturesque view of the Lake District and an opportunity to click great pictures. If you’re a morning person, we say you go for a walk around this beautiful lake with fresh air and rays of sun pouring through the clouds before you embark upon the day adventures in Nainital. And if you don’t like mornings, an evening stroll by the lake is equally charming with all the bright lights across the night sky.
The price of boating in the lake: Starting INR 150(30 minutes)Location: It is located in the city of Nainital which lies in Uttarakhand. The Sukhatal and Tallital bustands are nearby and thus you can choose to opt for roadways while travelling to the place in public transport.
Tiffin Top (Dorothy's Seat)
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.
The magnificent views and the panoramic landscapes offer an opportunity for photographers to capture one of the most amazing lakes and hills of the country. Nature lovers are sure to enjoy the beauty of this place which resonates with tranquility and exquisiteness.
-Round Trip Pony (Horse Riding) will cost between INR 500 to INR 700
Best time to visit: You can visit the place any time you want as it has no time restrictions. You must consider the climatic conditions before going to the place.
Snow View Point
Location: The point is around 3 Km from the town of Nainital and you can travel there through either cable rope or your car. If you are comfortable, you can also visit Snow view point by walking there or book a taxi if you prefer it.
Highlights: From the top of the mountain, you can have a full view of the city which looks just marvelous. If you notice, there will be a place which says The highest mountain in the British empire. Before Sikkim became a part of India, Naina Devi was India's highest peak.
High Altitude Zoo
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.
Location: Tallital, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263002, India
Price: INR 50 for adults, INR 20 for children, INR 25 for still camera, INR 200 for professional video camera, Entry free for senior citizens and people with special needs
The Mall Road
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.
With the cool wind blowing over the lake through the road, a night walk around the mall has its own particular appeal. It is a famous shopping center among tourists and provides a splendid view of the Nainital Lake. Some specialties which you can find here include unique candles in different shapes and sizes. Wooden artifacts and locally produced handloom products are also popular among the tourists.
Handicraft and gift items adore the shops here and a delight for tourists looking for shopping on a holiday.Also an interesting fact about this place is that many popular Bollywood movies like Kati Patang and Koi Mil Gaya were shot here.Location: Mall Road, Nainital, Uttarakhand
Eco Cave Gardens
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
Price: INR 60 for adults, INR 25 for children, INR 25 for camera
Situated at an altitude of 2,615 km, Naina Peak is known for its breathtaking bird's eye perspective of the town, the Himalayas and furthermore, the immense breadths of the Terai areas of Kumaon. The Nanda Devi Peak and the mountains of the Tibet border are visible from the top of this peak. Also known as the China Peak (before the 1962 Indo-China war), it is situated at a 10 km distance from the Tallital Bus Stand of Nainital. The famous place is one of the most recommended places to visit in Nainital on a vacation.
It is a delight for individuals who adore strolling. One can go for long strolls, breath fresh air and appreciate the picturesque excellence. Because of high elevation and rich green forest path, Naina Peak is likewise a most loved place in Nainital for trekking. The trek to Naina could be a little tricky, covering a length of 6 km from Mallital. One can reach the place by t riding a horse or by navigating the sloping ways. From Snow View Point or Mallital, one can hire pony or horses to visit this peak.
No shops are accessible on the peak. In this way, it is best recommended for you to carry your own eateries and drinking water for your picnic. Enjoy a photography session as the place offers some of the best perspectives of the snow-clad pinnacles of Himalayas. The place is well-known among the travelers for its sentimental nightfall and dawn.
Location: Naina Peak, Nainital
Location: Lands end is at a distance of around 4 KM from the town. Transportation and reaching there is not a hassle and you can easily get to the place. You can walk up to the top or simply ride on a horse back to reach the Lands end.
Highlights: The view is something which people visit the place for. The top view from the mountain is exhilarating and lets you view the plains and the Khurpa Tal. Overall, the mountain is surrounded by beautiful villages and pine forests all over. The place will get you a nice touch with nature if you haven't had it lately.
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.
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.
Kilbury Bird Sanctuary
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
Highlight: Religious temple visited by Steve Jobs in 1970s.
Other Places to Visit in Nainital
The former summer house of Jim Corbett, the British naturalist, tracker, and hunter, Gurney House is a heritage site and one of the most important places to visit in Nainital, especially for architecture enthusiasts. A short walk from the famous Mall Road, the 18th-century British house is surrounded by lush gardens and has been preserved to give its visitors a feel of how Jim Corbett lived here during the 1800s.
Walking around the house, you can see some of Corbett’s prized possessions such as his books, furniture, fishing rod, trophies, and an African drum. Though there is no entry fee to the house, you must have an appointment to visit this colonial marvel.
Location: Ayarpatta, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263002, India
Highlight: 18th-century architecture and furnishing.
St John's Church
One of the most visited tourist places in Nainital, St John Church, also known as St John’s the Wilderness, is a breathtaking church constructed in the 1800s. Named by a bishop from Kolkata, the church takes you back to a historical era while giving you all the time to compose yourself and reflect within.
A place of religious importance, the site is best enjoyed during a prayer service, especially for those seeking the Almighty. Built within the church grounds, the cemetery stands as an ode to those who lost their lives due to a catastrophic landslide. Photography may not be allowed inside the church itself, but the serene landscape surrounding the church is just as beautiful to capture and should not be missed.
Location: Nainital - Kaladungi Rd, Sherwani, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263002, India
Highlight: History and religion.
A quaint hill station within Nainital, Jeolikote is among the most peaceful sightseeing places in Nainital for travellers wanting to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind themselves. Commonly known as the ‘Gateway to Naini Lake’, the area serves as a pitstop for tourists heading towards Nainital but it also makes for a great detour if you wish to explore the surrounding areas.
Particularly a haven during hot, strong northern summers, Jeolikote offers stunning natural surroundings, butterfly spotting, and a chance to witness floriculture. The enchanting ambience and surreal beauty of this place also make it extremely popular among meditation practitioners.
Location: 18 kilometres from Kathgodam on NH 87 towards Nainital
Highlight: Hill station.
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
Price: INR300 return for Adults, INR 200 return for children aged 3 to 12
Binayak is a beautiful retreat for all trekker out there and you must try it when you are on your vacation in Nainital. One can go for a trekking trip that lasts for about 3-5 days and enjoy the amazing landscapes with the scenic Himalayas in the backdrop.
If you like to experience adventurous hikes, Binayak is the place for you to get the adrenaline rush. It offers one of the most spectacular trails and the beautiful trees on the hills which will take your breath away.
Location: Binayak, Nainital
Raj Bhawan- Governor’s House
Built by the British as a residence for the Governor of then North West Province of India, the Raj Bhawan is one of the most recommended places to visit in Nainital. Raj Bhawan was built as a replica of Buckingham Palace built in Victorian Gothic style designed by the architect F.W Stevens.
Spread over 200 acres of land, this place is famous for its Golf Course which is counted as one of the vintage golf courses of India and many golf tournaments are organized here. Some other great places in the complex include a swimming pool, garden, Jhandidhar Modi Heights and Munshi heights.
The lush green area is decorated by Deodhar and oak trees which give the place a serene landscape. The charm of British architecture and the calm and splendid scenery around the place makes Raj Bhawan one of the most famous tourist attractions of Nainital.
The Raj Bhawan remains closed on Sundays and all other national holidays. The timings for visiting are 8 am to 5 pm/4 pm and 6 pm. It is located 3 km from Mall Road of the city. One can easily reach the place by walking or taking a rickshaw from Nainital Bus Stand.
Some facts include, it is the only Raj Bhawan open for tourists in India and post-independence, Sarojini Naidu was the first occupant of the place.
Price: Entry ticket of Rs. 20 per person
Location: Amghari, Nainital, Uttarakhand
Naina Devi Temple
Located atop the Naina hillock near northern shore of the Naini Lake, the Naina Devi Temple is one of the most revered temples in Northern India. It is a famous Shakti Peeth of Hindu religion and draws devotees from all over the country. It is believed this was the place where eyes of Sati’s corpse fell when Lord Shiva carried her.
There is a huge peepal tree and across it there is an idol of Lord Hanuman. The inner sanctum has sculptures of three deities, Naina Devi (represented by two eyes in the center), Mata Kali Devi to the left and Lord Ganesha to the right. The temple organizes a big fair during Nanda Ashtami which runs for 8 days here. During other holy occasions like Navratri, Chaitra etc, a large number of devotees pay a visit to this sacred temple.
The temple complex spreads around an area which is 1567 yard long, 167 yard wide and a 93 feet profound lake. A stupendous statue-immersion ceremony has been occurring here, on the occasion of Bhadrapad Shukla Ashtami since 1918. Naina Devi Temple fills in as a noteworthy vacationer spot of Nainital. It is said that the present temple at Nainital r replaces the first fifteenth century sanctuary, which was worked amid Kushan tradition reign and got demolished in 1880 due to a landslide.
The temple remains open for devotees from 6 am to 10 pm.
Location: Ayarpatta, Nainital, Uttarakhand
Situated at an elevation of 1950 meters, Hanuman Garhi is one of the most important religious places to visit in Nainital. Around 3 kilometres from the centre of Nainital, the temple is dedicated to the Hindu Deity, Lord Hanuman, the God of strength and energy, who is often believed to be a reincarnation of Lord Shiva.
Constructed in 1950 by the extremely revered Neem Karoli Baba, the temple’s centrepiece is a massive statue of Lord Hanuman with an image of Lord Rama in his chest cavity. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Hanuman was an ardent follower and the most trusted friend of Lord Rama, and he also helped Lord Rama to win over Ravana. The temple is especially busy on Tuesday and Saturday as these two days of the week are dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
Location: Haldwani Road, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263002, India
Highlight: Religion, Sunrise and Sunset views.
A peaceful getaway close to Nainital, Khurpatal is one of the most serene places to visit in Nainital. Tucked away in the outer Himalayan Range, the area is most famous for its emerald blue-green lake, the Khurpatal Lake. Surrounded by majestic pine trees and dense greenery, this offbeat location is a paradise for nature lovers as well as photography enthusiasts.
Named after its ‘trowel’ shape, the lake is home to several species of fish, making a great spot for fishing and angling. In fact, fishing is almost a family activity around the area and is enjoyed traditionally. Adventure lovers can also enjoy strolling or trekking through the surrounding forests or enjoy a tranquil boat ride on this remarkable lake.
Location: 12 kilometres from Nainital, Uttarakhand, 263001, India
Highlight: Emerald blue-green lake, mountains, and landscape.
Bhutia Market(Tibet Market)
Located near the Naina Devi Temple, Bhotia Market is one of the most famous shopping destinations. This place is every shopaholic’s delight as you can buy a lot of amazing clothing at good bargained prices. If you are looking for beautiful scarves, fashionable bags, winter clothes like shawls or mufflers or ethnic items, this is the place where you should pay a visit while in Nainital on a holiday.
The woolen wear offered here is famous for being intricately woven by Almora women.. Artificial jewelry and artifacts are other famous items which you should look for while shopping here. The decorative wooden pieces are other unique handicrafts available here. There are also some famous restaurants and cafés where you can dine or enjoy street food in Indian and Tibetan cuisines.
The place is ideal for visiting after you have paid your respects at the Naina Devi Temple or when on an evening stroll looking to collect some souvenirs which will always remind you of your wonderful vacation.
And a quick tip before you visit this place- Don’t forget to haggle with the shopkeepers as most of them overstate the prices of commodities. Also, do not forget to miss out on trying the delectable momos and noodles offered here.
Location: Nanda Devi Path, Nainital, Uttarakhand.
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
Highlight: Religion and landscape.
One of the most panoramic sightseeing places in Nainital, Pangot is a small colony near Nainital which is most famous for its lush green jungles and bird community. To reach Pangot, you have to travel through the enchanting forests of Cheena Park Range through Snow View Point and Kilbury, which are considered to be the main bird habitats around the area.
Adrenaline junkies can enjoy mountain biking as well as trekking in the area. Reportedly, Pangot is home to over 580 bird species including but not limited to rufous-bellied niltava, Himalayan griffon, lammergeier, and spotted & Slaty-backed forktail.
Location: 15 kilometres from Nainital
Highlight: Bird Watching.
Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, or ARIES, as it is commonly known, is among the one-of-a-kind sightseeing places in Nainital. The Astronomical Observatory is one of the leading research centers in India for Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Atmospheric Science. Situated approximately 9 kilometers from Nainital atop Manora Peak, the Observatory is a great spot to visit if you are travelling with children.
Boasting one of the most technologically advanced telescopes in the country, the Observatory enables you to witness the moon, the stars, and other celestial bodies that are otherwise reclusive to the usual eyes. Night viewing is mostly possible during a couple of days around full moon.
Location: Beluwakhan, Uttarakhand 263002, India
Highlight: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Atmospheric Science.
Nainital is most famous for its various gorgeous lakes, and Sariyatal, an astonishing Jade green lake, is among one of the most serene places to visit in Nainital to enjoy the beauty of the lakes in the hill town. The perfect place to enjoy chilly waters, brilliant landscapes, and peaceful environment, Sariyatal is extremely popular with honeymooners as well as nature lovers.
Home to a massive botanical garden, the area is also famous for botany enthusiasts and families with children due to the many herbs and boutique parks in the garden. For adventure lovers, this is the perfect place for boating and water zorbing.
Location: Smanora Range, Nainital, Uttarakhand, 263002, India
Highlight: Lake, Botanical Garden, Water Zorbing.
Originally build to cater to the Muslim soldiers in the British army, Jama Masjid is an important place of religious worship in Nainital. Built in 1882, the mosque is known for its notable architecture and inscriptions.
As you enter the mosque, you can see the fine Arabic inscriptions at the main entrance but the most remarkable characteristics of the place are the mihrab, a section of which displays directions to Mecca.
Location: Tallital, Nainital, Uttarakhand 263002, India
Highlight: Architecture and Religion.
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
Highlight: Hill station.
If you are looking for a quiet time to spend with family or your significant other, KamalTal Lake is one of the favourite places to visit in Nainital for many. It is a small lake, spanned over just only 200 metres. However, the small size of the lake does not affect the beauty of it in any way. An abundant amount of lotuses bloom here during lotus season, which is why the name KamalTal (Lotus Lake).
Location: Located at Siloti Pant, Uttrakhand.
Highlights: The highlight of this lake is that it is entirely covered in lotus flowers. The visitors could also go for rowing, paddling, and yachting in the lake. The crowd here is lesser, making your time more peaceful.
One of seven lakes of famous SatTal (seven lakes) is GarurTal, a famous Nainital tourist places. Set at an altitude of 4500 ft above sea level, Garur Tal is mysteriously connected to all the other six lakes of SatTal. Surrounded by dense forest and pine trees from all its sides, this lake remains untouched by the trend of commercialization and in turn pollution.
Location: Sattal, Uttarakhand.
Highlights: Britishers often compare Sattal to Westmoreland of England because of how serene and clean the surrounding is. Apart from enjoying the serene environment, you could also find some migratory birds when it is on the season. Enjoy delicious lemonade while boating in Garud Tal Lake.