Located around a deep, green volcanic lake, Nainital is Kumaon’s largest town in the state of Uttarakhand. It crowds around a steep forested valley around the namesake lake Naini and was founded by the British who gave it a look and feel akin to the Cumbrian Lake District.
There’s a busy bazaar, a spider’s web of walking tracks that lead to various viewpoints overlooking distant Himalayan peaks and plenty of hotels on the hillside around the lake. Basically, a great place for a traveller who wants to kick back and relax, eat well, ride horses and immerse himself in the beauty of nature. The best time to visit is roughly May to mid-July and October.
Hire a boat and enjoy the tour of the Naini lake with breath-taking scenery all around. This is the best way to unwind in Nainital; you can choose from the many lakes like Naukuchiyatal, Bhimtal, Sattal, and Khurpatal. If you’re one for fishing, Sattal is where it is allowed.
Shopping at Tibetan Market
Tibetan market is great for souvenir shopping of handicraft made by locals. Exquisite scarves, gags, traditional dresses, intricately designed shawls, accessories and watches are sold here among other things. Sonam’s momos and thupkas can’t be missed hereafter a bout of shopping.
Nothing can be more spectacular than getting a bird’s eye view of the scenic city from the ropeway. Passing through Himalayan peaks, you can spot the famous Naina Devi Temple and the enchanting Naini Lake.
The liveliest part of any hill station is the man road, and Nainital is no different. With locals and travellers sauntering about in the evenings, it is quite an experience shopping and eating in this part of town. Nainital is famous for its aromatic candles; make sure you purchase them to take them back with you. Sakley’s Restaurant, a little off Mall Road, is a great place to enjoy a fine meal.
The Governor’s House in Nainital was probably made with Buckingham in mind. The two storey mansion has 113 rooms, however visitors are only allowed in to the golf course and vast lawns.
Jim Corbett National Park
One of the oldest national parks in India – Jim Corbett National Park is only 65 kilometres away from Nainital. Being one of the biggest Tiger Reserve in India, it entails a lot of fun and adventure of spotting a tiger.
Trek at China Peak
This is the highest point of Nainital and is also known as Naina Peak. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, don’t go back without trekking through the deodar, pine and cypress forests on this trail. It goes without saying, but the view from the top is going to take your breath away.
St. John Church
Constructed in 1844, the church is located on the isolated hills of Mallital. St. John Church stands away from the noise and bustle of the city. Being one of the oldest buildings in the city, it exudes the charm of another era.