There are many unique places to visit in Nainital, a beautiful hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas. It’s known for its hiking trails, green hills, old cottages, strolling streets, and beautiful lakes.
It is also known for its natural beauty and adventure tourism, including boating, paragliding, hiking, trekking, and rafting. It’s a great place to experience the spectacular views of the mountains.
Its name is believed to have been derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Naini’ meaning ‘pupil of the eye’ and the tala meaning ‘lake’. Nainital is situated at a height of 2,084 meters in the Uttarakhand region.
Overlooking the town from its heights is the famous peak Nainital Naina peak or China peak or Cheena peak, which rises to a height of 2611m (8,566 ft) and has breathtaking views. Side-trip to the nearby Lake Sattal is equally rewarding.
Due to the spectacular views and wonderful weather almost year-round, Nainital has become one of the top summer getaways in recent years for most travelers around the world and local visitors from all across the country.
Wander the narrow lanes, browse in the many bookshops and galleries, visit the nearby Nainital Lake and the scenic Maa Naina Devi Temple, and you’ll soon discover Nainital’s many hidden delights. You’ll find that it’s beautiful in every season.
Visiting Nainital is in itself one of the most rewarding things to do. If you love mountainous views, then you will be in for a treat.
The views are simply outstanding. Here are some of the famous tourist places you can explore in Nainital.
The enchanting Nainital Lake or Naini lake was founded by Mr. P. Barron, an English businessman in 1839 accidentally during a hunting expedition.
He referred to the lake as one of the most beautiful experiences he had so far in his traveling to India.
The Naini lake is known for its scenic beauty, dense fauna, peaceful nature, and stunning views.
The Naini lake divides the Nainital area into two parts: the upper side or the northern side of the lake is known as Malli tal and the lower side or the southern side of the lake is known as Talli tal.
This emerald blue-green lake is an ideal place for enjoying alone time. Naini lake is also famous for its lush green surroundings and its calmer waters, which provide a nice scene for boating experience.
Here you can take a boat ride or yacht ride or walk on a riverside mountain path to enjoy the view of the mountains and the lake in a serene setting.
The moment you step onto the shores of Naini lake, you get struck by the serenity and beauty of the place.
The spectacular scenario of the three surrounding mountains Naina peak, tiffin top, and snow view will take your breath away!
A beautiful lakeside road in Nainital, the famous mall road is a must-visit place during your stay in Nainital. It is the perfect place to enjoy a quick road tour or enjoy a walk along the Naini lake.
No matter wherever you are in the town, you can easily access mall road as it is connected to all the major roads of the Nainital town.
This 1.5 Km long mall road runs from Naini lake towards the temple of goddess Naina Devi and connects the two different areas of the Nainital town Talli Tal and Malli Tal. The road is also known as Govind Ballabh Pant Marg.
Mall Road is Nainital’s most popular street, which is the perfect place to hang out and shop for souvenirs including wooden artifacts and scented candles.
The mall road is lined with shops selling many handicrafts, saris, handmade handlooms, woolens, and shawls.
The mall road is lined up with many fast-food shops, fruit juice parlors, coffee shops, pastry shops, and restaurants.
Here you can stop by and enjoy some delicious foods including Chinese and Tibetan cuisines, pizzas, and some mouth-watering instant noodles and momos.
The Tiffin Top is one of the most popular tourist attractions and iconic places to visit in Nainital. This mountain top of Ayarpatta hill is located at the height of 2292 meters from the sea level and offers picturesque views of the Kumaon mountain range and the rich greenery enveloping the entire trail, which covers a distance of about 16 km.
Tiffin Top or Dorothy’s seat offers a breathtaking view of the Nainital Valley spread out below, Nainital city, and the surrounding Kumaon range, and for the few luckier ones, the breathtaking view of the snowcapped Himalayas. The hilltop promises to offer a magnificent experience to hikers, trekkers, and visitors alike.
You can enjoy many activities around Tiffin Top, including hiking, trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, and a pony ride to the top of the hill.
You can stop by during trekking and admire the views of this beautiful and lush green stretch of oak, spruce, and pine trees to the top of the mountain.
Sunrise and sunset at the Tiffin Top are a treat to watch. The beautiful hues of orange and pink can be seen from the top of the hill, making it a popular spot for photographers.
The best time to visit the top is between July and October when the view is at its best.
Snow View Point:
Situated just two kilometers from the main square of Nainital, Snow View Point is a great place to watch the sunrise or sunset.
You can also see the snow-covered Kumaon mountains from a viewpoint. One of the best places to visit in Nainital without a doubt.
The Nainital ropeway is one of the most famous attractions during your journey on the Snow View Point. The ropeway gives a stunning view of the Naini lake and its surrounding mountain peaks and you can enjoy the scenic beauty in all its glory.
The ropeway is a thrilling experience and it is not to be missed. The views from the top are breathtaking.
The best time to visit the snow view point is March to June and again from September to October when the snow on the mountains is at its maximum. The Road to snow View Point is closed after the first snowfall of the year and opens after the second snowfall.
The view from Snow View Point is one of the most beautiful and picturesque of the snowy mountains of the majestic Himalayas.
The snow-clad Nanda Devi peak, Nanda Kot peak, and Trishul peak are spread out before you, their rugged faces in shadow except for the tips of the highest peaks, which still glow red with the sun’s rays.
These snow-capped mountains look like a fairyland as the sun’s golden rays dance across the white peaks. The valley below is a green patchwork with orchards, fields, and forests. It is a sight that will take your breath away!
Eco Cave Gardens, Nainital:
Eco Cave Gardens is a must-see while in Nainital and is easily accessible from Mall Road. It is a group of caves that showcases the beauty of the naturally formed interconnected caves and their biodiversity.
The caves are a highlight of this place as they are built-in animal shapes and are named after the shape of the animal they look like including the caves Panther, Tiger, Bat, Apes, and flying fox.
This Eco cave garden beautifully illustrates the potential of using the forests and wild animals for creating a green environment and is a great opportunity to learn about the natural habitats of the Himalayan Wildlife and their importance.
If you want to explore the ultimate beauty of this spot, the musical fountain, and its surrounding gardens, you can visit these caves from March to June. One of the famous Nainital tourist places without a doubt.
The opening hours are 9.30 am to 5.30 pm and the entry fee to these caves is charged around Rs.20 for adults and Rs.10 for children.
Maa Naina Devi Temple:
The Nainital Naina Devi Temple is a major Hindu pilgrimage destination located on the northern bank of Naini lake. The temple is built on the top of a Naini hill, overlooking the beautiful lake and the valley, and is one of the 51 Hindu Shaktipeeths in India.
The temple is devoted to the worship of the Shakti form of Sati, a Hindu goddess. According to the Hindu myth, the eyes (Naina or Nayan) of Devi Sati fell from her body when Lord Vishnu cut her corpse into 51 different parts.
The Nainital Naina Devi Temple complex includes a huge courtyard, a sacred peepal tree, and the idol of Lord Hanuman. The idol of Kali Mata, the two eyes of Naina Devi and Lord Ganesh is kept at the main temple for worshipping.
The origin of this sacred temple dates back to 15th AD during the Kushan reign and an idol of Naina Devi was placed in the temple by a devotee named Moti Ram Shah in 1842. One of the must-visit Nainital tourist places.
The temple was destroyed completely during a landslide in 1880 and was built again by the local people in 1883. One of the best places to visit in Nainital without a doubt.
Due to the religious importance of this holy place, not only the devotees but most people visit the Naina Devi temple while traveling to Nainital to get the blessings of Maa Naina Devi.
Naina Peak is the highest point in the Nainital district and is a popular destination for hiking. The peak is at 10 kilometers distance from the Tallital bus stand.
Naina Peak is famous for its beautiful view of the Kumaon mountain range. It is also one of the best places to visit in Nainital when it comes to exploring beautiful nature. The trek to the peak is almost 6 kilometers and can take about 3 hours to reach the hilltop.
The trek begins from Tallital and takes you up a steep and very winding path to the peak. The mountain trail takes you to the peak and offers a beautiful view of the Kumaon mountain range.
The best time to visit the Naina peak is during the morning and evening. The hike to the peak is completely free and the only thing you need to bring is a pair of comfortable shoes. After you reach the top, you will be able to see the lush green forests and surrounding snow-capped mountain ranges.
A 3-hour climb through a forest of rhododendron, pine trees, and cypress trees leads to a popular viewpoint, an exclusive vista for photographic scenarios that opens up a vast expanse of the Himalayas. From the mountain top, one gets a spectacular view of the snowy Nanda Devi peak.
From the top of Naini peak, a panoramic view of Nainital can be seen, which is also home to the Naina Devi temple. The views of the Himalayas, the lush greenery all around, and the famous Nainital lake and the valley are breathtaking.
GB Pant High Altitude Zoo:
GB Pant High Altitude Zoo or Nainital zoo is situated at an altitude of 6900 feet above sea level on Sher Ka Danda mountain peak, in the town of Nainital and is a major tourist attraction for both regular visitors and wildlife lovers.
This is the only zoo in the whole Nainital town and is spread over an area of 4.693 hectares (15 acres). It is home to many endangered species of animals and birds.
The altitude also gives an amazing view of the Himalayas. The Nainital zoo was originally established in 1984 and has been opened for regular visitors on 1st June 1995.
The Nainital zoo is run by the Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo Management Society, Nainital. It was established to create awareness about the indigenous species of the Himalayas. There are about 100 different species of birds that are found in the zoo. You may also visit Kilbury Bird sanctuary to enjoy nature.
The zoo exhibits various endangered species of animals of the Himalayan region, many adopted by people and many animal organizations, and various other animals, namely, the Tibetan wolf, Sambar, barking deer, royal Bengal tiger, Himalayan bear, leopard, parakeets, pheasants, brown wood owls, Himalayan black bear, and red jungle fowl. The zoo is famous for keeping India’s only Siberian tiger from 2001 till its death in November 2011.
The Nainital zoo has different events happening throughout the year. Some of the most popular ones include World Environment Day on 5th June, Ozone Layer Conservation Day on 16th September, and Wildlife week during the period of 1st October to 7th October. The zoo also organizes regular camps for children, students, local people, and visitors.
The zoo is open from 9.30 am till 4.30 pm every day except Thursday. The zoo has an entry fee of Rs.100 for adults and Rs.50 for children. The entry fee is excluded for senior citizens, children below 5 years, and disabled people.
Raj Bhawan or Governor House, Nainital:
The Raj Bhawan or the Governor House is one of the most prominent government buildings in the Nainital district and is a summer residence of the Governor of Uttarakhand.
Known for its grand architecture of the British era, the Raj Bhawan in Nainital a symbol of British heritage.
The Raj Bhawan was constructed in the year 1899 and was the official residence of the Governor of North-Western province during the British Era.
Located 3.5 Kilometers away from the Tallital bus stand of Nainital, the Raj Bhawan is an impressive building, built in the Gothic architecture style of European pattern and is a sight to behold.
The architecture of the Raj Bhawan is similar to the Buckingham Palace in London comprising 113 rooms and covering a vast area of about 205 acres.
The Governor’s house was a summer retreat for the British VIPs and guests during their visit to Nainital.
If you want to experience the grandeur of the Governor’s House you can include The Raj Bhawan Tour during your Nainital visit.
You can explore its vast expanse, visit the nearby vast area of the Raj Bhawan Golf Course (45 acres), and have a glimpse of the beauty of nature from there.
The Raj Bhawan is open to the public on all weekdays except on Sundays and all national holidays. The place is open from the early morning (8 am) till the evening hours and the entry fee is charged at Rs. 50 per person and Rs. 450 for the Raj Bhawan Golf Course.
The Raj Bhawan in Nainital is a must-visit for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts.
Himalayan Botanical Garden:
One of the most prominent tourist attractions of Nainital, the Botanical Garden is a place to visit if you are a nature lover. The Himalayan Botanical Garden is a unique attraction in Nainital.
It is famous for its diverse collection of rare and exotic plants and trees.
This massive botanical garden was established in 2005 and is maintained by the Nainital Forest Division. The garden is spread across 30 acres and has a vast range of various Himalayan flora and fauna.
It is also home to a variety of grasses and medicinal herbs.
In the botanical garden, you can find many herbs with medicinal properties like American basil, Leopard Lily, Persian cumin, Chirayata, Riddhi, and Kayru.
It maintains the conservation of almost 100 rare Himalayan plants and flowering plants which is an ideal place for getting information about these rare species of plants.
It is famous for various plants like butterfly orchids, bromeliads, and camellias and many of them are on display. The park is also famous for its butterfly park, orchidarium, herbarium, fernery, geodesic dome, zero points, and library.
The botanical garden is open to the public throughout the year but the best time to visit the place is from March to June and October.
This picturesque Nainital town is one of the closest towns to the resort of Shimla and is a great place to base yourself for a visit to the hills.
Surround yourself with the sounds of nature, relax on the immaculate shores of the lake, and watch the sunset over the mountains from one of the most magnificent spots in India.
Date of Birth-6.5.1983
Mother tongue- Bengali
Place of Living-West Bengal, Kolkata.
Name of Father- Prakas Ch Nayak
Education- Ph. D in Biotechnology, 2017; Master of Biotechnology, 2012; B.tech in Biotechnology, 2006.
Job profile- teaching assistant; online tutor in life sciences, online academic content writer in Life Sciences, content writer intern (present).