Thursday, September 17, 2009


Nainital is a glittering jewel in the Himalyan necklace, blessed with scenic natural spledour and varied natural resources . Dotted with lakes, Nainital has earned the epithet of 'Lake District' of India . The most prominent of the lakes is Naini lake ringed by hills . Nainital has a varied topography . Some of the important places in the district are Nainital , Haldwani , Kaladhungi , Ramnagar , Bhowali , Ramgarh , Mukteshwar , Bhimtal , Sattal and Naukuchiatal . Nainital’s unending expense of scenic beauty is nothing short of a romance with awe-inspiring and pristine Mother nature.

Nainital is headquarter of Nainital District. It is also divisional Headquarter of Kumaon Division of Uttarakhand State.Set amidst the towering peaks of the Kumaon Hills, the lake resort of Nainital has a lot to offer. From boating to feeding animals at the zoo; from picnicking on the hills to exploring Jim Corbett's home, Nainital has all that you could hope for in a hill station. Nainital is set in two parts, Tallital and Mallital, with the lake separating them. Tallital is the southern side of the lake, while Mallital consists of the northern upper reaches. The town was destroyed during the Landslip of 1880, and later rebuilt by the British. It is renowned for its lake, bird's-eye views, and prestigous educational institutions.


Area 11.73 sq km
Altitude 1938 m above sea level
Population 29.837
Languages Hindi, Kumaoni, English
Religion Hinduism (75.80%), Islam (15.23%), Sikhism(8.43%), Others (0.54%)
Annual Mean Rainfall 1294.5 mm
Maximum Temperature 25°C
Minimum Temperature 7.6°C
STD Code 05942


Nainital's weather is pleasant throughout the year. Summers are warm but not hot. The temperatures in the summer season hovers around the 25 degrees Celsius mark. However, during winters, Nainital can become pretty cold with temperatures easily going below zero degrees Celsius. Snowfall is a regular phenomenon during the winter months, in Nainital.
During the monsoons, Nainital gets quite a lot of rainfall and the monsoon climate generally lasts from July till September, each year.


By train
The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, 35 km away. Taxis charge Rs 250-300 to Nainital. . Most hotels will arrange for a pick up on prior request, Rs 600-900.
Here are some useful trains to get to Nainital:

Train Number Train Name You may board at You may alight at
5013 Ranikhet Express Delhi Kathgodam
5035 Uttarakhand Sampark Kranti Express Delhi Kathgodam
3019 Bagh Express Howrah(Kolkata), Lucknow Kathgodam
4120 Dehradun-Kathgodam Express Dehradun, Haridwar Kathgodam

By road
There are daily bus services from Delhi. The buses leave from ISBT Anand Vihar delhi
and are run by Uttarakhand Roadways. Driving to Nainital takes 7 to 8 hours. From Delhi, it's highway driving throughout. NH 24 connects Delhi to Rampur via Hapur. At Rampur, turn and
head north on NH 87 all the way up to Nainital. En-route halts include the Wonderland, Rwy crossing, Moradabad and The Cottage, Jeliokot.

By plane
Contrary to popular belief, flying into Nainital is the fastest way to reach the hill station. Nainital is served by PantNagar Airport, located about 2 hours away. It is served only by Jagson airlines. It is one of the least busy airports in the country, handling only 6 scheduled flights a week.

JA 101 - Dep. Delhi 1315 Arr. PantNagar 1415 (Mon, Wed, Fri)
JA 102 - Dep. Delhi 1445 Arr. PantNagar 1545 (Mon, Wed, Fri)
FARE - Rs 2250/$ 90 for adults, Rs 1400/$ 55 for children.
Taxi fare is around Rs 1100-1200.


Naini Lake
Naini Lake forms the nub of the beauty of Nainital. Girdled by lofty hills studded with attractive villas and cottages, it is the most frequented tourist visitation of the hill station. The exquisiteness of this lake is doubly magnified during the night when its sparkling waters flirt with the numerous lights hanging on its edges, and lend it an unbelievably beautiful magical aura. There are also opportunities for yachting, boating and paddling that makes it equally enticing during the day.

Naina Peak
Also popular as China Peak, Naina Peak stands tall as the highest peak of Nainital, at an altitude of 2611 meters. Positioned 6 km from the main town, it offers inviting views of the surrounding landscape. One can have 360o view of the snowOne can have 360o view of the snow-cloaked Himalayan peaks flanking the rolling vistas below. Besides, Nainital expresses herself in full magnificence from this peak. Ponies and horses are easily available to reach the place.

Snow View
An uphill drive of 2.5 km through the winding mountain streets of Nainital takes one to the lap of Snow View, which is one of the most easily

accessible hilltops of the place. One can even reach the place by a ropeway (chair lift), on horseback or simply by taking a refreshing walk through the town. At a height of 2270 meters, it gives breathtaking views of the Northern Himalayan ranges with their unmatched snow-laden splendor.

Hanuman Garhi
For religious-minded tourists, one of the must-visit places is Hanuman Garhi in Nainital. Watching the sun gliding down the mountains is what makes the place the most interesting. Though popular for its spectacular sunset views, another highlight of the spot is the Hanuman temple located atop a nearby hill. Dedicated to the Hindu deity ‘Hanuman’, it found establishment under the hands of Baba Neem Kiroli and forms one of the place’s most popular tourist hotspots today.

Astronomical Observatory
Another tourist attraction that merits a visitation while on a trip to Nainital is the Astronomical Observatory. This 50-year old establishment perched atop the 1,950 m high Manora Peak is about 4.5 km from the main town. It is an interesting place to explore astronomical wonders. Open to public during the afternoons (working days), it remains flooded with visitors, especially during moonlit nights.

St. John Church
Another prime attraction of Nainital is the church of St. John. Built in 1844, the church stands on the northern end of town known as Mallital. It owes its name to Daniel Wilson, the Bishop of Calcutta, who visited Nainital in 1844 to lay the foundation of the church. The major highlight is a brass plaque on the altar of the chapel engraved with names of victims of the tragic Landslide of 1880.

Zoo Gardens
This high altitude wildlife sanctuary established to preserve the rich biodiversity of the hill station domiciles numerous species of exotic fauna and avifauna. It is a warm habitat to a variety of wildlife, including Snow Leopard, Siberian Tiger, Himalyan Black Bear, Barking Deer, Plam Civet Cat, Hill Fox, Ghoral, Silver Pheasants, Sambhar Deer, Owl, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Eagles etc. One can easily access the place, as it is just 1 km from the Nainital bus stand.


Budget Hotels
Sarovar TRH, Tallital. Tel: 35570.
Hotel New Bharat,Zoo road,The mall,Reservation 09411107549.
Mountain Quail, Buldakote, Pangot. Tel: 9837177537, 9837068400.
Hotel Krishna, The Mall.
Hotel New Bharat,Zoo road,The mall,Reservation 0091-9411107549.
Ashok HotelRs.800 -Single Room,Rs.2300-2800 - Double Room, Tallital

Mid-range Hotels
Grand Hotel,The Mall. Tel: 235406,235008
Alka Hotel, The Mall.[10] Tel: 235220,236216
Palace Belvedere, Awagarh Estate
Jungle Lore Birding Lodge, Pangot.[12]
Vikram Vintage Inn, Mallital. Tel: 36177/9
Channi Raja, The Mall. Tel: 232859
Fair light trails resort, A Heritage Bungalow located atop Nainital.

Splurge Hotels
Abbotsford- Prasada Bhawan, Mallital. Tel: +91-9811040335, [13].
Arif Castles, Mallital.[14] Tel: 35801/3.
The Naini Retreat, Aryapatta Slopes. Tel: 05942 235105, 011 4652 0000
Manu Maharani, Grasmere Estate, Mallital. Tel: 37341/8.
Woodside Retreat, Pangot.[15] Tel: 4524878/4.

There are also a number of private villas offering accommodation in and around Nainital.
The Hermitage, Kailash, Chunkuwa, 00 91 124 4074947

Eateries In Nainital
Nainital, being close to Delhi, becomes the natural holiday destination for a lot of the capital's folks in the sweltering summer months. The eateries in Nainital reflect that with Punjabi staples being standard fare - most of the better eateries are in the Mall.
Woods, Alka Hotel, The Mall. Tel:235220.
Sher-e-Punjab, The Mall. Punjabi cuisine.
Embassy, The Mall.
Machan, The Mall. Tel: 37672
Laxmi, The Mall. Tel: 37476
Shiva, Barra Bazaar. Famous for sweets and veggie fare.
Aab-O-Dana, Arif Castles, Mallital.
Kumaon, Manu Maharani, Grasmere Estate, Mallital. Tel: 37341/8
Alcohol is served in the top-end hotels. There are no good bars outside the hotels, even in the Mall.
Tea is served in the dhabas of The Mall. Try the local Herbal Chai.
Verandah, Arif Castles, Mallital. This 24-hr cafe serves excellent coffee and pastries


Nainital excursions consist of some of the finest places near the city. Excursions around Nainital, Uttarakhand are a must see for those visiting the city. Some of the famous places to visit around Nainital are:

Bhowali is situated at an altitude of 1,706 metres above sea level and is 11 kms. from Nainital. This place is very famous for the panoramic view that it provides. It is also famous as a hill fruit mart. It was established back in the year 1912.

Ghorakhal is a place that is famous for the temple of Lord Golu that is located here. Lord Golu is worshipped by the local people. There is also a Sainik School situated here.

Sat Tal
Sat tal is located at a distance of about 23 kms. from Nainital, and at an altitude of 1,370 metres above sea level. It is a very beautiful place which has seven lakes which are set in the oak forests. All these lakes are situated at an altitude of 1,370 metres. In Hindi, the word Sattal means seven lakes. This is one of the few places which is still unspoilt and unpolluted.
Every year, lots of migratory birds make their way to Sattal because of its fresh water lakes. The seven lakes that make Sattal are the following:
Panna or Garud Tal
Nal-Damyanti Tal
Purna Tal
Sita Tal
Ram Tal
Laxman Tal
Sukha Tal or Khurdariya Tal

Bhimtal is situated at an altitude of 1,370 metres above sea level and is 22 kms. from the city of Nainital. The prime attraction of Bhimtal is the Bhimtal Lake which has a beautiful island at the centre. Apart from being a main tourist destination, it is also the mini district Headquarters since
most of the offices of the district administration has been shifted here. Bhimtal is named after Bhima of Mahabharata.

Naukuchia Tal
Naukuchia Tal is located about 26 kms. from Nainital and 4 kms from Bhimtal, at an altitude of 1,220 metres above sea level. The Naukuchia Tal Lake is a beautiful lake that is 983 metres long and 693 metres broad. There is provision for rowing, padding and yachting at the lake as well.

Kainchi Dham
Kainchi Dham is located at the Nainital - Almora road, about 9 kms. from Bhowali and 17 kms. from Nainital. It is a pilgrimage centre which has achieved huge recognition for the ashram of famous Neem Karoli Maharaj. Kainchi Dham is named because of the two sharp hairpin bends of the road. Kainchi is a local term of Uttarakhand..

Another very important excursion around Nainital is Mukteshwar. Situated at an altitude of 2,286 metres, it is in the Kumaon hills. As with most of the other places of Uttarakhand, Mukteshwar provides a beautiful view with the Himalayan ranges surrounding it. From here, one can view the second highest peak of India, Nanda Devi. A renewable park which is developed by The Energy and Research Institure (TERI) is also a prime attraction of Mukteshwar. This park uses solar energy for its electricity needs.

Located about 60 kms. from Nainital, Ranikhet is a very beautiful hill station. According to mythology, Ranikhet had won the heart of Rani Padmini, who was the Queen of Raja Sudhardev. Since the Queen chose Ranikhet as her place for her abode, this place came to be known Ranikhet ever since. Ranikhet, in Hindi means 'Queen's Field'. The climate is pleasant with mild summers and chilled winter. This is among the few unexplored destinations offering serene environment, traffic-less streets, and hospitable people.

Kausani is another excursion spot that is located not too far from Nainital. It is situated in some thick pine forests, on top of a narrow ridge. Mahatma Gandhi spent 12 days in the year 1929, in Kausani and he penned his experience on the Geeta Anashakti Yoga. It is an ideal spot for those looking to get away from the usual hustle-bustle of the city.

Almora The hill station of Almora, located in the Kumaon hills, has fascinated travellers from all over the world. It is among the very few hill stations not developed by the English. Geographically, Almora is surrounded by Pithoragarh in the east, Garhwal in the west, Bageshwarin in the north and Nainital in the south. Placed over a picturesque horseshoe-shaped ridge, some of the major attractions of Almora are G. B. Pant Museum, Kasar Devi Temple, Chitai Temple and Udyotchandesvar Temple (also Nanda Devi Temple).

Corbett National Park Set up in 1936, the Corbett National Park is India’s first national park. Situated on the foothills of western Himalayas, the park has grown including the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of its 1,319 sq. km of reserved area. The park is situated mainly along the valley of the Ramganga River. The river swarms with gharial, mugger, mahseer and flocks of cormorants. Apart from tigers (90 in number in 1984), leopards, jungle cats, fishing cats, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, jackal, yellow-throated marten, dhole, Himalayan palm civet, Indian grey mongoose, common otter, porcupine, and black-naped hare are found all over the park. Elephants can be seen in the park.


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