Top Things To Do in Nainital | Nainital Travel Guide

By Rutuja Bhagwat - December 19, 2018


Settled among the elevated Himalayas, Nainital is a genuinely reviving change from the dullness that portrays a townfolk's life. Pleasant valleys, quiet lakes, wandering waterways, wonderful views from the cliffs and the chilly weather...they all add to the magnetism of this place. Nainital has a variety of spots that you can explore, from natural surroundings to bustling milieu. 

I recommend the early winters as the apt time to visit Nainital if you wish to experience this hill station at its best. The crowds are less and the prices are cheaper as compared to the hyped seasons. With that said, here's a rundown of things for you to do when you are in Nainital.


NAINI LAKE - BOAT RIDING, SHOPPING, WALKING


The city "Naini Tal" literally means the "Naini Lake". So it is undeniably essential to do things around this lake to get the real taste of Nainital. I highly recommend taking a boat ride for its foggy horizons and quiet waters. Come here during the offseason (November-end to the first week of December) to have the most amazing experience. The summer months are crowded and you won't enjoy as much as you would on a quiet winter afternoon. (The ticket is surprisingly affordable; Rs 210 for a full ride and Rs 160 for a partial.) Apart from the boat riding, there are stalls selling seasonal goodies. In winters, you come across shawls, cheap woollen coats, beanies, and other interesting items. After boat riding and shopping, just take a walk along its shores. Happiness is guaranteed. 


THE MALL ROAD 

The Mall Road was built during the British days and is a prominent street in Nainital. It runs parallel to the Naini Lake and witnesses tourists and locals alike. It is home to shops, cafes, departmental stores, and restaurants. With cool winds blowing all over, a night walk through the street has its own appeal. (Mall Road has some traffic rules: The entry of heavy traffic is not allowed in May, June, and October from 8:00 am to 10:30 am and then from 2:30 pm to 10:30 pm and for light vehicles, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Parking is strictly prohibited on the Mall Road except for some designated parking spaces.)

The 'Tiger' Cave inside Eco Cave Park

ECO CAVE PARK 

The Eco Cave Park includes six manmade caves that give you an idea of the structured habitats of certain species. At present, you can come across caves belonging to tigers, panthers, bats, squirrels, flying foxes, and apes. The park is well-maintained and is ideal for families, especially for families with kids. The entry fee is Rs 20 for adults and Rs 10 for children. (Extra charges for professional cameras Rs 25.)


NAINA DEVI TEMPLE 

Admired as one of the fifty-one Shakti Peeths of India, the Naina Devi Temple is a sanctified site close to the Naini Lake. It is committed to Devi Sati's eyes, hence the name 'Naina Devi'. The temple goes back to as old as 15 A.D. The presiding deity is Maa Naina Devi also known as Mata Sati. There are idols of Maa Kali and Lord Ganesha too.



TIFFIN TOP 

Surrounded by the Kumaon area, the Tiffin Top is an ideal place for family picnics. It is a place for nature lovers. For the adventurers, there are activities like rappelling and rock climbing. Tiffin Top is otherwise called Dorothy's Seat since it is given to the English craftsman named Dorothy Kellett. Encompassed by Oaks and Deodars, this pretty site overlooks Naini Lake, Nanda Devi and Kumaon Hills. 

The mango-shaped Naini Lake as seen from the Naini Lake Viewpoint


NAINI LAKE VIEWPOINT 

Wonder how people click photographs of the mango-shaped Naini Lake? That's from this viewpoint. You can hire a local cab to reach here as it is easily accessible by road; rather, this viewpoint is situated at a small cliff by the roadside. From here, you can view the Naini Lake and adore its mango shape. You have food stalls with Maggi, chips, and the like. Another interesting thing is the guy with the telescope. He shows you some points like the place from Main Hoon Na (where Shah Rukh Khan saves his brother) and a couple of more things. The charges to use this telescope vary, but you can certainly bargain.

HORSE RIDING 

Horse riding is a standout amongst the most essential attractions of Nainital. Horses are used here as a method of transportation to visit faraway places in the city. In spite of the fact that horse riding is restricted inside the city, you can still enjoy it at the Bara Pathar. You can do horse riding at the horse stand for Tiffin Top and Naina Peak as well as at the Himalaya Darshan point. 

Posing at the Himalaya Darshan Point (notice the horse behind?)

HIMALAYA DARSHAN POINT 

This viewpoint lies by the roadside too. It is while in the transit to Kilbury, about 5 km away from Nainital, the elevation being 2,310 metres. You can have a look at the Trishul peaks from here along with lush green valleys and forested edges. You can opt for horse riding too. And, similar to the Naini Lake Viewpoint, even here you come across a man with the telescope who shows Trishul peaks up close, a distant monastery, a temple, and a few more places. He charged Rs 100 (for four people).

NAINITAL ROPEWAY 

The Nainital Ropeway is a noteworthy attraction in Nainital that draws several tourists every day. Taking this ride gives you stunning views of the Naini Lake. This ropeway takes you from the Mallital to the Snow View Point. The ride is about 9 minutes long (1.8 km). The ticket is Rs 150 for adults and Rs 100 for kids (not sure of the current rate). 

NAINITAL ZOO 

Nainital Zoo is extraordinary compared to other attractions for nature lovers. Formally named as Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, it is also known as the High Altitude Zoo. It is a well-maintained zoo and is in fact, the only zoo in the entire Uttarakhand state. The zoo is spread across 4.693 hectares and has various endangered species. It is situated at a height of 2,100 meters. It is locally called as 'Sher ka Danda'. Timings are 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and the ticket is Rs 50 for adults and Rs 20 for kids. 

Clicked at the Lover's Point/Suicide Point

LOVER'S POINT & SUICIDE POINT 

Lover's Point and Suicide Point are two close-by points in Nainital which are well known for the picturesque views they offer. In summers, this place is a major fascination amongst the visitors. These points are loved by those who do not have mountains around their home and those who miss on breathtaking valley views. One can have roasted corn and shop little souvenirs from here. The Horse Stand lies close to these points. 

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