Nainital, Uttarakhand, India is one of the most popular hill stations of India. It is famous for its lake, after which it is named. The town has a population of 38,560 (2001 est.)
View of Nanda Devi Massif and Nanda Devi East
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.
Nainital , also known as Lake District of Uttarakhand, is named after the goddess Naina Devi. It is located around Naini Lake in Uttarakhand. If you are planning to feel tourism of Nainital , the best time to visit there in between May to July, the summer time in India.
The weather in Nainital is quite pleasant. Summers are mildly warm and temperatures may reach 22 C. During winter, temperatures may be sub-zero. The town receives snowfall during December and January.
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:
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.
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.
FARE - Rs 2250/$ 90 for adults, Rs 1400/$ 55 for children.
Taxi fare is around Rs 1100-1200.
There are a few cycle rickshaws in town. Rates are fixed at 10 rupees from one end of the mall to the other.
However, there is no better way to explore Nainital than on foot. The mall has smooth pavements, making it extremely pedestrian-friendly. During the summer season, all traffic is denied entry on the mall from 6 to 9PM, making the road a pedestrian's dream. The town is not very large and there are some very interesting shops and emporiams on the mall, making the walk a pleasure.
Snow View, Sher-Ka-Danda Ridge. Located at an altitude of 2270 m, Snow View offers spectacular views of the Naina Devi Peak. It can be reached by the Aerial Express Ropeway. Round trip:Rs 100. One-way: Rs 50. There is a place called Mountain Magic, which offers Bumping cars, Go karting facilities.
Nanda Devi Temple, Naini Lake. The temple was destroyed during the Landslip of 1880, and was later rebuilt. It is on the lake's northern shore.
St. John in the Wilderness, Mallital. This charming church was named and founded by the Bishop of Calcutta.
Tiffin Top, Aryapatta Hill. Altitude: 2292 m. To get here you can drive up to Sherwood College and then continue on a short scenic walk.
Gurney House, Aryapatta Hill. This was the former home of Jim Corbett. It has been converted into a museum and houses Corbett memorabilia.
Guano Hills, Pangot. These hills in the Pangot village are excellent for walks through forests of thick oak, bamboo and deodar. Some rare birds such as the grey woodpecker and black-chinned babbler are found in the forests.
Naina Devi Temple, This temple was constructed in the 15th Century during the Kushan reign but on other hand, an another version states that it was built by Moti Ram Shah .
Naina Lake, Naini Lake is set amidst seven mountains that surround this stagnant water pool and high peaks that almost touch the sky. .
Sariyatal, Sariyatal is a stream on Kaladhungi Road. The water in the stream is extremely cold but is a nice place to spend some time.
Boating in Naini Lake is a must. Paddle boats can be hired by the hour. You can also hire a yacht from the Nainital Boat Club, which costs Rs 120+5(tax) per hour and comes with a boatman.
Shopping - There are two main shopping areas, The Mall and Barra Bazaar. Traditional buys have included shawls, scarves, cardigans and local jams. You can also buy wodden handicrafts which are good and cheap option for souvenirs.
Feed the animals at the Nainital Zoo(Gobind Ballabh Pant Altitude Zoo), where you will find some high-altitude species that are native to the region. . Zoo Entry Fee: Rs 25 and Rs.10 for children 25 rupees extra for a camera, closed on Mondays. The zoo also has an interesting sponsorship programme where you can sponsor the maintenance and food of the animal of your choice. The zoo is spread over a wide area and requires lot of walking, so visit only if you are comfortable with that.
Explore the caves: 2 Kms further up from Mallital (northern end of the lake) is a cave complex(6 caves i.e.Tiger,Panther,Porcupine,Bats,Flying Fox and apes). This consists of a series of caves which get narrower as you progress. People who are claustrophobic should not explore the later ones and there is a facility to get out after every cave. Ensure to wear clothes which would enable you to crawl etc.
Trek to Naina/China Peak, the highest point in the region(8622ft). You can get scenic views of the whole region. Hiking there takes around 60 mins and is not so strenuous. Also you can see a panoramic view of snow capped himalayas further north (in sep, oct and nov only). On the top of the mountain you can find a small tea shop serving bread omelet, some biscuits, tea and coffee for a reasonable price. Not many people go there and so its a good option to escape from this busy, greedy world
View from top of Naina Peak
Trek to Tiffin's Top. Its a slightly touristy place and you can feel the rush there. You can get on a horse also to go to the top(Rs. 300-1000). The Horse ride is an extremely nice experience, but ensure that ladies travel in front of the male member, since the horsewallas usually have the male member in the front and female member in the back and once you are on top of the horse, you cannot see how the horse man is treated the woman.
But its not so tough to hike there. On the top of this hill, one can find all kinds of shops, flocking with people
Neem Karoli Baba Ashram & Temple, Kainchi (Kainchidham), Kainchi (18 Km from Nainital on the road going to Almora), . Neem Karoli Baba Ashram & Temple is a Hindu religious centre, and temple, dedicated to Shri Neem Karoli Baba, a Hindu saint and Guru in the Indian tradition. Many of his devotees visit this temple from all over the world.
Ram Lal & Bros, Bara Bazar, Mallital. Perhaps,the finest and most exclusive and tasteful store for shawls, tweeds and other woolens. The owner is a fine gentleman with great taste. He is fourth generation with the store being more then 100 years old.
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.
Nainital has a few good universities which offer short courses. Rock-climbing courses are a another option.
5 Day Youth Camp at Van Niwas, Bara Patthar. Apr-Jun, May-Sep. The camp activities include a basic rock-climbing course, Yoga and meditaion in the mornings, trekking around Nainital, star-gazing and various cultural programs. The camp is educational, interesting and reasonably priced. However, the food is vegetarian and no alcohol is allowed. Rs 2200, only Rs 400 is non-refundable. To apply, contact The Convenor - Camps, Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Delhi Branch, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi - 110016. For more information regarding the accommodation and activities, call 235737, the Van Niwas phone number in Nainital. If you pay by cheque, it should be payable to Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch Trust.
Vipassana Meditation Course by Dr. Ravindra Deo. Aug 4-20. The courses are held in both Hindi and English. There is no fixed centre, venues change every day, and the lessons are usually out in the open. The course focuses on relaxing the mind, body and soul through introspection and interaction with the outside environment. Contact Dr. Ravindra Reo at B.D. Pande Hospital, Tel: 2012/22.
Kumaon University is headquartered in Nainital, with a smaller branch in Almora. It offers numerous temporary courses. 
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