10 Places To Visit In Nainital For A Much-Needed Break

Established around the glassy and brilliantly blue Naini Lake, Nainital is a small Himalayan hamlet that is a personal favorite holiday destination of both Indians as well as foreigners. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of the mighty Himalayas and the lush green hills, the tranquil atmosphere of Nainital is unrivaled.

Dotted with charming, rustic cottages, vibrant shopping markets, and lovely eateries, Nainital enhances the overall appeal of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Want to know how to go about exploring this gorgeous town? Here’s a list of 10 places to visit in Nainital in order to make the most out of Himalayan vacation and make it absolutely unforgettable.

10 Places To Visit In Nainital

  1. Naini Lake
  2. Tiffin Top
  3. Eco Cave Garden
  4. Naini Devi Temple
  5. Bhotia Market
  6. Raj Bhavan
  7. Snow View Point
  8. Kilbury Bird Sanctuary
  9. Bhimtal Lake
  10. ARIES - Astronomical Observatory

Naini Lake

When one is asked to list down some of the most beautiful lakes in this country, Nainital always finds a place on the top of that list. Named after its shape (Naini means eye), the Naini Lake is the epitome of exquisite raw natural beauty. Such is the romanticism oozing out of this glassy, blue lake, it has been mentioned over and over again in the poems composed by some of the most prominent poets. The tranquil lake surrounded by the lush green hills with the playful cool breeze blowing all over sums up to a jaw-dropping landscape.

You can simply sit by the lake in solitude and connect to yourself, spend some romantic time with your significant other, stroll around the beautiful lake along with your friends. However, your trip certainly won’t be complete without boating across Naini Lake. The views of the sun rays kissing the calm waters and the cloudy mist descending upon the picturesque town are something that will make a boat ride across the lake truly worth it. If you have a busy sightseeing schedule in Nainital, there’s absolutely no need to worry! The lake can be viewed from almost all corners of the town and can be visited at absolutely any point in the day.

Also read: Top 7 Things To Do In Uttarakhand

Tiffin Top

Tiffin Top is popular for being the highest point in the resort town and it offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the entire town of Nainital. Perched on top of the Ayarpatta Hills, this point is also known as Dorothy’s Seat (named after a British officer’s wife who passed away tragically). The gorgeous view of the incredible landscape offered by the Tiffin Top attracts several photographers every year. To add to that, nature enthusiasts love to spend some time in this calm yet exquisite location.

Known for being one of the loveliest picnic spots in Nainital, the location got its name when people started having lunch at the top of the hill. You can hike to Tiffin Top as it’s just 4 km away from Nainital. Adventure junkies will love this location as one can indulge in thrilling activities like rappelling and rock climbing here. The picturesque views and the exciting adventure activities make Tiffin Top an unmissable treat for all tourists.

Also Read: 7 Hill Stations In India Where You Can Beat The October Heat

The pristine blue waters of the Naini Lake

Eco Cave Garden

Located just a few minutes away from the Mall Road of Nainital, Eco Cave Garden is home to 6 fascinating, interconnected natural caves, the musical fountain, and the hanging gardens. The Eco Cave Garden has recently risen to popularity and is now an integral part of the places to visit in Nainital. The 6 natural caves are animal-shaped and the challenge is that you have to crawl through their narrow passages.

The agenda of Eco Cave Garden is to provide an enthralling experience to children as well as to adults. You also get a chance to experience and interact with animals in an almost-natural setting. This garden was established with the aim of letting the tourists peek into the natural habitats of the Himalayan wild animals. The most famous caves in Eco Garden are the Tiger Cave, Bat Cave, Panther Cave, Apes Cave, and Flying Fox Cave. Apart from visiting the caves, the visitors can also enjoy the hanging garden and the charming audio-visual musical fountain shows.

Naina Devi Temple

Adorning the peak of the Naina Hillock that rests on the shores of the magnificent Naini Lake, the Naina Devi Temple is one of the most venerated Hindu Temples. Renowned for being one of the Shakti Peethas who have a huge importance in the Hindu religion, this temple attracts several ardent devotees every year. According to the Hindu legend, the site of the temple is holy because that’s where the eyes of the burning Goddess Sati fell off when Lord Shiva was carrying her.

The temple complex has a massive peepal tree across which is a beautiful idol of Lord Hanuman. The sculptures of three deities namely, Naina Devi, Kali Mata, and Lord Ganesha have been established in the innermost sanctum of this temple. The temple is known for hosting a spectacular fair which lasts for about 8 days during the Nanda Ashtami. Apart from that, this sacred temple draws several believers during holy occasions like Chaitra and Navaratri every year.

The view from the Naini Devi Temple

Bhotia Market

Once you offer your prayers at the Naina Devi Temple, you can head straight to the famous Bhotia Market that’s located just a few minutes away from the temple. Satisfy the shopaholic inside you by haggling with the local vendors and purchasing all types of ethnic items as souvenirs. If you’re into luxurious shawls, mufflers, stoles, vibrant scarves, and stylish bags, you’ll find the Bhotia Market absolutely delightful.

The ethnic woolen apparel available here is actually woven by the women of Almora who are famous for their delicate and detailed weaving patterns. Apart from woolen clothes, you can find some pretty artificial jewelry, decorative wooden handicrafts, and native artifacts that tend to be excellent items to buy as souvenirs. The marketplace is dotted with some great eateries that offer some scrumptious Indian and Tibetan dishes. Don’t forget to savor the hot noodles and the momos while you shop and enjoy the cool weather of Nainital.

Raj Bhavan

Built amid a landscape adorned with tall oak and deodar trees, the Raj Bhavan or the Governor’s House was built by F.W. Steven as a summer palace for the Governor of the North West Province of India. This castle attracts tourists with its Gothic Victorian architectural style, the massive verdant golf course, the vibrant garden, and the beautiful swimming pool. Built to resemble the Buckingham Palace of London, this structure is the second Raj Bhavan in the state of Uttarakhand.

Raj Bhavan in Nainital comprises about 113 rooms and it is an absolute delight to explore the nooks and corners of this wonderful castle. A guided tour has been made available for the tourists who visit Raj Bhavan. Do keep in mind that you might not have access to all parts of the castle as it serves as a residence of the current Governor of Uttarakhand. Tourists enjoy exploring the Raj Bhavan and re-enacting the scenes from the popular Bollywood film Koi... Mil Gaya as some parts of the movie have been shot here.

Looking for hotels in Nainital? Check out our curated list here!

Snow View Point

Located at a soaring height of nearly 2,300 meters, the Snow View Point draws all snow-loving travelers with its alluring Himalayan views. Like the name indicates, the Snow Point is extremely famous for offering a spectacular view of distant Himalayan mountain peaks that are covered in a fluffy white blanket of snow. One can catch a glimpse of three of the most important mountain peaks from the Snow View Point namely the Nanda Kot Peak, the Trishul Peak, and the Nanda Devi Peak.

The locals have installed some telescopes and binoculars at this point so that you can have a better look at the Himalayan hill ranges and their magnificent, snow-clad peaks. After focusing and looking more carefully, you’ll spot a tiny temple that features the images of deities like Goddess Sita, Lord Rama, Lord Laxman, Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva, and Goddess Durga. You can choose to take an exhilarating ride in the aerial cable car in order to reach Snow View Point. This cable ride is available from the Mall Road of Mallital (which is just under 1 km from Nainital) and it offers you some really gorgeous views of the bewitching town.

Also Read: Skiing In Auli Uttarakhand

Snow point view in Nainital

Kilbury Bird Sanctuary

After traveling for about 13 km from the main city of Nainital, you’ll reach the picturesque Pangot village that houses the Kilbury Bird Sanctuary. Sitting at a height of roughly 1,980 meters above sea level, the sanctuary is a bird watcher's heaven. Being the dwelling ground of more than 580 species of birds, hiking through the magical woodlands of Kilbury will certainly be an experience of a lifetime for you.

Adventure enthusiasts can simply grab onto their binoculars, trek through the Bird Sanctuary, and catch a glimpse of several famous birds like forktails, brown wood owls, and white-throated laughing thrushes. The route to Kilbury passes through some enchanting forests that surround the majestic Naina Peak Range. Driving through this scenic route will certainly leave you mesmerized as the route is dotted with several exciting sites like the Himalaya Darshan area, and the Echo Point.

Also Read: The Valley of Flowers Trek In Uttarakhand

Bhimtal Lake

Those who want to get away from the touristic crowd of Nainital can simply drive for about 23 km and enjoy the serenity of Bhimtal Lake. Famed as one of the best lakes of Northern India, Bhimtal is an extremely important lake as it provides fresh drinking water to the residents of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Many people love visiting the island that floats right in the middle of the lake. This island entertains its visitors with a temple and an aquarium that houses many different species of fish.

The tranquility of Bhimtal can be enjoyed by going on rejuvenating morning walks along the lake. Tourists can also choose to enjoy various activities like boating across the lake and enjoying the pleasant weather of Nainital. The surroundings of the lake are rather ravishing so you could simply enjoy a relaxing stroll around the lake. Sitting at the shores of the lake and feeding the friendly ducks is how people like to end a hectic day of sightseeing in Nainital.

ARIES – Astronomical Observatory

All the science buffs will be delighted to know that Nainital houses the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), which is one of the most fascinating astronomical observatories in India. ARIES is famed for being one of India’s premier Astrophysics, Astronomy, And Atmospheric Science research institutions. Crowning the Manora Peak which is about 9 km away from the main city of Nainital, ARIES offers you some unique experiences and you should definitely keep some time aside for visiting this observatory.

The Observatory, which houses one of the country's most technologically advanced telescopes, makes it possible for you to view the twinkling stars, the magnificent moon, and the fascinating celestial bodies that are generally invisible to the naked eye.

In order to enjoy the night viewing experience to its fullest, it’s advisable to visit this observatory during the days around the full moon. If you’re traveling with your children to Nainital, make sure that you take them to visit this observatory. Not only will this experience enthrall them, but it will also educate them a lot.

The starry night sky from the ARIES astronomical observatory.

Summing Up

As we already mentioned, Nainital is filled with some wonderful locations that are visually delightful and offer a range of exciting things that can be enjoyed by tourists. No matter when you visit Nainital, you’ll always create some unforgettable memories here. We would suggest planning out the entire trip properly beforehand so that you don’t miss out on any of the great experiences and places to visit in Nainital.

FAQs

How Many Days Are Enough For Nainital?

If you want to explore this beautiful town at a leisurely pace, we would recommend spending at least 3 days in Nainital.

Does Nainital Have Snow?

The weather in Nainital is extremely cold during the winters. If you’re lucky, you might be able to witness snow in Nainital in the month of January.

How Many Taal Are There In Nainital?

The region in and around Nainital is famous for housing 7 freshwater lakes namely, Nainital, Naukuchiatal, Malwatal, Khurpatal, Bhimtal, Harishtal, Sattal, and Lokhamtal. Out of these, Nainital is the most popular amongst the tourists, Sattal is the most gorgeous one and untouched by the tourists, and Bhimtal is the largest lake of all.

Where Can I See Snow Near Nainital?

Located just 50 km away from Nainital, Mukteshwar is a Himalayan hamlet that is decorated with a mesmerizing landscape. Those who visit Nainital tend to visit Mukteshwar for a snow-filled holiday.

What Should I Wear In Nainital?

The weather in Nainital is pleasant during the days and cold during the nights. It is advisable to wear warm clothes like woolen sweaters, jackets, mufflers, shawls, and woolen socks while traveling in Nainital. Do ensure that you carry a pair of sports shoes and slippers while visiting Nainital.

Why Is Nainital So Famous?

This hill station is known for its natural beauty with pristine blue lakes, snow-capped mountains, and evergreen alpine forests. 

Which Month Is The Best For Nainital?

The tourist season at Nainital is between the months of March and June when the climate is cool and pleasant with clear blue skies and crisp, cool breeze. The flowers are also blooming during this time and the snow starts melting.

What Is The Climate Of Nainital?

Since Nainital is located at a higher elevation, the climate here is relatively cool throughout the year. The hottest month in July has an average temperature of 20°C while the coldest month in January records an average temperature of 11.2°C.