Discover the fascinating combination of stunning landscapes, historical landmarks and wildlife in Nainital. Hike to observation decks, spot the Indian snow leopard and shop amid bustling bazaars. Nainital spreads across forest-clad hills and around a lake framed by the rugged peaks of the Kumoan Himalayas. Established by the British in the mid-1800s, the town is often called the Lake District.
The pear-shaped Naini Lake is the centerpiece of this hill station. According to Hindu mythology, the lake is an eye of Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva. Cruise the tranquil waters with a rented rowboat or take a guided tour on a brightly colored gondola. Occupying the verdant hills at both ends of the lake are Nainital’s two districts: Mallital and Tallital.
Go to Mallital, the northern district, to admire the Naina Devi Temple and shop for handicrafts at Bara Bazar. Explore ancient caves at the Eco Cave Gardens and visit the colonial-era Jim Corbett Gurney House, the former home of a revered conservationist. At the opposite end, Tallital offers superb lake views. Peek inside stately rooms and stroll around pristine gardens at the Raj Bhawan. Get up-close with tigers, snow leopards and bears at Nainital Zoo.
Don’t miss a stroll along The Mall, which skirts the eastern banks of the lake and connects Mallital with Tallital. Here you’ll find an assortment of restaurants, guesthouses, hotels and textiles shops.
Explore the trails that lead into the hills to lookout points and magnificent views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Hike or ride on horseback to Naina Peak, Tiffin Top and Land’s End. Alternatively, take the picturesque cable car to Snow View. While here, enjoy some family-friendly fun at the Mountain Magic amusement park.
Nainital is about a 1-hour drive from Haldwani, where trains connect with Delhi, Kolkata and Lucknow. Get around on foot to discover the town’s scenery and maze-like streets. Mild summers and snowy winters make Nainital a popular year-round destination.