Don’t Miss Out On These Exotic Tourist Places In Nainital
Centrally located among the Kumaon Hills, Nainital stands out as one of the most beautiful places in India attracting thousands of tourists across the country. This pretty hill station is famed to be one of the earliest British settlements set around the magnificent Nainital Lake. From the remnants of British past to some fun and adventurous sites, Nainital sightseeing is popular among anyone who is looking for a great vacation in India. Also, known for its pleasant weather, there are some amazing tourist places in Nainital. If you are looking for a relaxing weekend getaway, far from the hustle bustle of the city, we suggest you plan your next trip here.
Surrounded by lush green hills on all sides, Nainital is known for its spectacular scenic beauty. You will be thrilled to know that this tiny district is indeed a treasure trove of natural landscapes, hills, and beautiful lakes & among one of the major tourist destinations in Uttarakhand. Now, it’s time to set out on our journey to explore this incredibly fascinating lake town.
Top 17 Places To Visit Nainital
- Nainital Lake
- Sattal Lake
- Bhimtal Lake
- High Altitude Zoo
- Eco Cave Gardens
- Mukteshwar Temple
- Kainchi Dham
- Tiffin Top
- Naina Peak and Snow View Point
- Astronomical Observatory
- Sariyatal and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary
- The Mall Road and Bhotia Market
- Raj Bhavan
- Gurney House
- Khurpatal lake
- Naina Devi Temple
- Land’s End
1. Nainital Lake
Did you know that Nainital lake was mentioned in India’s ancient scriptures and vedic poems? It is one of the four lakes of Kumaon hills namely – Sattal, Bhimtal, and Naukuchiyatal Lake. Many prominent writers have spoken in detail about this exquisite lake and the famous Naina Devi Temple is also located nearby. The lake is completely surrounded by green hills, which add to the fascinating landscape. Also, don’t miss the famous boat rides near the lake! This is one of the most fun things to do in Nainital. You can click as many pictures as you want and capture some terrific landscape shots!
Being a natural freshwater lake, environmentalists are concerned about retaining its freshness. Efforts are ongoing to protect this natural wonder.
Location: Kumaon District. You can travel via public transport as the Sukhatal and Tallital bus stands are quite close by to the lake.
2. Sattal Lake
The name Sattal means a body of 7 freshwater lakes in the lower Himalayan range. This lake is located near Bhimtal, which is a popular town in the district of Nainital. Sattal is one of the few unpolluted freshwater biomes in India. The oak and pine trees surrounding the lake add to its beauty and you can also find many migrated birds in the vicinity. While planning your weekend getaway, you can consider this as a decent location for affordable accommodation in Nainital.
Location: The river of the bodies is situated at and height of 1370 meters and it is right below the lush orchards of the Mehragaon village.
3. Bhimtal Lake
Located in the town of Bhimtal, this lake has historical significance. It is famous for the masonry dam built in the year 1883, which provided good storage facility and has a catchment area of around 17.12 square kilometres which is quite large and widespread. Also, did you know that Bhimtal Lake is the largest lake in the Kumaon region, which is popularly known as the Lake District of India owing to the density of lakes present here? The Bhimtal Lake also provides drinking water, which does not threaten the natural habitat of the different species of fish living inside the lake.
Location: More than 22 kilometres away from Nainital, you can reach this place via train.
Kathgodam Railway Station is the closest which is at a distance of 20 kilometres from the lake.
4. High Altitude Zoo
Pt G.B. Pant High Altitude is one of the most famous popular places to visit in Nainital. Situated on the Sher Ka Danda Hill at a height of 2100 meters, it is one of the high altitude zoos in India. A safe home for many endangered species, the zoo offers tourists a chance to explore the magnificent flora and fauna of the region. Some of the animals and birds, which you can spot here are the Royal Bengal Tiger, Tibetan Wolves, Lady Amherst Pheasant, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Golden Pheasant etc.
On World Environment Day and Earth Day, if you happen to visit the zoo, don’t forget to take part in all the fun activities. Visiting the zoo is indeed one of the most exciting things to do in Nainital. Situated between the Shivalik and Himalayan Mountain Ranges, the zoo is famed for hosting a forest cover of evergreen trees. The zoo is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. This is usually the best time to visit this place.
Location: The zoo is connected to the city by road and buses are also available from Tallital Bus Station. You can also choose to climb up the mountain roads to the zoo or simply opt for a cab ride. The steep hill road makes for an interesting trekking trip with friends and family, surrounded by a terrific landscape all around you.
5. Eco Cave Gardens
If you enjoy exploring the unknown and yearn for adventure, then this is the perfect place for you! The Eco Cave Garden is located just a kilometre away from the Mall Road and introduces you to the Himalayan way of life. The caves here have different dimensions, which narrow down further into the tunnels giving it a natural look. So if you’re looking to discover the kind of spaces where animals reside in the Himalayas, this is one of the popular places to visit in Nainital on a weekend getaway.
The caves here are named as Tiger Cave, Panther Cave, Bats cave, Squirrel Cave, Flying Fox Cave, and Apes Cave, each of them depicting a particular animal’s habitat. Petroleum lamps illuminate the caves and there is also a musical fountain, which adds to the beauty. Eco Cave Garden is known for its primeval landscape to give you a glimpse of the prehistoric times. Mornings are usually the best time to visit this place.
And here is a quick tip for all of you. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes as you would have to crawl between some narrow spaces.
Location: It is located at the Sukhatal region of Nainital and falls on the Kaladungi road. Reaching here is hassle free as most of the transportation facilities are quite close by.
6. Mukteshwar Temple
Mukteshwar temple is more than 350 years old and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A famous tourist place, it is situated 51 kilometres from Nainital. It has a stunning mountaintop view and summers are usually the best time to visit Nainital.
Location: Situated in the Kumaon Hills, many tourists prefer road vehicles to reach this place. However, if you prefer airways, the nearest airport is at Pantnagar and the nearest railway station is at 65 kilometres from the town.
7. Kainchi Dham
Situated at an altitude of 1400 meters, just 17 kilometres away from the main city of Nainital, this place was founded in 1962 and ever since it remains as an important center for the followers of Shri Neem Karoli Baba. Your visit to Nainital would be incomplete if you do not pay a visit to this well-known pilgrim centre of Kainchi Dham. The sacred temple is located among hills and trees with a river flowing besides it.
On 15th of June every year, the temple celebrates the Pratistha Divas when a large number of devotees visit the place. The temple complex also has a cave area where Baba Neem Karoli spent his time praying and it is considered a place of reverence among all devotees. You would be thrilled to know that Steve Jobs (Former CEO and Co-Founder of Apple) and Mark Zuckerberg (Co-Founder of Facebook) are known to have visited the temple.
Location: Kainchi Dham, Nainital District, Uttarakhand
8. Tiffin Top also known as Dorothy’s Seat
One of the popular tourist places to visit in Nainital, the Tiffin Top is a place where you can get enjoy the spectacular scenery of Nainital from its highest point. Also called the Dorothy’s Seat, it is located on the Ayarpatta Hills, offering a gorgeous 360-degree view of the Lake District. If you love hiking, we suggest you visit this place during summers. It is perfect for a weekend getaway. The Tiffin Top makes for an amazing 4 kilometres ride from the main city where you can go by foot or hire a pony that is easily available from the Mall Road.
The horse riding up the hill is a fun filled adventure and other activities like rock climbing are also available on the Tiffin Top. The spectacular mountain views and the panoramic landscapes offer an opportunity for photographers to capture one of the most amazing lakes and hills of India.
Location: Ayarpatta, Nainital, Uttarakhand
9. Naina Peak and Snow View Point
Situated at an altitude of 2,615 kilometres, Naina Peak is known for its breathtaking bird’s eye perspective of the town, the Himalayas and furthermore, the immense breadths of the Terai areas of Kumaon. The Nanda Devi Peak and the mountains of the Tibet border are visible from the top of this peak. Also known as the China Peak (before the 1962 Indo-China war), it is situated at a 10 kilometres distance from the Tallital Bus Stand of Nainital. It is one of the most famous tourist places in Nainital. It is a delight for individuals who enjoy strolling and love spending time with nature.
Location: Naina Peak, Nainital
Snow View Point
This is one of the most visited tourist places in Nainital. The mountain also has a great view of the Nainital lake. From the top of the mountain, you can get a full view of the city which looks fabulous. If you notice, there will be a place which says The highest mountain in the British empire. Before Sikkim became a part of India, Naina Devi was India’s highest peak.
10. Astronomical Observatory
This observatory known as the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences is a place for doing astronomical studies. It was built in the year 1955 to encourage research in this field. It is funded by Department of Science and Technology. With permission, you can also have a look at the various celestial bodies through the telescope in the observatory. For science enthusiasts and those who are interested in astrophysics and related domains, this place is a must visit!
Location: The observatory is at a 4.5 kilometres distance from Nainital, which you can easily reach through any means of transportation.
11. Sariyatal and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary
One of the most beautiful lakes in the city of Nainital, the residents and tourists adore this place for the tranquil ambience it provides. Yet another popular tourist place in Nainital, it also has a Himalayan Botanical garden nearby, which you can visit if you are interested in different varieties of flowers. It is a great place for those who are involved in the study of botany and science.
Location: The place is 5 kilometres from the main town of Nainital. It falls on the way to Kaladhungi.
Kilbury bird sanctuary is the perfect destination for anyone who enjoys birdwatching. Did you know that it is also called the bird watcher’s paradise? Most people who visit this place are frequent visitors who love exploring the science of ornithology (which is all about different species of birds)
The bird sanctuary has more than 580 different species of birds, which is a delight for all bird lovers. Some of the most famous birds which are a part of this sanctuary include Brown wood owls, white throated laughing thrushes, forktails, and many other fascinating birds.
Location: Kilbury Bird Sanctuary is at a distance of 12 kilometres from Nainital. You can choose to reach here through any convenient public transport or your private vehicle. Many affordable options like taxis are also available from Nainital to bring you here.
12. The Mall Road and Bhotia Market
Constructed during the British colonial rule, Mall Road is the main primary road which goes through the core of the Nainital town parallel to the lake. It is now known as the Govind Ballabh Pant Marg. The road is one of the most vibrant tourist places to visit in Nainital.
Mall Road has many hotels, travel agencies, banks, showrooms, department stores, shops, restaurants and cafes. You will find some of the best hotels in Nainital located here. With the cool wind blowing over the lake through the road, a night walk around the mall is super refreshing. It is a famous shopping centre among tourists and provides a splendid view of the Nainital Lake. Some specialties which you can find here include unique candles in different shapes and sizes, wooden artefacts and locally produced handloom products which are widely popular among the tourists. An interesting fact about this place is that many popular Bollywood movies like Kati Patang and Koi Mil Gaya were shot in this location.
This market is located near the Naina Devi Temple. It is one of the most famous tourist places in Nainital. If you are looking for beautiful scarves, designer bags, winter garments like shawls or mufflers or ethnic items, this is the place where you should pay a visit while you are visiting Nainital on a holiday.
The woollen wear offered here is famous for being intricately woven by Almora women. There are also some fancy restaurants and cafés where you can dine or enjoy street food which is available in Indian and Tibetan cuisines. Do not miss out on trying the delicious momos and noodles offered in this place.
Location: Near Nanda Devi Path, Nainital, Uttarakhand
13. Raj Bhavan
Built by the British as a residence for the Governor of then North West Province of India, the Raj Bhawan is one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Nainital. Raj Bhawan was built as a replica of Buckingham Palace built in Victorian Gothic style designed by the architect F.W Stevens.
Spread over 200 acres of land, this place is renowned for its Golf Course which is counted as one of the vintage golf courses of India and many golf tournaments are organized here. The Raj Bhawan remains closed on Sundays and all other national holidays. The timings for visiting are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm or 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
Location: It is 3 kilometres from Mall Road. One can easily reach the place by walking or taking a rickshaw from Nainital Bus Stand.
14. Gurney House
Situated in the Ayarpatta slopes of Nainital, Gurney House used to be the residence of renowned hunter-conservationist and writer Jim Corbett. Decades after Corbett left, Gurney House continues to maintain its colonial charm. It houses Corbett’s furniture, possessions, and famous writings. A visit to the Gurney house is indeed a nostalgic journey.
Before Corbett left India, he sold the house to Mr. Sharda Prasad Varma in the year 1947 and it is now owned by his granddaughter, Nilanjana Dalmia. Gurney House is a private residence but history buffs who also happen to love Corbett’s work are given a complimentary tour of this heritage property. Though it has been a home for the Varma family since 1947, they maintained the building’s historical legacy as it still houses Corbett’s possessions, namely his trophies, African drum, boat, fishing rod, books, and antique furniture.
So on your next visit to Nainital make sure that you do not forget to visit these exotic tourist places and experience the different natural and cultural shades of this beautiful hill station.
15. Khurpatal Lake
This lake, located at a distance of 10 kilometres from Nainital, is a less explored spot in the town. For those looking to get away from the tourist rush, this is the place to be at!
The emerald lake looks heavenly with a thick vegetation cover on its left and a string of colourful cottages on its right. A variety of fish live wholly in its freshwater allowing for activities like fishing and angling.
The temperatures here remain soothing throughout the year, including summers, making it ideal for casual strolls and DIY treks that would help you bond stronger with nature.
Go for: Fishing and trekking.
16. Naina Devi Temple
Believed to have been built in the 15th century AD, this temple has long drawn pilgrims to the town. It is located atop the Naina Hill, at the northern end of the Nainital Lake. Dedicated to Goddess Sati, the temple comprises of a vast courtyard, a sacred peepal tree and idols of Hindu deities. The inner sanctum houses the figure of the presiding deity representing her in the form of eyes.
Devotees come to visit this temple in large numbers during the Navratri (September to October), Shravani Mela (July to August) and Chaitra Mela (March to April). Grand fairs are organised on all these occasions, celebrated with high energy and devotion.
To reach the temple, you can walk a short distance from the main bus stand of Nainital, and from other locations in the town, you can take readily available taxis and autos.
Go for: Prayers and peace.
17. Land’s End
To witness a grand view of valleys and the Khurpatal Lake from a height of roughly 2000 metres, head to Land’s End, located at about 4 kilometres from Nainital. You can take a vehicle to Barapathar followed by a leisurely 1-kilometre trek. As an alternative, horseback rides are also available for better access.
The ultimate point of Land’s End is the cliff where the town seems to have reached a dead-end. From this point, the views of the terraced fields and neighbouring hills give off countryside vibes. The sight of the Khurpatal Lake changing colour every hour is quite fascinating, from intensely aquamarine to mirror-like silver and then into pale orange.
Spread a blanket and lie back with a book, or simply absorb the views to explore Nainital.
Go for: Views and relaxation.
P.s. You might like these related resources:
- Summer, Monsoon or Winter Tour in Nainital?
- 12 Surreal Weekend Getaways from Nainital
- Top 6 Homestays Options While Travelling To Nainital
Hi! I am Paridhi. When not downing endless cups of coffee and binge-ing on Masala Fries, I can be found deeply engrossed in contemporary novels. Delhiite by birth and nomad by passion. I travel and I know things. I write travel blogs by day and binge watch thriller and rom-com by night.