Nestled in the Kumaon foothills of the Himalayas, Nainital is amongst one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. This place is popular for its pleasant climate and several natural attractions. Thousands of tourists visit Nainital every year for a relaxing holiday experience. If you are wondering, what are the must-visit tourist places in Nainital!
Here is a list of the top 15 tourist places in Nainital.
- Naini Lake
- Naina Peak
- Eco Cave Garden
- Snow View Point
- Tiffin Top
- Himalayan Darshan Point
- Aerial Ropeway
- Nainital Zoo
- Kilbury Bird Sanctuary
- Naina Devi Temple
- Hanuman Garhi
- Corbett Falls
- Himalayan Botanical Garden
- Land’s End
1. Naini Lake
Nainital lake, popularly known as Naini Lake is a natural freshwater lake located right in the heart of the town of Nainital.
Surrounded by verdant hills Naini lake is a treat for those looking to spend some quiet time in the lap of nature.
It is one of the prime tourist attractions in Nainital. You can go boating or paddling in the lake to enjoy the alluring beauty of this place.
The lake also offers mesmerising views of sunrise and sunset. One of the offbeat activities here is fish watching in the lake.
You can just sit on one of the stairs beside the lake and watch all the lovely looking fishes swimming and jumping in the lake.
Boating Charges: Rs. 160 for half-round and Rs. 210 for a full round for Rowboat, 210 per hour for paddleboat.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm on all days.
You may also like: 20 Major and Beautiful Lakes in India.
2. Naina Peak
Naina Peak, also known as China Peak is the highest peak in Nainital situated at an altitude of 2,615 meters.
It is a popular tourist destination for trekking and horse riding. Naina Peak gives splendid views of the snow-clad Himalayas and the Nainital town.
Motorable road covers only 3 km from the base of the peak where the nearest taxi stand is located. Further, it is about 6 km steep trek to the peak.
Carry drinking water and some snacks with you as there are no shops on the peak. You don’t need to pay the entry fee to visit Naina Peak.
Timings: 8 to 5:30 pm on all days
3. Eco Cave Garden
A collection of interconnected natural caves, Eco Cave Garden is an amazing place to hang out with young kids.
The cave offers amazing views of the six caves formed in the shape of different animals, namely Bat Cave, Tiger Cave, Flying Fox Cave, Panther Cave, Squirrel Cave and Porcupine Cave.
There are hanging gardens throughout the pathway along the caves. You can also enjoy the musical fountain show with audiovisual effects which is an intriguing experience for the tourists.
Entry fee: Rs. 60 for adults, Rs. 25 for children, Rs. 25 for camera
Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on all days of the week
4. Snow View Point
Situated at an altitude of 2,270 metres, the Snow Viewpoint offers spectacular views of snow-capped mountain peaks like Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot and Trishul. It is one of the most visited tourist places in Nainital.
A pair of binoculars have been put up at this site for tourists to get a perfect view of the mountain peaks.
You can see a small temple of Lord Rama and a Tibetan monastery on the mountain peak from this viewpoint.
You can trek up to the Snow Viewpoint or reach there by ropeway.
Entry fee: None. You will need to pay only the ropeway charges.
Timings: 10: 30 am to 5 pm, except for Saturday
5. Tiffin Top
One of the most popular tourist places in Nainital, Tiffin Top is also known as Dorothy’s Seat. It gives the most picturesque view of the Nainital city and beautiful Kumaon mountains.
Perched at 2,290 meters, this place is a photographer’s paradise. It is a famous picnic spot and as a matter of fact, derives its name from being the most desired place to have tiffin on the hilltop.
You can also enjoy a horse ride there and charges typically vary between Rs. 500 to Rs. 700.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
6. Himalayan Darshan Point
Also known as Himalayan Viewpoint, it is located on the way to Kilbury Bird Sanctuary.
The viewpoint lies at an altitude of 2000 meters and offers magnificent views of the Himalayan mountain peaks and valleys below.
It is amongst one of the most sought-after tourist places in Nainital. You can reach here by taxi or horse ride. There is no entry fee for the tourists.
Timings:6 am to 5 pm
7. Aerial Ropeway
Cable car or aerial ropeway offers stunning views of Naini Lake and Nainital city. The ride starts at Mallital and connects to the Snow Viewpoint.
It takes less than 3 minutes to cover one-way journey. There are only two cable cars to carry the tourists. You might need to book one day in advance during peak season.
Entry fee: Rs. 300 for adults, Rs 200 for children (3 to 12 yrs)
Timings: 10 am to 4 pm
8. Nainital Zoo
Nainital Zoo, also known as Govind Ballabh Pant high altitude zoo, is located at a height of 2,100 meters on the Sher ka Danda hill in Tallital.
It is amongst one of the three high-altitude zoos in India, apart from Sikkim and Darjeeling.
Spread over an area of 11 acres, it provides shelter to several endangered animals like Himalayan bear, snow leopard, Tibetan wolf, Sambar deer and Himalayan civet.
The zoo also houses various bird species like red Junglefowl, white peafowl, golden pheasant, forest owlet and hill partridge.
You can walk up the hill or hire a shared jeep for reaching the zoo which costs Rs 30 per person from Mall road.
Entry fee: Rs. 50 for adults, Rs. 20 for children, Rs. 25 for a still camera, Rs. 200 for a professional video camera, No entry fee for senior citizens and differently-abled people.
Timings: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, except for Monday and national holidays
9. Kilbury Bird Sanctuary
Perched at an altitude of 6,510 feet Kilbury bird sanctuary lies in Pangot village about 13 km away from Nainital town.
The sanctuary is known to have around 580 distinct bird species like Himalayan griffon, forktail, woodpecker, blue-winged minla and many more other birds.
It is also home to several mammal species including sambar deer, barking deer, Himalayan marten and masked palm civet.
The Kilbury forest area is covered with lush green forests of oak, pine and rhododendron trees.
It is a pleasant drive through the dense forests of Pangot village and the Himalaya Darshan area which offers breathtaking views of the mighty Himalayas.
You may also like: 10 Best Wildlife Sanctuaries in India To Visit.
10. Naina Devi Temple
Standing on the northern end of the charming Naini Lake, the Naina Devi temple is a holy place for Hindus.
Legend has it that the eyes of the Goddess Sati fell at this place when Lord Shiva was carrying her charred body after taking it out from the fire of yagna.
The temple houses statues of Goddess Kali, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and other Hindu deities.
The city of Nainital got its name from this famous Naina Devi temple. There is no entry fee to visit this place.
Timings: 6 am to 10 pm
11. Hanuman Garhi
Situated at an altitude of 1,951 meters, the temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, a devotee of Lord Rama. It was built in the year 1950 by a famous saint Neem Karoli Baba.
The temple houses a huge statue of Lord Hanuman showering blessings on his devotees.
You can get a splendid view of the sunrise and sunset from the temple as it is located on the hilltop.
It is easily accessible by road and you can drive up to the temple. Entry fee is not charged for visiting the temple.
Timings: 5 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm on all days.
12. Corbett Falls
Located at a distance of 25 km from Ramnagar, Corbett falls lies on the way from Corbett National Park to Nainital.
There is a short 1 km trek starting from the parking area leading to this serene falls.
The waterfall cascading down from a height of 60 feet surrounded by lush green teak wood forest offers stunning views to the visitors.
You can also see beautiful birds around like common kingfisher, Indian pied hornbill, black drongo and woodpecker.
Entry fee: Rs 50 for adults, Rs 25 for children
Timings: 8 am to 5 pm
13. Himalayan Botanical Garden
A very well maintained place, the Himalayan Botanical Garden is one of the must-visit tourist places in Nainital for those interested in herbal plants.
There are some saplings on display that you can buy and take back home. You can also see the butterfly museum located inside the Botanical garden.
Entry fee: Rs 20 per head
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm except for Monday
14. Land’s End
Land’s End is literally the place after which there is no land. Rested at an altitude of 2,118 meters, the Land’s End is a viewpoint to enjoy the excellent views of the Kumaon mountain range, lush valley and mango-shaped Khurpa lake or Khurpatal as locals call it.
It is one of the most famous tourist places in Nainital for photography. You can trek to this scenic spot or take a pony or taxi from the main town.
Entry fee: No fees for enjoying the pleasing views, Rs 700 – 800 for pony ride per person
The ancient town of Bhimtal is located about 22 km away from Nainital town and lies in Nainital District. This place is named after an important character of Mahabharata, Bhima.
Bhimtal is popular for its scenic blue Bhimtal lake offering stunning views of the beautiful surroundings. Perched at a height of 1370 meters, the lake is one of the prime tourist places in Nainital to visit.
A small island located in the middle of the lake is the major crowd-puller here. The island is accessible by boat only and houses an aquarium with several species of aqua-marine creatures.
Bhimtal is also a famous spot for paragliding. You can paraglide even if you have never tried this before as there will be a guide controlling all the movements.
You can see an amazing aerial view of the town and it will literally tingle your senses after you do it.
Entry fee: Rs 100 – 200 for boat ride, Rs 800 -1500 for paragliding
How To Reach Nainital
Nainital doesn’t have an airport. The nearest domestic airport is located in Pantnagar at a distance of 65 km, roughly one hour drive from Nainital.
Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi is the nearest international airport that is well connected to the rest of the world. You can hire a private taxi from Delhi airport to reach Nainital.
Kathgodham Railway Station is the closest railway station around 34 km away from Nainital and enjoys good connectivity with important places such as Delhi, Lucknow, Agra.
Some of the popular trains halting at Kathgodham Railway Station are New Delhi-Kathgodam Shatabdi Express, Ranikhet Express and Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti Express.
Nainital is well connected to all nearby cities by road – 23 km away Kathgodam, 55 km from Ranikhet, 63 km from Ramnagar, 275 km from Dehradun, 345 km from Delhi. Daily Bus service is also available from Delhi to Nainital and it takes about 7-8 hours.
Here are some packing and travel tips for your hilly retreat.
- Walking Shoes – Wear comfortable shoes as you will need to do short treks at many places including viewpoints.
- Woollens – Don’t forget to pack some woollen clothes to keep you warm and cosy.
- Sunglasses – Sun is extremely bright in the hills; do carry your favourite sunglasses.
- Lip balm/moisturising lotions – These will prevent dryness and sun exposure.
- Umbrella – Weathers conditions are unpredictable at high altitudes. Carry an umbrella for such erratic weather conditions.
- Backpack – Organize your stuff in a backpack for ease of accessibility.
Over To You Now…
With the spectacular Kumaon mountains on all sides and charming Naini lake in the centre, Nainital is an ideal destination to relax in the nature’s midst.
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