In a contest of hill stations Nainital would win hands down. Located plumb in the Lake District of Kumaon division in Uttarakhand, Nainital sits prettily beside Lake Naini, named after the goddess Nainadevi, with the hills providing a beautiful backdrop to the serene waters and tall pines. It is romantic, alluring and charming.
This enchanting retreat is said to be the creation of a P. Barron, a European who fell in love with the beauty of the place and created here a retreat for Englishmen. Nainital actually consists of two parts: Mallital is area to the north of the Lake and Tallital is the southern portion. Located at a height of about 2084 meters, Nainital leads to gorgeous mountain peaks on the one side, of which the Naina and Depopatha are the most prominent, from where you can have a wonderful view of the landscape. Nainital has religious significance too. It is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, and, as such, a place of pilgrimage for devout Hindus.
The best time to visit Nainital is in summer when the weather is pleasantly cool. It can snow in winter and it gets cold so moving about becomes a chore. You can get to Nainital by bus from Delhi or from Haldwani. The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, about 35 km to the south and Haldwani. The Ranikhet Express runs daily between Delhi and Kathgodam. Pantnagar is the nearest airport, about 2 km away, should you decide to fly in. You use cycle rickshaws to get around in Nainital.
Places to see and things to do in Nainital
You may want to spend all your time by the enchanting lake or go boating on it. However, there are other attractions. The Nanda Devi Temple is on the northern shore and is a must visit place as are Naina Devi temple and the St. John in the Wilderness church. You cannot miss Snow View on Sher Ka Danda Ridge, offering a splendid view of Naina Devi. Tiffin Top is another attraction on the nearby Aryapatta Hill. Explore the place and you will come upon gurney House, Jim Corbett’s home and now a museum, and then go on to Guano Hills covered with forests of deodar and oak. Visit the Nainital Zoo and you get to feed the animals there. The Government House is another place that should be on your itinerary. Then you can go boating on the Naini Lake or shopping in the Mall and Barra Bazar to buy woolens, jams and handicrafts as takeaway souvenirs. If you have time on your hands, explore the caves about 2 km from Mallital or trek to the Naina mountain top. It is a difficult climb but rewarding as you can see the mountains to the north and a beautiful vista in the south.
Hotels In Nainital
Hotels in distant lands resemble your homes in many ways. After a hard day’s work, as you long to get back to the warmth of your own hearth, so do the tourists feel after a tiring day of sight seeing. Especially at a place like Nainital where there is so much to see, it is quite evident that the tourists will long to return to the comforts of their spacious suites and snug rooms. After the attentive room service serving them, it is time to head towards the in house restaurant or the dining room to relish a gourmet spread. The day begins afresh at the health club, followed by a complimentary breakfast and getting prepared for a new outdoor tour. All this can be yours and that too at reasonable rates as Nainital boasts of having some of the great and good hotels. Perfectly fitting your budget and at the same time offering you the comforts of home are all the Hotels in Nainital. Check them out and choose which suits your requirements best.
If you want to splurge, then go for Claridges Naini Retreat, Manu Maharani, Arif Castles and Woodside Retreat. Shervani Hilltop Inn, Vikram Vintage Inn, Hotel Alka, The Ramgarh Bungalows, Dynasty Resort and Cedar Lodge are classified as deluxe hotels in Nainital.
Among the budget hotels in Nainital, the good ones are Hotel Krishna, Hotel New Bharat, Sarovar TRH and Mountain Quail. Some of the well-known standard hotels in Nainital include Palace Belvedere, Hotel New Pavilion and Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.
There are a considerable number of private villas in Nainital which are also rented out to the tourists. Perfect for a private holiday, a stay in the Villas will be a new experience
Apart from hotels ranging from budget to luxury, there are heritage houses and lodges, adventure camps and colonial style cottages where you can stay. Sample the Ras, Baadi, Bhatt ki churkhani, aloo ke gutke and gulgulas, the local delicacies and come away fulfilled.
You will want to return to this place yet again…..