Nainital is a beautiful hill station located in the Kumaon foothills of Uttarakhand. It is the gateway to the western Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres above sea level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a pear-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains, of which the highest are Naina on the north, Deopatha on the west, and Ayarpatha on the south. A magnificent panoramic view of the city and the surrounding valley can be experienced from the nearby Naina Peak, which is the highest local point. Nainital is one of the tourist hot spots of the state of Uttarakhand. It plays host to tourists throughout the year except for a few months during the monsoons.

Travel Tips

It is much safer to pre-book hotels because Nainital caters to a lot of tourists and most of the hotels are fully booked. It is advisable to carry a light jacket even during summers because the evenings can get chilly. October and November is the best time to visit because the sky is mostly clear and the view is unobstructed.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Very Cold
  • 8.1° Max
  • 1.1° Min
  • 15.0 mm
  • Carry Heavy woollen.
Things to do

There are numerous places of attraction in the city itself. The greatest attraction of Nainital is, of course, the pear-shaped lake. It is known as the Nainital Lake or the Naini Lake. It is in the heart of the city and acts as a tourist magnet. The northern end of the lake is called Mallital, while the southern one is called Tallital. The Lake Bridge that connects the two banks has quite a few shops as well as a post office, the only one in the world to be located on a bridge. Naini Lake allows tourists to charter a rowing boat for two for an amount of Re. 160. The Naina Devi temple is located on the northern shore of Naini lake. NainaDevi, who is the enshrined deity of the temple, is represented by two eyes. On either side of the idol of Naina Devi are the deities of the goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha. The gurdwara beside the temple is also a tourist attraction as is the St. John in the Wilderness church. The church was established in 1844 and is located on the north end of the town (Mallital), about half a mile north-west of the Naina Devi temple. The Governor House which serves as the official guest house for the governor of Uttarakhand and for visiting state guests is a classic example of the Victorian domestic-Gothic architecture. However, prior permission has to be obtained for the visit. The Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, opened in 1994, is one of the two High altitude Zoos in India, the second being in Darjeeling, West Bengal. The city also boasts of several magnificent natural attractions. Snow View, situated at an altitude of 2,270 m and located atop the Sher-ka-danda Ridge, can be reached by cable car. Charges for cable car are Re. 150 per adult and Re. 75 for child. The timings are 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and the charges include the return journey after one hour. On a clear day, it offers spectacular views of Nanda Devi, Trisul, and Nanda Kot. The best time of the year for viewing the mountains is late October and November. The Naina Peak or the China Peak is the highest local point at 2,615 meters and offers a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding plains. Tiffin Top or Dorothy’s Seat is a terraced hilltop picnic perch which also offers an enchanting view of the countryside.

Getting Around

Sightseeing tour packages are available from the KMVN Central Reservation Office on Mallroad. There are other private travel agencies which arrange for sightseeing tours in buses and cars. The best way to travel in an around Nainital is by hiring a car because there are many spots around Nainital where bus or share-jeep service is erratic at best. Pony rides are also available to climb up to China Peak.

Places to Stay

Nainatal primarily boosts of luxury hotels. Consequently, the charges are a little on the higher side. Nainital hotels that are present close to the lake or the mountains charge extra as the view one gets there is incredible. Mid-range hotels in Nainital should definitely be booked in advance as they attract a lot of tourists. The price range that most budget hotels offer varies between Rs 1200 to Rs 2300. A couple should look for hotels that charge around Rs 2000. Various amenities like beautiful room side views, a well stocked bar, air conditioning, easy access to a spa or a gym are provided at luxury hotels. Nainital also has villas which can be rented.  Of the hotels, the Evelyn Hotel and the Mount N Mist Hotel are comparatively cheaper with the minimum cost of Re.1500 and Re. 1600 per night respectively. Luxury hotels include The Naini Retreat and The Hive for Re. 8000 and Re. 8500 respectively. There are numerous mid-range hotels like Hotel Welcome Park and the Eden Garden Star Resort.

How to Reach

  • Pantnagar airport is the closest airport to Nainital at 71 kilometers from the city but its connectivity to other cities is relatively poor. The Delhi airport at 280 kilometers from Nainital is the nearest international airport and is also the nearest well connected airport. Taxi services are available from the airport to Nainital for Re. 4000.
  • Kathgodam is the nearest railway station at 35 kilometers from Nailnital. It is directly connected to Delhi by the Ranikhet Express, to Lucknow by the Bagh Express and to Bareilly by the Bagh Express. Delhi, Lucknow and Bareilly are well connected to all the other cities of India. Taxi fare from Kathgodam to Nainital is Re. 600.
  • Nainital is well connected to other cities by road. Super-Deluxe and Deluxe buses ferry passengers from Delhi for approximately Re. 1300, Almora Re. 350, Ranikhet Re. 350 and Badrinath Re. 1000. The bus fares vary from Re.3-4 per kilometer.

Surrounding Attractions

The Jim Corbett National Park in the Nainital district is India's oldestnational park. The park, which is 63 km west by north-west of Nainital, contains a wide variety of wild life. The hill stations of Ranikhet, Almora and Kausani are quite near Nainital and each other. Thus, these places can be seen within a two day venture out of Nainital. Other attractions include the Bhimtal Lake which is situated 22 km from the city center and is the biggest lake of Nainital, the Sattal, a group of seven lakes, the Naukuchia Tal which is a nine cornered lake 4 kilometers from Bhimtal and the Hanumangarh Temple Complex which stands at an altitude of 1951 metres and is about 3.5 kilometers from Tallital.

Important Numbers

Police Control Room, Nainital: 100, +91-5942-235847

Fire Brigade, Nainital: +91-5942-235626

G.B. Pant Hospital: +91-5942-235388