ALL THAT THE EYE CAN BEHOLD
The lake district of India, Nainital, is nestled in the foothills of the Kumaon Mountains, in the outer Himalayas. The beautiful pear shaped lake, Naini stretches for two miles in circumference. The unending expanse of scenic opulence is truly a treat for the senses, a balm for the soul. Nainital is also one of the Shakthi Peeths in India. Shakthi Peeths are holy places where the body parts of the charred Sati are believed to have fallen. Mythology has it that the goddess’s eyes fell on Nainital.
Nainital lives by the Naini lake. As dawn breaks and the waters of the Naini shimmer and shine, life stirs awake. The many shops around the lake, hotels, cafes and idyllic spots woo the traveller. Yachting, paddling, boating and many more activities take place throughout the day on the Naini river. As twilight descends and dusk settles in, the lights on the mountains around it give the lake an ethereal appeal. Come, experience a holiday like none other in Nainital, the Sterling way.
- Total geographical area – 4251 Sq Kms
- Average rainfall – 1466 mm approximately
- Summer temperatures - 27°C to 7°C.
- Winter temperatures – 15°C to -3°C
- Best time to visit – April - September
- Altitude – 2084 metres above sea level
#1. Sonapani is a little Himalayan village in Nainital. Visit this tranquil place to understand how the villagers live; additionally, you can enjoy the delicious local food by having lunch with a friendly village family. Take a walk through the terraced fields and participate in adventure activities.
#2. The Eco Cave Gardens are a network of fascinating underground caves and hanging gardens. There are a total of 6 caves along with a beautiful musical fountain that operates in the evenings. It's the first of its kind in Uttarakhand.
#3. Anchored on the banks of Naini Lake, the Boat House Club is a restaurant that offers stunning views of the lake and serves amazing North Indian food. Be sure to try the thali or the dal makhani.
#4. Khurpatal is a beautiful hamlet about 12 km from Nainital, and is an angler's paradise with its clear, serene lake. If you'd like some peace, solitude and relaxation, this is the ideal getaway from Nainital.
#5. Guano Hill is known for its amazing trekking and hiking trails with scenic views of the surrounding areas. This is also a wonderful opportunity for bird watchers to spot the rare Black-Chinned Babbler and Grey Woodpecker in the forests of oak, deodar and chinar.
#6. Budding ornithologists will love this beautiful bird sanctuary. Nestled in the hills, it is home to a huge variety of colourful hill-dwelling birds of different species. Be sure to take your binoculars along.
#7. Anil Candles is a factory outlet in Nainital that sells beautiful handmade and hand-carved candles in different colours and designs. Pick up a few to dress up your home!
#8. Gaze at the wonderful star-studded sky without any light or pollution to take away from the beauty of the night sky at Manora Peak. It's a great daytime viewing point as well.
#9. When in Nainital, be sure to try the Bal Mithai, a sweet made of condensed milk with the texture of fudge, coated with little sugar balls. It is very popular and delicious and is found in most of the local shops.
#10. Hunger pangs from walking around Nainital? Head to Sonam's momos for their specialty - mutton momos and traditional Tibetan thukpa. Delicious and great to have while you enjoy the cool Nainital weather.
#11. Sakley's is an institution of sorts in Nainital - this bakery & restaurant is definitely a must-try. The chocolate truffle, chocolate strawberry and the éclairs are a few of the best items on the menu. If you're looking for something more substantial, they also have some great Italian & Chinese items on the menu.
#12. The Tibetan market in Nainital sells a lot of woollens, junk jewellery, Tibetan prayer charms, watches and more at great prices. Pick up a few souvenirs and take in the sights and sounds of this quaint Tibetan market.
#13. The Barra Bazaar has lots of little shops selling home-made strawberry jam, pickles and preserves. You can also pick up fresh apples, blueberries and strawberries at this bustling market.
#14. A visit to Nainital should include a trip to the Bhotia Bazaar which sells quality woollens and knits made by women from Almora. Some vendors also knit small caps and mufflers on the spot on request.
#15. Bhimtal is a lovely waterway in Uttarakhand's lake district, perfect for spending a day with the family on a picnic. Walks, treks and bird-watching expeditions are some of the fun activities to do around this area.
#16. The Naina Devi Temple across the Naini Lake is a must-visit. This colourfully built temple also offers a lovely view of the hills and has a shrine dedicated to the Goddess Naina. It is believed that Goddess Parvati's eyes fell in this spot, hence the name 'Naina Devi'.
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27°C to 7°C.
15°C to -3°C
1466 mm approx
BEST TIME TO VISIT
April - September