The word ‘tal’ means lake, and Nainital indeed is the land of lakes, thanks to the five lakes that are in and around the town. Nainital finds mention in several ancient texts such as ‘ManasKhand’ of Skandapurana. One of the most popular hill-stations in northern India, Nainital is truly beauty to the naina (eye). No wonder then that the word Nainitalis made up of “Naini” meaning “the eye” (also named for the Goddess Naina) and “Tal” meaning “lake”. The spectacular views of Himalayas that one can enjoy from this place are the source of joy for thousands of people who travel from far and wide places to feast their eyes on the beauty of Nainital.

If you’re planning a trip to this haven of natural beauty, make sure to visit the places described here:


A legend has it that Ma Sati’s charred eye fell here to form the Naini Lake. Sitting quietly in the center of Nainital like a silent spectator to the commotion of the busy shoppers and sellers on the Mall road beside it, the Naini Lake is almost like the source of all energy in the town. The days begin with the sunrays dancing on its silver-green waters and end with the reflection of a thousand lights from the countless buildings on the mountains that surround it. Its beauty gets amplified on a cloudless full-moon night as you can see the reflection of a milky white moon in the dark water.

Naina Devi Temple in nainital | Nainilake in Nainital Image | Nainital zoo in nainital

Naina Devi Temple

Present on the northern side of the Naini Lake is the Naina Devi temple which was rebuilt after being destroyed by a major landslidein the 1800s. Goddess Naina Devi is represented in the temple by her two eyes. The building of the temple dates back to 1500 AD and it holds great historical and religious importance to the locals.

Aerial Ropeway

A round ticket of Rs. 150 per adult and Rs. 100 per child can buy you an enrapturing view of the snow-capped peaks of Himalayas in all their glory. The aerial ropeway connects Mallital (the north end of the Naini Lake) with the Snow view point and offers a panoramic view of the lake while ascending and a bird’s eye view of the flats while descending.

Snow-View Point

A three-minute aerial journey takes you to this wonderful destination. The snow-clad mountains, the layers of clouds spread out like cotton, and hot tea, snacks and food to warm you up while you enjoy the mesmerizing view: pure bliss.

ZooNainital is also a wildlife lovers’ paradise because of its zoo which is home to several endangered species. It is one of the only three High Altitude zoos in India, the other two being in Darjeeling and Sikkim. It has a wide variety of animals that include the leopard, hill fox, Siberian tiger, wolf, silver pheasants, barking deer, rose-ringed parakeet, sambhar, Himalayan black bear and white peacock. The zoo is closed on Mondays.

Eco Cave Garden

Your kids are going to have a great time here after a visit to the zoo. The Eco Cave Garden is a series of caves of different kinds of animals of the Himalayan wildlife. Teaching children about the natural habitats of animals like tigers, panthers, bats, squirrels, flying foxes, apes etc. becomes all the more fun when they run around exploring. Time for some edu-tainment!

Tiffin Top

It is a popular picnic spot to enjoy some idle time with family as it offers a 360 degree view of Nainital and the adjoining Kumaon Hills. Also known as Dorothy’s seat, the place is a humble reminder of love as it was built by a British Army Officer in the memory of his late wife. If you are a fun-lover, you can also trek your way up to the top, otherwise a pony-ride is what most people prefer.

Naina Peak/ China Peak

Another 6 km pony trek takes you to a height of 2,615 meters above sea level, from where you can enjoy splendid views of the town and its lakes below.

These are just 8 of the places that Nainital welcomes its travelers with.Along with these, Nainital is a hot favorite with adventure lovers too. River-rafting, yachting, parasailing, sky diving, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, trekking, horse riding, camping….Nainital is brimming with options to give a boost to your adrenaline.

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