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If lush green plains and misty clouds allure you to nestle in a hammock and read a good book, far away from the city life then you need to head to Nainital, a stellar getaway place near Delhi for trekkers and nature lovers alike! Situated in the Kumaon foothills of the Himalayan ranges, Nainital is also known as the 'Lake District' of India.
It has also been termed as a pious place for Hindus and is one of the most popular hill stations near Delhi due to its fascinating hills, picturesque plains, enjoyable climate and stunning lakes. Adventurers engage in trekking activities and hike to the top of the beautiful hills just to witness the beautiful view and the wispy sky.
Distance from Delhi: 278km
Best time to visit: March to June and October to February.
Attractions: Nainital Lake, Governor's House, Eco Cave Gardens, Naini Peak and Snow View Point
Activities: Lake Visits, Village and Wildlife tours, Cable Car Rides, Rock Climbing and Trekking
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If you are planning a visit to Nainital, then there are a lot of places to keep you hooked. Situated in the lap of nature, the Naini Lake is the most popular place to visit in Nainital. Other areas of tourist interest include:
Eco Cave Gardens, Naina Devi Temple, Mall Road, Snow View Point, Tiffin Top, Naina Peak, Jeolikot, Neem Karoli Baba Ashram, Himalayan View Point, Land’s End, Pangot, G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, Hanuman Garhi, Nainital Ropeway, Peora, Khurpa Taal, Astronomical Observatory, Sariyatal, Gurney House, St John Wilderness Church and Sitabani among others.
Being a hill station, Nainital offers a pleasant atmosphere round the year and is an ideal place to visit in all seasons. You can enjoy breathtaking sight of the landscape between the months of March and June, when colourful flowers adorn the surroundings.
If you are a winter enthusiast who loves snow, you can also visit the hill station between November and February, when it is covered in a white blanket. The cheapest season to visit Nainital is between June and September when the place observes rainfall.
Nainital observes a cold winter between the months of November and February with the temperatures dropping below zero degree Celsius.
If you are fortunate, you may witness snowfall in Nainital in the months of December and January. Enjoy the pleasure of experiencing a white Christmas and a New Year in Nainital as the hill station is most likely to receive snowfall in December end.
The Mall Road is the most popular place for shopping in Nainital. With a large number of shops, the market offers items like fruits, woollen items, uniquely designed candles, Bamboo fabric, Pine Tree craftworks and the Bells of Gorakhal’s Golu Temple.
If you are a food enthusiast, you may want to try the Bal Mithai Sweet of Nainital. Apart from Mall Road, you can visit Bara Bazar, Tibetan Market and Bhotia Bazaar for shopping.
Nainital is a safe place to visit throughout the year, even during December as the hill station experiences sub-zero temperatures. If you are a snow enthusiast, you can visit the place in December end or January to experience snowfall. The place is well connected to nearby major cities, reducing the chances of road blockage during winters.
The best and the most convenient way to reach Nainital is by road. NH 87 connects Nainital to nearby major cities like Rudrapur and Haridwar. Many cabs and bus services also run from Delhi, which connect the two cities by a 6-7 hour long drive.
The nearest railway station from Nainital is Kathgodham, which is located at a distance of 35 km and is well connected to Delhi, Lucknow and Howrah. By air, you can reach the airport in Pantnagar, which is located at a distance of 65 km. From there you can take a cab to reach Nainital.
A lot of people drive from Delhi to Nainital to spend a happening getaway from their routine. The distance between Nainital and Delhi is 300 km, which can be covered in 9 hours.
While the route is scenic, it is advisable to reach Kathgodham or Haldwani till sunset if you are an inexperienced driver. If you are an experienced driver who can ride in hills at night, it is safe to cover the hilly terrain from Kathgodham to Nainital.
Nanital offers breathtaking views of the landscapes. A lot of couples throng the place to celebrate their honeymoon and spend some romantic moments in the lap of nature. The onset of winter in October-November is the best time to visit Nainital as the climate is pleasant.
Nainital has a lot to offer to the honeymoon couples in the form of shopping and food. You can also go boating in the picturesque Naini Lake with your partner to experience romance in the middle of the mountains.
Being a hill station, Nainital experiences a significant change in climate in every season. If you are travelling between March and June, you can wear loose clothes that are ideal for summers and spring. If you are travelling between July and September, you are likely to witness rainfall so it is advised to pack accordingly.
If you visit Nainital during the winter months between November and February, you may experience chill at night as the temperature drops below zero degrees, especially during December-end. It is advisable to carry woollen clothes during this time as the region is likely to witness freezing temperatures and snowfall as well.
Nainital is one of the most popular hill stations in India, and there are a lot of places in the surrounding regions which you can visit. You can explore Nainital in 2-3 days as it offers a lot of lakes and other sightseeing options besides shopping in the markets.
You can also spend an entire day trekking the Naini Hill for picturesque views of the Naini Lake. A two-night stay in Nainital will allow you to cover pretty much every destination in the hill station and in surroundings, that are worth a visit.