Things to do in Nainital: Exploring the Lake District of Uttarakhand

Top things to do in Nainital

Nainital is the much adored, most favourite hill station especially among the North Indians due to its close proximity and gorgeous views. There are also umpteen activities and a number of things to do in Nainital that attract a lot of tourist influx. From trekking up to the vantage points, to shopping on the Mall Road, to witnessing a mesmerising sunset and camping in the valleys, there is no dearth of exciting things to do in Nainital. The hill town also offers splendid views of the majestic mountain ranges and has beautiful parks for you to relax and revitalize. You can also indulge in local food and try out the several street food cafes. All in all, the hill town offers a wholesome vacationing experience to one and all. Given below is a comprehensive list of things to do in Nainital. Have a look!

Here is the list of 18 Things to do in Nainital: Exploring the Lake District of Uttarakhand

1. Enjoy a Boat Ride at Naini Lake

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Nestled amidst the township of Nainital, Naini Lake is a beautiful natural fresh body lake. The lake is in crescent or kidney shape and is one of the famous lakes of the Kumaon region. Bounded by Naini Peak on North West, Tiffin Point on the South West and snow-capped peaks on the north, the lake offers a breathtaking view, especially during early morning and sunset. Coniferous trees that cover the hillside add charm to the raw beauty of the place. One of the prime things to do in Nainital is to try boating at Naini Lake. The boat ride offers beautiful panoramic vistas of the lovely valleys and hills in the backdrop.

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2. Seek Blessings at Naina Devi Temple

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Regarded and revered as one of the fifty-one Shakti Peeths that are located all across India, the Naina Devi Temple is a holy site that is situated on the northern shore of Naini Lake, in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. This temple is one of the most renowned places of Hindu worship all over the country. Dedicated to Devi Sati's eyes, devotees from all parts of India flock to this region in huge numbers all year round. Apart from the pilgrims, the place is popular among the tourists alike and paying a visit here is one of the top things to do in Nainital.

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3. Walk Down The Mall Road

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The Mall Road of Nainital, which runs parallel to the Naini Lake, connecting the two ends of the hill town, is the prime shopping, food and cultural centre of the wonder that is Nainital. Whether it is digging into some luscious food or shopping for the cutest local woollens that are to be found, Mall Road is your go-to for it all. A visit to Nainital is incomplete without visiting the Mall Road. Shopping and tasting the street food here, in the vicinity of the lake and the hills, is one of the best things to do in Nainital.

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4. Experience a Ride in the Nainital Ropeway

Nainital Ropeway or the Cable Car Ride is the most popular tourist attraction in the city of Nainital. The ropeway connects Mallital to the Snow view point- from the base to a height of 2270 metres. The aerial trip hovering over the Naini lake and the valley offers panoramic views of the breathtaking landscape. This is one of the most sought after activities and one of the best things to do in Nainital.

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5. Enjoy a Bird's Eye View from Tiffin Top (Dorothy's Seat)

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Located in Ayarpatta Hill of Himachal Pradesh, Tiffin Top is a very famous tourist attraction in Nainital. A fantastic picnic spot in its own right, one gets a complete view of the town of Nainital and its surrounding hills in the Kumaon region from this location. Its serene and peaceful environment makes it irresistible to the photographers. Those who love nature's beauty must not miss out on this vacation spot. Adventure activities such as rappelling and rock climbing are conducted in Tiffin Top as well. In winter season, it is especially crowded by tourists coming here to experience snowfall. Visiting here is one of the top touristy things to do in Nainital.

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6. Wildlife Spotting at High Altitude Zoo

Established in 1984, Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo or Nainital Zoo is situated on the Sher ka Danda hill in Tallital, Nainital. Perched at a height of 2100 metres and spread over an area of 4.6 hectares makes it the only one of its kind. The zoo is home to several endangered species and is a popular tourist spot. Visiting here is one of the essential things to do in Nainital.

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7. Trek Up to the Naina Peak

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Also called the China Peak, this range located at a height of 2615 m is a challenging trek. The way up the slope is dotted with beautiful rhododendron bloom. From the peak you can view the Tibet Border and Nanda Devi Peak. Apart from offering a splendid bird's eye view of the valley below, the peak is known for its unchallenged beauty and environs. If you an adventure enthusiast, make sure to add the activity in your top things to do in Nainital.

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8. Revel in the Beauty of Snow View Point

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Snow View Point in Nainital stands at a dizzying altitude of 2270 meters above sea level and is hands down, one of the most attractive tourist spots of the area. As the name suggests, Snow View Point offers a panoramic view of the mighty Himalayas draped in a blanket of milk-white snow. Enveloped in cotton clouds, the peaks of these mountains ranges pierce the sky and are enlightened with shafts of sun rays that make the snow sparkle with joy. A single glance at the mesmerising Himalayas is sure to lift your spirits as nothing else will. Be sure to include visiting here in your top things to do in Nainital.

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9. Witness a Beautiful Sunset from Hanuman Garhi

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Perched atop 6,401 ft. high, the temple was built by a local saint Baba Neem Karoli in 1950 and is located close to Ashram of Bapu Lila Sah and Shitla Devi temple. Besides being a revered pilgrim site, it also offers a beautiful vistas of sunrises and sunsets. And experiencing one from here is one of the best things to do in Nainital. You can catch a taxi before dawn to reach here.

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10. Wildlife Safari at Jim Corbett National Park

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Known For : Jungle Safari, Corbett National Park | Elephant Ride in Corbett National Park | Corbett Waterfall

Corbett National Park, set amidst the hills of Himalayas, houses a variety of flora and fauna including rare ones such as tigers and is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas and along the banks of Ramaganga River, it is home to around 50 species of trees, 580 bird species and 50 species of animals along with 25 reptile species spread over an area of more than 500 sq km covering riverine belts, hills, marshy depressions, lakes, streams and grasslands. Take a tour of the place is among the top things to do in Nainital.

Best Time : Mid October to Mid June

View packages starting from ₹ 9,000

Read More 15 Jim Corbett Attractions

11. Explore the Splendid Governor's House

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Home to the popular golf course, the Governor's House is a Victorian Gothic edifice built in 1899 by designer F.W. Steven. It resembles the Castle of Scotland very closely and consists of two stories of buildings with 113 rooms, garden, swimming pool and of course, the golf-course. During British Times, it served as the summer residence of the Governor of North East Province.

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12. Make a Visit to the Gurney House

The former abode of the British hunter, conservationist, naturalist and author- Jim Corbett is called Gurney House. The charming colonial cottage has a tiny museum with the achievements and life story of Jim Corbett. A quaint little nursery is also housed in the premises with a variety of shrubberies and plants. The house can be visited on prior appointment.

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13. Indulge in the Local Food Cuisine

Nainital being a popular tourist spot, houses a flattering variety of cuisines from North Indian, Chinese, Continental, Italian to Thai, Tibetan and the local cuisines of Uttarakhand. Hence you can enjoy popular Indian delicacies like Dal Makhani, Tandoori Roti, Naan, Paneer dishes as well as savor a number of continental delicacies. The local cuisine can be equally mouth watering with preparations like Ras (a dish made with several dals), Baadi, Bhatt ki Churkani, Aloo ke Gutke (a spicy preparation of boiled potatoes, Arsa (a sweet dish), Gulgula (a sweet snack) and lots more.

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14. Marvel at the Architecture of St John Wilderness Church

Situated adjacent to the High Court of Uttarakhand in Mallital, Nainital, St John Wilderness Church is the oldest and one of the best churches in Nainital. Perched atop a hill amidst beautiful pine and deodar trees, the church is constructed in Neo-Gothic style of architecture and has beautiful tainted glass windows.

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15. Visit the Gorgeous Eco Cave Gardens

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Famous for its inter connected rocky caves, hanging gardens and the musical fountain, the Eco Garden are a set of six small caves in the shape of various animals. In the evenings, you can see the spectacle of the musical fountain with various audio video effects.

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16. Adventure Opportunities

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There are some adventure options available also in this area. During some seasons, paragliding opportunities are available. There are some nearby short trekking routes as well. One can trek to nearby Naina/China peak which is the highest point in this region and is not so strenuous. This point offers a marvellouis 360 degree view of the entire surroundings. Tourists can also enjoy the game of golf at the Himalayan Mini Golf club.

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17. Find Peace at the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram

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The Neem Karoli Baba Ashram is a quaint little ashram that is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttaranchal. Situated at the height of 1400 metres above the sea level, this modern pilgrim centre has been built in dedication to Shri Neem Karoli Baba Maharaj Ji, a saint who is well known not only across the country but rather all over the world. This Hindu guru was a devotee of Lord Hanuman and is reputed to have performed many miracles throughout his life.

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18. Take a Tour to the Quaint Hamlet of Pangot

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Located just 15 kilometres away from Nainital; Pangot, located in the Kosiyakutoli tehsil of the Nainital district of Uttarakhand is a small and picturesque hamlet. The village is at the height of 6,300 feet above the sea level and is well known all across the nation for its rich and exotic bird life and abundance in other natural treasures. The place seems to have sprung up right out of a beautiful novel- with its greenery, flowers and birds. The area also becomes a hub for photography when hundreds of different species of birds flock here during the harsh winters in the upper Himalayas and settle down here temporarily.

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Top Hotels in Nainital

  • Soulitude in the Himalayas

    INR 8,400 /night onwards

  • Hotel Avlokan

    INR 1,999 /night onwards

  • Soulitude by the Riverside

    INR 8,400 /night onwards


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This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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