Named after the pear shaped Naini Lake, Nainital is located in the Indian state of Uttrakhand. The highest peak in Nainital is called Naina Devi which stands amidst the Kumaon foothills of the Himalayas and stands at an elevation of 2615 meters above sea level. The town itself is situated at an elevation of 2,084 meters above sea level and is mentioned as the place where the eyes of the Hindu goddess Sati fell after her act of ‘self immolation’ according to Hindu mythology. There is also a temple dedicated to the goddess on the northernmost shore of the lake.
The hills came under the British rule after the Anglo-Nepalese war, and were converted to a hill town in 1841. The town’s major source of income is the tourism industry and is also a famous pilgrim spot mentioned in the ancient Hindu texts of the Vedas and the Puranas. The lake itself is commonly known as ‘the lesser Mansarovar’ and is said to have been formed by the waters of the holy Mansarovar Lake in Tibet. Apart from the amazing views of the Himalayan peaks – one of the most tourist friendly hill towns of India, Nainital is also famous for housing the Jim Corbett National Park which is the oldest national park in India and is famous for its population of the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Located in the Kumaon Foothills of the Himalayas, Nainital enjoys a subtropical highland climate. The maximum temperature in the summer months never rises beyond 27 degrees and can go as low as 7 degrees during the night. The winter months starting from mid November to mid February see the most chilling temperatures ranging between 15 to -3 degrees Celsius. The monsoon months from July till late September see the maximum precipitation.
Best Time to Visit
The temperate climate in Nainital makes it accessible all year round especially during the summer months between the months of April till July. The summer months mark the tourist season in the hill town and is visited by thousands of tourists from the scorching plains of Northern India. The monsoon season should be avoided in Uttarakhand as the hills are susceptible to several dangerous landslides.
Attractions/Things to Do
Known to be among the most visited hill stations and pilgrim sites in India, Nainital has several attractions to offer to its visitors. The town was established as a health resort and a summer retreat for the British officers and offered them refuge from the burning plains of India. Colonial architecture, churches, cafes, bars, pubs, majestic peaks, views of the mighty Himalayas, natural abundance of flora and fauna and ancient Hindu temples etc. are the various attractions the town houses.
Nainital Lake, Naina Devi Temple, St. John in the Wilderness, Government House, Snow View, Naini Peak, Tiffin Top, Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, Jim Corbett National Park, Gurney House and Eco Cave Gardens are few of the several attractions to what out for when visiting Nainital. Also checkout our post on top 10 places to visit in Nainital.
How To Reach
Nainital is one of the major towns in the state of Uttarakhand and is well connected via roads and railways from the rest of India. The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, which can be reached through several trains running via Delhi and Lucknow. One can reach the town on buses that run daily from the Delhi ISBT. The nearest airport is just 2 kilometers away from the main town and is located at Pant Nagar airport which is accessible via all the international airports.
Distance From Major Cities
1. Almora – 71 kilometers
2. Kathgodam – 23 kilometers
3. Dehradun – 276 kilometers
4. Delhi – 310 kilometers
5. Lucknow – 374 kilometers
6. Rishikesh – 242 kilometers
7. Jaipur – 560 kilometers
8. Shimla – 505 kilometers
9. Chandigarh – 430 kilometers
10. Ahmedabad – 1,225 kilometers
11. Mumbai – 1700 kilometers
12. Indore – 962 kilometers
13. Hyderabad – 1,632 kilometers
14. Bangalore – 2,221 kilometers
15. Kolkata – 1,380 kilometers
Accessibility and Accommodation
A popular hill town in Uttrakhand, Nainital is ranked among the best tourist towns in northern India. The town largely depends upon the arriving hordes of tourists for its economy, making the transportation services really convenient for most visitors. The upper and the lower mall are connected via roads and can be transverse via the taxis or cycle rickshaws. The best way to explore the town is considered to be walking. The town is small with loads of eateries, bars and cafes to make the town a pleasurable tour.