When we planned our Roopkund trek, we were delighted that Nainital was so close by to the base camp (~ 300 kms) and hence we decided to make it our pre-acclimatization spot! Nainital is a popular hill station in the oh-so-gorgeous Uttarakhand state of India. Every year thousands of tourists swarm to Nainital for a nice vacation. We hadn’t exactly planned out our itinerary, our main aim was just to relax a bit before our big trek and of course, acclimatize to the weather. And we ended up seeing a lot of things in and around Nainital. If only we had more than 2 days to spend here, would have expanded our radius a little bit more. So here are the 10 things to do in Nainital during your stay.
10 things to do in Nainital
Go Boating in the Naini Lake
This is a very touristy thing to do in Nainital. Although I preferred gobbling up the view of Naini Lake from our hotel room, I enjoyed the boating as well. We preferred the boat with a guide. You could either go on your own via pedal boat or with a guide (recommend the latter). Couple of tourists did not know how to use the pedal boat and had overcrowded the boat on one side. It looked lopsided and about to fall any-minute.
Explore Varieties of Food
This is a generic one in the list of things to do in Nainital, which is pretty much applicable to any place. You could explore the wide variety of food to awaken your taste buds, ranging from Chandini Chowk themed restaurant to the street food places at the end of the Mall road. We loved the hot chocolate + potato chaat! Lip smackingly good! Do not miss to try these.
Go crazy on a shopping spree in the Mall Road
You will find various shops on the Mall road which sell woolen socks, shawls, sweaters, jackets, beanie, jewelry, home made foods, herbal products, tour packages etc. You could buy wonderful souvenirs for your family and friends from here. They would surely like it.
Take cable car to the Himalaya Darshan aka Himalayan View Point
Best place to see the Himalayan ranges and the wonderful peaks. But make sure you reach early morning, otherwise there is nothing much to see at the later part of the day as the clouds and the fog would block the view. As you can see from the picture above, we couldn’t get much view as it was already 1 pm by then 🙁
Take a walk in the Mall Road, sit in front of the lake, relax and unwind.
This might be the best of all the things to do in Nainital. Its the best because its the simplest one could do. If you have booked a hotel in the Mall road, chances are that you will have the wonderful view of the Naini lake. Either enjoy the view from the room, or take a walk to the ends of the Mall road or just sit on one of the benches and do NOTHING.
Explore Eco Cave Gardens
This is around 2kms from the centre of Mall Road. The entrance fees isn’t much. The caves are interconnected and you could easily go down in one and come up in another. It was super fun. A tip, make sure you wear comfortable pair of shoes with a really good grip. There is a restaurant at the top where you could have a peaceful lunch (provided, the place is not too crowded that day). We could easily walk back to the Mall road, but you could opt for an auto/taxi instead. Learn to bargain here (of course, without disrespecting the locals. Its their job after all).
Enjoy the view from Naini Peak
This is the best place to see the very famous Naini Lake View from the top. The mango-shaped lake looks mind blowing with the lush green pine trees and mountains covering either side of it. The lake looks teal in color; a very pleasant sight for the eyes. One of the awesome view points in the list of things to do in Nainital.
Visit Jim Corbett National Park
Probably shouldn’t be in the list of things to do in Nainital, but if your stay is a little longer, make sure you spend a day in Jim Corbett National Park. This is the oldest national park in India, established in 1936. You could opt for treks, jeep safari, walking safari (with a guide) and take a look at the natural flora and fauna along with the wide-variety of wild animals. Be safe, of course!
Offer prayers to Naina Devi
If you are a religious soul, make sure you offer your prayers at Naina Devi Temple on the other side of Naini Lake (northern part of the lake) where Goddess Shakti is worshiped.
Extend your stay!
What’s more delightful than being able to extend one’s holiday? If you are up for it, do extend your stay, get adjusted to the slower life here and explore the nearby hill stations. Go offbeat!
Hope the list of Things to do in Nainital helps you when you plan your trip to Nainital. Do let me know if it does. If you have already been there, do share your experience in the comments below.
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All the pictures have been linked to the respective owners. Rest of the pics are from Harsha Photography