A small town in the hills of Kumaon, Nainital is a lovely hill station surrounded by mountains on three sides. The life of Nainital revolves around the lake of Naini. There are few other lakes around Nainital which are equally beautiful and attractive as the Naini lake. Nainital was discovered in 1841 by a Britisher called Lord Barron. Nainital is a glittering jewel in the Himalyan necklace, blessed with scenic natural spledour and varied natural resources. Dotted with lakes , Nainital has earned the epithet of 'Lake District' of India. Nainital is located at an altitude of 1,938 m in the state of Uttaranchal and is about 277 kilometres from Delhi. Nainital is an ideal escape from the heat and dust of the plains. So the best time to visit Nainital are the summer months from March to June. One can also visit Nainital during September-October. Mallital, Tallital and the Tibetan market are the places to shop.
Adventure and Sport in Nainital
To sailors all over the country, the Nainital Yatch Club has been an embodiment of tradition & repository of sailing heritage. The Lake the fountain-head of yatching, has promoted through the club, the keen interest India has in the sport. Every year national & zonal races are held in Naini Lake. Swimming competition are also organized in Nainital in summer months. Beside this Canoeing, Kyaking competition are organized in Naini Lake. Parasailing facility is available near Naukuchiatal. One can experience this sky adventure in the company of experienced parasailors. In adventure sports Hot balooning is another attraction at Nainital. Hot balooning camps are organized at Sukhatal. Golf Tournaments held every year in Golf Course of Raj Bhavan. Hockey, Football, Cricket, Boxing tournaments take place in Nainital annually in their respective seasons at Flatts. Nainital mountaineering club at Nainital is pioneer in the area of mountaineering & rock climbing training. Rock Climbing training takes place at Bara Pathhar & Camels back.
Places of Interest
This place is of religious importance. Situated at a height of 1951 meters this place was established by Baba Neem Kiroli. It has a temple complex presiding deity being Lord Hanuman besides Ram and Shiva. On the other side of the hill there is Shitala Devi temple and Ashram of Lila Sah Bapu. From Hanuman Garhi watching the Sunset is very soothing. One can walk down from Nainital to Hanuman Garhi.
Naina Devi Temple
The attractive lake of Nainital is said to be the eyes of Sati, wife of Lord Shiva. Sati jumped into the sacrificial bonfire. Lord Shiva to mourn the death of his beloved wife carried the body across the country. The remains of her body fell at various places which today are sacred worship places for the Hindus.
Famous for the temple of Lord Golu worshipped by hill people and sainik school, this place is at a distance of 3 Kms from Bhowali.
St. John's Church
This church was built in 1847. A brass memorial is kept in memory of the persons who were buried in the infamous landslide. The few bodies which could be dug out were buried in the church premises.
It is the most easily accessible hill top, height 2270 m and at a distance of 2.5 Km from the town. The spot is accessible through ropeway. This peak is also connected by motor able road. Snow view as the name suggests offers an indescribably beautiful and breath taking picture of the glittering snows of Himalyas. It has a temple. Tea, snacks, Photographers are available at this place.
Naini Lake or Naini Taal, the picturesque blue green lake is located in the district of Nainital. It is from this lake that the city of Nainital, the beautiful settlement by the lake, derives its name. Naini Lake is so called because of its eye-like shape. The north end of lake is called Mallital while the southern one is called Tallital which have a bridge (Danth popularly named) having Gandhiji's statue and post office on its sides. It is the only Post Office on the lake bridge in whole of the world. There is Bus Station, Taxi stand and Railway reservation counter on the same lake bridge, both ends have well laid out shopping centres, with beautifully laid of marts, stores and luxury shops.
On one of side of lake run the Mall road now named Govind Ballabh Pant Marg. It is lined up by many hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, shops, banks and other business concerns. In summer months of May & June Mall road is closed for vehicular traffic in evening hours to facilitate Mall strolling which is the famous attraction for all the tourists. This road is the main link joining Mallital and Tallital. On the other side of the lake lies the Thandi Road . It is comparatively less busy and have Pashan devi temple. Vehicles are not allowed on Thandi Road. Entry of heavy traffic is prohibited during the months of May, June and October from 8 am to 10.30 am and 2.30 pm to 10.30 pm, light vehicles from 6 pm to 10 pm and cycle rickshaw from 6 pm to 9 pm.
At the northern side of the lake there is a place of rendezvous for people from all walks of life. Here evenings are heavily crowded. There is a statue of Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant and a beautiful fountain. There is a band stand. The Flats has playing ground used for sports games and cultural activities during festivals. There is Chat Bazar, Bhotia Market in the flats . In Bhotia Market vendors sell their fancy items. There is Mosque, Gurudwara and Naina Devi temple in flatts. Capitol cinema and Rink theatre which is used for roller skating are also situated in Flatts. A portion of the flatts is used for car parking. New club, Boat House club, Masonic Hall are in the periphery of the flatts for recreation.
Around one Km. away from bus stand at an altitude of 2100 meters in sprawling open area there is Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo. Now a days it has Monkeys, Himalayan black bear, Leopard , Siberian Tiger, Palm civet cat, Wolf, Silver Pheasants, Rose ringed Prakeet, Hill Fox, Ghoral, Barking Deer, Sambhar. The zoo remains closed for visitors on Monday, all national holidays , Holi & Diwali.
It is one of the main attractions of Nainital. This ropeway connects Snow-View Point (at 2270 m) with Nainital near flats. Aerial ropeway starts at Mallital , there are two trolleys to carry passengers .It takes approx. 151.7 seconds to cover one way journey by trolley. Cabin capacity is 10+1 or 825 kg. It is open from 10 am to 4 pm and Ticket for both way Journey is Rs.50 for Adults and Rs.30 for children.
Governor's House (Raj Bhavan)
Raj Bhavan was built by British as residence of Governor of North West Province. Now Raj Bhavan is the official accommodation of Governor (Uttaranchal). State guests coming to Nainital also use it for their stay. It consists of a marvelous garden, Golf Links, Swimming Pool. Jhandidhar Modi Heights, Munshi heights are the other places in the complex worth seeing. The Governor's House was built in the line of Buckingham Palace having double storied 113 rooms. For visiting this place prior permission is must.
This feature is the latest addition in the list of numerous tourism spots in Nainital. It is located in Sukha Tal around one Km from Mallital very near to Kumaun University Campus.
Naina Peak or China Peak
Naina peak is the highest peak of the town, at an altitude of 2611 m and at a distance of 6 Kms from the town. It commands an entrancing view of sparkling snow laden Himalayas from Bandar Punch in west to Api and Nari peaks of Nepal in the east, a full Himalayan range in one side and a birds eye view of the lake city of Nainital in its full grandeur on the other. With a pair of binoculars a good panorama of the tract surrounding Nainital is obtained. Pony or Horses can be hired to visit this peak either from Snow view or from Mallital.
Its altitude is 2118 m & it is located at about 4 Kms from the town. The best feature of this spot is that one does not have to climb much and as the name suggests one feels on reaching the area that the end of the land has really come. Needless to say the view of the neighboring hills and valley and the Khurpatal lake is exquisite from this point. One can go to Barapathar on a vehicle and then walk about one Km. up to the spot.
Dorothy Seat & Tiffin Top
Located at a distance of 4 Kms from the town this peak is 2292 m above the sea level in Ayarpatta region. The road to this picnic spot crawls along the rugged hill side swaying this way & that, and than all in one breadth in hushed silence suddenly unfolds a canvas on which nature has painted this beautiful spot. Tiffin Top commands an excellent view of the Himalayas as well as the neighboring country side. Dorothy seat a memorial to an English lady painter Dorothy Kellet build by her husband an admirers after her death. Tiffin Top & Lands end can be covered at a stretch as both spots are side by side.
At an altitude of 2194 m and 10 Km from the town this place is accessible by a motor able road. There is a forest rest house for night stay. Kilbury is an ideal spot for a quiet and peaceful holiday.
Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES)
Situated on Manora peak it is about 1 Km from Hanumangarhi if some one prefers to visit it on foot. By road it is about 9 Kms from Nainital. It is a centre of astronomical studies and optical tracking of artificial satellites. For night viewing of stars and planets some days are fixed on moon lit nights and permission is necessary. Observatory was established at Nainital in 1955 and shifted to present location of Manora Peak in 1961. The primary objective of the observatory has been to develop facilities for modern astrophysical research in stellar, solar & theoretical branches of astrophysics. On some selected clear nights the visitors are also shown some celestial objects through the telescopes.
It is 1706 meters above the sea level and 11 km away from Nainital. This is a road junction serving all the nearby hill stations from Nainital. Bhowali is famous for its scenic grandeur and as a hill fruit mart, Bhowali is also known for its T.B. sanatorium established in 1912.
Places of Interest around Nainital
At a distance of about 23 Kms. from Nainital at an altitude of 1370 m, Sattal is a unique, unforgettable spot having cluster of lakes placed amidst the oak forest. It is comparable with Westmoreland of England. As one approach toward Sattal first lake is old Nal Damyanti Lake. On moving ahead there is the ashram of Stanley Johns an American Missionary. Next lake is Panna or Garude lake. As we move down there is a cluster of three lakes , these lakes are Ram, Laxman and Sita lake.
It is about 22 Kms. from Nainital and 11 Kms. from Bhowali at an altitude of 1370 ms. The pride of Bhimtal is a beautiful lake which offers magnificent vistas for tourists. The lake is larger than Naini lake. Tourist enjoys here boating in lake. There is an island amid lake a restaurant is located atop it. Tourist visit here by boats. The distance of island from lake shore is 91 m. There is a 17th century Bhimeshwar temple complex along the 40 feet high dam. The local bus stand and taxi stand is situated near it. One road from Bhimtal leaves for Naukuchiatal while the another one goes to Kathgodam 21 Kms from here.
It is 26 Kms from Nainital and 4 Kms from Bhimtal at 1220 m above sea level. A pretty deep clean lake with its nine corner is a captivating site. Length of lake is 983 m, breadth is 693 m & depth 40.3 m. It is within an enchanting valley offering an opportunity of angling and bird watching. There is ample scope for rowing, paddling or yachting. The lake is full of lotus and is surrounded by forest with a backdrop of the mountains, all this creates an ideal condition to enjoy boating in here or sit on the banks and feel the breeze coming from the lake. There are regular bus and taxi services to this place and the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam has got its rest house where one can stay.
Nanda Devi Fair
Nanda Devi Mela is a fair of great religious and cultural significance. It is held at Nanda Devi Temple in September to commemorate the memory of Goddesses, Nanda and Sunanda.
From Nainital this place is 26 kms away. The environment is very good for health. The whole place is surrounded by Apple groves and trees of many other fruits.
Ramnagar is 49 kms from the Jim Corbett National Park but this place is famous for wild life trekking. One can watch the animals from close quarters. Nearby is the famous Gargia temples. During the seasons when the Corbett park is open for visitors, the local travel agents and operators conduct one day sight seeing tours from this place. Ram Nagar is 65 kms from Nainital.
This beautiful place is 2286 m in altitude and 51 Kms. from Nainital. Surrounded by fruit orchards and thick coniferous forest it was developed by the Britishers as research and education institute (IVRI) in 1893. It is the celebrated scenic spot overlooking long ranges of Himalaya. An old temple of Lord Shiva exist on the top of a rock.
On the Nainital - Almora Road, 9 Km from Bhowali and 17 Kms from Nainital is a modern pilgrim centre. This place has achieved recognition owing to the ashram of the famous Neem Karoli Maharaj. Kainchi is a term used for two sharp hairpin bends of the motor road in local dialect hence the name. It has no relation with scissors.
Situated at an elevation of 1125 m it is 19 Kms. from Kausani towards Bageshwar. Lying on the banks of Gomti river in a flat valley, the temple complex of Baijnath was constructed by the Katyuri kings. Here in Baijnath old anicient temples of Shiva, Ganesh, Parvati, Chandika, Kuber, Surya, Brahama are located. These were constructed in 13th century AD.
Counted among the 12 Jyotirlings in the country, Jageshwar lies in a beautiful narrow valley hedged by monarch-sized, ancient deodars. Of the over 100 small and large shrines of this complex, the three outstanding ones, in terms of sculpture, are dedicated of Jageshwar, Mrityunjaya and Pushtidevi. Jageshwar temple has sculpted dwarpals standing guard at its entrance. Although the presiding deity at Jageshwar is shiva a strong Buddhist influence is visible in the carvings. It is about 100 Kms. from Nainital.
95 kms. from Nainital , Binsar is one of the most scenic spot in the Kumoun Himalayas and acclaimed hill resorts. At an elevation of 2412 m, this place offers an excellent view of Kumoun hills and the greater Himalayas, surrounded by Alpine flora, ferns, hanging moss & species of wild flowers. The main attraction of Binsar is the majestic view of the Himalayas. A three hundred kms. stretch of famous peaks which includes Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Nandadevi, Nandakot & Pachachuli. The forests of Himalayan Oak and rhobodendron are excellent for trekking and communing with nature.
Enroute to Dhikala at about 10 Kms. from Ramnagar there is a huge rock perching out of the Kosi river bed. On the pinnacle there is a beautiful temple of Durga Devi named as Garjia Devi. One has to climb a huge number of narrow stairs to reach the temple. An enchanting view of river Kosi can be seen from the top of the rock. It is a good place for bathing, basking, worship & lunch enroute to Corbett park.
The Corbett National Park
The Corbett park is first national park of India established in the year 1936 it was named Hailey National Park . In 1957 ,the park was rechristned as the Corbett National Park in the memory of Late Jim Corbett great naturalist ,eminent conservationist. The dense Sal forests of Himalayan foothills and the tall grassy meadows make it one of the richest areas of northern India for the habitation of big mammals. It is 118 Kms. from Nainital via Kaladhungi & Ramnagar. The Corbett national park covering an area of 520.82 Sq. Kms. is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas. In 1966 an additional area was added to Corbett National Park bringing it to its present area of 520.82 sq. kms. Corbett Tiger Reserve is spread over 1318.54 sq. kms. and includes apart from Corbett National Park, additional areas of Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest buffer zone. It spreads over parts of two districts , a major part of park with an area of 312.86 sq. Kms. falls in Pauri Garhwal district and the balance 208.14 sq. Kms. in Nainital district . The park occupies portions of Kalagarh and Ramnagar forest divisions. It falls within the trek of land known as Paltidun. Corbett National park is famous the world over as the 'Land of the trumpet, roar and song'.
Different species of trees, shrubs, bamboo and grass make up the lush vegetation of the park. The sanctuary is dominated by pure sal, for which the park is known. It is found in the lower hilly ridges and flat valleys while the soothing green shisham is in abundance in the revering area. The balky enriches the hues of park with its reddish leaves and pale bark and the chaurs, the savannah grasslands are covered with a variety of grass. During the monsoon from June to October, the park remains closed to tourists and the animals move to the hilly areas of Corbett at this time.
The lake in the park attracts a large number of species of water birds, both migrants and others, that frequent it's water, mainly in the winter. Among the reptiles, the long snouted, fish eating gharial and mugger (crocodiles) could be seen basking in the sun on the sand banks. Sporting fish such as mahseer and malee thrive in the lake and in the river, offering great fishing, sport to anglers. The Ramganga is the home of the prehistoric reptiles, gharial and the mugger. The gharial has been saved from extinction in the park through captive breeding. A few species of turtles and tortoises are also found in and around lake.
The tiger is the bigger attraction of this park. Other carnivores include the leopard, elephant, bear, hog, sambar deer, muntjac and fox. The chital and the well known spotted deer, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world congregate in large numbers in the vast grassland choirs of Corbett. Large herds of elephant are also found near Ramganga.
The Park has a spectacular bird diversity. Corbett is the home of 580 species of birds including water fowl, 17 types of woodpecker, raptors like the Pallas fishing eagle, harries and kites, peafowl, kalij pheasant, the rare chir pheasant, red jungle fowl, minivets, shrikes, cuckoos, drongos and barbets. A fine reservoir on the river formed with the building of a dam at Kalagarh now attracts diverse species of water birds - both local and migratory.
There are viewing tower as well as elephant rides for visitors, every morning and evening. This is perhaps the best way to see wildlife for it is possible to go deep into the Park on elephants, to get close to the animals in an unobtrusive manner and to get a clear view of them.
How to reach Corbett
The nearest rail head is Ramnagar which is the terminus of Delhi-Moradabad-Ramnagar broad gauge branch of North East Railway.
Ramnagar is connected by road to Delhi as well as Lucknow. Delhi is 240 Kms. away via Kashipur-Moradabad-Ghaziabad , while Lucknow is 432 Kms. via Kashipur-Rampur & Bareilly. Ramnagar is 60 Kms. from Nainital via Kaladhungi.
The nearest airport is at Pantnagar about 80 Kms. from Ramnagar.
Dhangarhi is the main entrance to the park is located on Ramnagar-Ranikhet road 19 Kms. from Ramnagar. Dhangarhi houses a museum of dead animals and is worth visiting. South western boundry of park touches Kalagarh which can also be approached from Moradabad. Dhikala 35 Kms. from Dhangarhi connected by forest road is the main tourist spot of the park. There is one more entrance from Amdanda six Kms. from Ramnagar in Phooltal area.
A hill station, idyllic in its charm, Ranikhet with its majestic pine trees, is 60 Km away from Nainital. According to popular belief this spot had won the heart of Rani Padmini, queen of Raja Sudhardev. She chose this scenic place to her abode & since then, it has come to be known as Ranikhet, literally "Queen's Field". At an altitude of 1829 m above sea level, this hill station is undoubtedly a tourist's paradise. The scented mountain breeze, fresh & pure, the singing of birds, the panoramic view of the Himalayas, the sights, sounds and smells leave the onlooker spellbound. Ranikhet is the headquarter of Kumaoun Regimental Centre. Upat Kalika : 6 Kms. from the town on Almora Road the place has one of the best mountain golf links (9 Holes) in the country surrounded by dense forests just one km. from Upat is Kalika with its famous temple.
How to reach
There is a railhead situated at Kathgodam, 84-km away from Ranikhet.
Buses from all over Kumaon, including from the railhead Kathgodam. For local transportation within the town jeeps, taxis and local buses are available. Nainital is 59.5 km away from Ranihet.
Places of Interest
Nanda Devi Fair
Nanda Devi Mela is a fair of great religious and cultural significance. It is held at Nanda Devi Temple in September to commemorate the memory of goddesses, Nanda and Sunanda.
Upat and Kalika
With one of the best 9 hole golf links in the country, Upat is a boon to the enthusiast. With the added attraction of private orchards, it is 5.6 km away. Just one kilometre from Upat is Kalika with its famous temple to the Goddess Kali. It also has good forest nursery. A beautiful snowcapped mountain peak is available on the other side of the golf link at Upat.
As the name implies, these are four, fruit gardens, with a Government Fruit Research Centre, complete with a fruit sales depot and cafeteria. It is 10 kilometres from Ranikhet.
Main Source of the town's water supply comes from the Bhalu Dam, 3.2 kilometres from Chaubatia. It is famous for its fishing.
On the Ranikhet - Almora road, 13 km, is a spot of entrancing, celestial beauty. Here is an awe-inspiring view of the majesty of the snowy peaks. The U.P. Government Agriculture Farm is situated here.
Co-operative Drug Factory
Three kilometres down the road to Ramnagar, is an unique venture. Here are manufactured, on co-operative basis, Ayuvedic drugs from local herbs. The factory deals with the drugs from the research stage down to production.
Thisis the place where Mahatma Gandhi fell in love with and stayed for a length of time during the days of the Independence struggle. Here, he came for peace of mind which he always found. Now a developing town ship, the house Gandhi stayed in, GandhiKuti,and Prem Vidhyalaya are the chief attractions. There is a good Rest House, built in beautiful surroundings.
It is 5 km away from Ranikhet, Aashram of Hairakhan Baba is loacted here.