I still vividly remember the day when I was desperately searching about Nainital on the Internet. The endless number of floating boats in Naini lake and the beautiful landscape of mall road from china peak locked my attention for a while but still, I wanted to be sure that this place worth my time and money.
But you can never be sure one hundred percent about something unless and until you have done on your own. Keeping this in mind, I anyhow decided to embark on this solo trip to Nainital and unravel the beauty and adventure this place has to offer.
What time is best to visit Nainital?
Never visit this place in peak summer if you want to get the maximum benefit out of this place. The price of everything will be ridiculously high and place will be flooded with tourists who actually come to this place to find some peace but end up spending hours in traffic.
The reason being the summer of Delhi. So rather visit this place in winter between November to March as the crowd will be less and you will get good service at a dirt-cheap price.
What are the main tourist attractions in Nainital?
Naini lake, China peak or Naini peak , Naini temple , Mall road and Nainital zoo. These are the main tourist attractions there. You can also visit Ranikhet which is situated at a distance of 60 km from Nainital.
Naini Lake – Boating paradise of Nainital
The moment I landed in Nainital from Delhi. The first thing I was able to see was this humongous and serene lake in front of me. Without wasting any time I immediately went to the booking counter and inquired about the price and duration of the boating in this pristine lake.
To my surprise, they quoted me three prices – 150 INR ($2), 210 INR ($3) and 500 INR ($7) based on the duration and distance it will cover in the lake.
Being a middle class, I chose the middle one :-P. I somehow stepped into the boat and the sailor started paddling. At the time of booking, he told me the duration was 45 minutes but ended the ride in 25 minutes itself. I protested but that was of no use as he made some lame excuse that this is the only area he has permission to sail.
If you take my opinion, the ride was definitely not worth the price. Rather sit back at the bank of the lake and enjoy the tranquility.
China Peak or Naini Peak – My first ever trek in Himalaya
Trekking always enticed me but before Nainital, I never have been to any trekking expedition. But the moment I heard that this place has a trail called China peak where you can trek and see the landscape view of the whole Nainital.
I was like I am not going to miss this. I started asking locals there about the place, and they told me that the trail is not quite famous among tourists and I will barely find anyone.
I went into deep contemplation and started thinking about safety issues. But deep inside I really wanted to do this. So I kept all my negative thoughts aside and started moving in the direction of the trail. I crossed the famous Mall road and then the road started getting steep. I kept asking locals about the direction and kept moving. After walking for about 4 kilometers, I reached the place from where this trek actually starts.
Poor me as I could have covered this distance on any vehicle and saved my stamina but I didn’t know this and now I was exhausted. From the base point, trek was about 3 kilometers. I Kept moving and to my surprise, I was all alone on the trail. It was frightening as you never know what can happen in the mountains. I kept moving apprehensively and Bam! I found two other people on the trail.
I introduced myself to them. They were from Haldwani(35km from Nainital). Luckily I was not alone now on this dreadful trek. It took us around 1 hour to reach the top. We could see almost the entire Nainital from the top.
Shri Maa Naina Devi Temple – For the devotion in you
There is lakeside temple called Naini temple or Shri Maa Naina Devi Temple where anyone can seek blessings.
Nainital Zoo – Visit if you have nothing else to do
I never encourage animal enslavement in the name of entertainment. But if you are not in tune with my opinion and have nothing to do in Nainital, you can definitely visit this zoo anytime. The ticket cost is around 50 INR ($1) and it is high altitude zoo so you have to climb a few hundred stairs to reach this place.
Mall road – The most common road in mountains
Almost every hill station has this road called mall road where there will be a few shops and you will find people making weird faces and taking selfies. Everything will be overpriced and there will be two chairs for which hundreds of people will be fighting.
Nainital is good for those who want to sit back in the mountains and do some sightseeing but definitely not for those seeking adventure.
But people can definitely consider this place for a weekend trip as this is not much far from Delhi.