It was our second day in Nainital. We got up at around 9 AM and got quickly freshened up as we had so much to explore that day. So, without wasting a single second, we hushed towards the Baker’s hut inside the Pavilion Hotel lobby to have our morning breakfast. We had some filling sandwiches, brownies with lemon tea. Our cabbie had already arrived by that time and was waiting for us outside the hotel so we quickly finished our breakfast and hopped into the cab which we had hired for the entire day for Rs. 2000. And I must tell you that Nainital had a soothing effect on me which really calmed my senses. Overall, If I have to sum up Nainital, I would say this place is a blend of natural beauty and colonial heritage and given a chance, I would love to visit this place time and again.
We started our sight seeing with Khurpatal. Our cab driver first took us to Khurpatal through the serpentine road. Khurpatal is a small village which has a beautiful lake called Khurpatal lake located at an altitude of 5500 ft above the sea level and is 12 kms away from Nainital. The route to this lake was very beautiful and enchanting with tall trees lined up alongside the road.
Khurpatal spot is also popularly known as the anglers point since this lake is a natural habitat of fishes and hence serves as a place for angling which is a traditional method of fishing. Vegetable farming is also done around this lake.The lake is termed as Khurpatal because when viewed from top, it appears like a horse shoe. The lake looks best when viewed from top. We stopped there for a minute, clicked some photos and then moved on. Our cab driver also told us a strange fact that the water of this lake changes color according to the weather.
Sadiatal / Sariyatal
After Khurpatal, we went to Sadiatal which was located at a distance of 1.8 km from Khurpatal and around 5 kms from Nainital on the way to Kaladungi. Sadiatal is a small heart-shaped lake and a good place to spend some time in the lap of nature. On the banks of this lake lies a Himalayan Botanic Gardens and within the botanical garden, there is a butterfly park, library, herbarium, fernery and auditorium. We didn’t explore this place though.
Next, we went to Sadiatal Cascade which was on Kaladungi-Nainital national highway where we spent some fifteen minutes playing in water and getting clicked. There were many small eateries outside the cascade gate on the opposite side of the road. We purchased some snacks and hopped into our car.
Mango Lake View Point
We then went to Mango point. This is a popular spot from where the beautiful Naini Lake appears as Mango shaped and hence this viewpoint is known as Mango Point.
Check out the Mango shaped Naini Lake.
We then visited Land’s End point and it was totally sublime. Land’s End is situated at an altitude of 2118 m and is 4 kms away from Nainital. This place is called Land’s end because the land actually ends here. From this point, we saw the magnificent view of Khurpatal Lake surrounded by the soaring pine trees, plains and the villages. This place offers a picturesque panorama of the low-lying plains and surrounding hills. You will get to see the beautiful villages nestled at the bottom from this point.
Lovers Point and Suicide Point
Then next we went to Lovers point. Near to Lover’s point there is another spot called The Suicide Point. Both these points are popular for the amazing and spectacular scenic view they provide to the tourists. Horse riding facilities are also available here.
Rock climbing spot / Bara Pathar
We then reached Bara Pathar. This place is a rock climbing spot where the climbing is done under supervision of trained professionals only and hence this is not for amateur climbers. Horses are hired at Bara Pathar to visit the peak. We decided to give it a miss.
Naina Peak / China Peak
Next we went to Naina Peak also called China/Cheena peak. It is the highest peak of Nainital at an altitude of 2615 m above the sea level and is towards the north side of the lake in Mallital. It is about 6 kms away from Mallital and is famous for its Bird’s eye view of the town. If you are a bit towards the adventurous side then, opt for a day trek to Naina peak with trained hikers who will take through the forests of rhododendrons, soaring deodars and cypresses. The best part is that this is an easy one.The view from the top is beautiful with 360 degree view of the snow-clad Himalayas on one side, eagle view of Nainital Lake on the other side and Khurpatal view on other side.
Eco Cave Gardens
Next, we went to Eco cave garden which was located in Sukhatal on the Kaladungi road and just one km away from the Mall Road, Nainital. We purchased tickets of Rs 20/- each and also gave an additional camera fee of Rs 25 and entered the Eco Cave Garden.
This place is carved out of natural rocks and has a set of six inter-connected rocky caves which are named as Panther Cave, Tiger Cave, Porcupine Cave, Bat Cave. The easiest one being the Tiger Cave and the most difficult is Bat Cave in which you literally have to crawl to pass through that cave. Walking and Crawling through these caves was definitely an exciting. Then there is also a musical fountain inside the garden which is a spectacle to watch as the evening descends.
After passing through those caves, we got tired and then relaxed at the hilltop garden. The entire Eco Cave Garden has been decorated with Kumaon rural men and women statues.
Naina Devi Temple
We then went to Naina Devi temple. Nainital is named after the goddess Naina Devi. The Naini Temple at the banks of the Naini Lake holds a lot of significance and the goddess Shakti is worshiped at the Naina Devi Temple. It is believed that the Naini Lake is one of the 64 religious sites/ Shakti Peeths, where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. The spot where Sati’s eyes / Nain fell became Nainital or lake of the eye.
Next, we went to High Altitude Nainital Zoo which is at an altitude of 2100 m above the sea level and spread over a large 11 acres and is just one km away from the Mallital bus stand.
This zoo is home to some of the world’s most endangered species like Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Tibetan wolf, the Siberian Tiger, Hill Fox, Wolves, Palm Civet Cat, Ghorals, Barking Deer, Sambhar, Silver Pheasants, Rose Ringed Parakeet and Himalayan Birds.
Let me tell you that the view of the town Nainital from the zoo is breathtaking.
We could not go to Tiffin’s top / Dorothy’s seat as I didn’t have the energy to trek. Tiffin’s Top is also known as Dorothy’s seat as it was built in the memory of an English artist name Dorothy Kellet by her family. Tiffin Top is a terraced hilltop set at an altitude of 2,290 m and is located at the Ayarpatta Hills and just 4 km away from Mallital. Trek up to this place to see some of the most breathtaking views of the Himalayas and Nainital. Another very famous location was Snow View point just 3 kms away from the Mallital at an altitude of 2260 m. We could not make it to this place. This place is accessible via a trek or a Cable Car/ Rope Way from Mallital. This spot provides the view of the entire town and spectacular views of the snow-covered Himalayan peak.
I also wore Kumauni Dress and got myself clicked.
Sitting by the lake
It was 6 PM and we did some shopping for our family guys and spent the rest of the time by the lake viewing the lights of the hotels reflecting on the lake water. It was a sight to behold. With this, our expedition to Nainital came to an end and it was time to head back to Delhi.
- Prepare a list of places which you would like to visit in advance so that you won’t miss out on a good spot.
- Wear either a comfortable shoes or flats, no heels please.
- Apply lots of sunscreen and carry a hat, sunglasses and a scarf.
- When it comes to shopping at Nainital you need paper money. But there is no need to carry too much of paper money as there are many ATM’s there at the every nook and corner.
- Nainital witness a drop in temperature at night during summers too. So, don’t forget to carry light woolens. If you have children with you, then carry extra woolens and blankets. Heavy woolens in winter and light woolens in summer is a must. Raincoat & Umbrella are must during rainy season.
- There are large number of budget, premier and small hotels in Nainital. There are two tourist rest houses in Nainital, one is at Tallital and another at Snow Point.
Popular Markets for Shopping:
- Tibetan Market : The Tibetan Market is in Mallital alongside the Naini Lake. You can purchase woolen clothes, bags, umbrellas, sweets, ethnic wear, shawls, scarfs, hued mufflers, junk jewelries, jackets, stylish watches, wax products, candles, wooden artifacts and what not. Oh by the way, don’t forget to bargain.
- Baraa Bazaar: Bara Bazaar is a old and popular market in Mallital region famous for selling freshly-prepared squashes, good quality fruits, and juices. Purchase the home-made jams, fruit squashes, juices and fruits preservatives and also variety of fruits like cherries, apples, soft strawberries and blueberries. Also, you will get here beautiful handmade candles ,Cane stick and wooden showpieces.
- Mall Road Market: The shops at Mall Road sells handicrafts items, textiles, various gift items like wooden trays, key chains, books, candles and junk jewelry. Lots of eateries and hotels are lined across the Mall Road.
Getting Around: Already told in my last post, but still posting it again in case you guys missed it.
- On Foot : Trust me, the best way to explore Nainital is on foot. The main area of Nainital is Naini Lake surrounded by lots of small and big restaurants, shops and hotels, all packed together overlooking the beautiful lake. So, the true beauty of Nainital is best enjoyed with a stroll. Also, I bet your walking experience will be pleasant as the mall road pavements are smooth and clean.
- By Cycle Rickshaws : If you are with kids, or elderly people, then you can hire cycle rickshaws at a fixed rate of Rs 10 from Mallital to Tallital, basically that means from one end of the Mall road to another end.
- By Cab/Taxi : For far off areas, you need to hire a cab. Taxis are available in cab/taxi stand throughout the day for sightseeing tours.
Hope you like this post…
Much Love, Neha