Basking in the foothills of the Himalayas, Nainital is an eye-catching hill station. Its natural attractions and favourable climate make it a popular tourist destination. Its calm and unperturbed environment has made it a famous getaway for local and international tourists.
Geographically, it may be a small place. But there are many places to visit in Nainital and it has many a wonder to keep you captivated and on your toes. Some of the best tourist places in Nainital or famous places in Nainital include the following:
1. Mall Road
One of the best places to visit in Nainital is the Mall Road. Constructed in the days of the British Raj, the road runs through the heart of the town parallel to the iconic Naini Lake. Besides enjoying the cool breeze, while gaping at the scenic view, there is much to do on Mall Road. Decked with rows of shops, restaurants and hotels, the entire stretch is jostling with people, be it tourists’ or locals. It’s a good place to shop for souvenirs.
2. Raj Bhavan (Governor’s House)
While on the trip, it is one of the places to visit in Nainital, this place once served as a Summer Capital for the British officials, the Raj Bhavan in Nainital is a spectacular adaptation of Gothic architecture. Featuring massive tree-trunk pillars, intricate British architecture and expansive lawns, it is now a heritage building. The magnificent structure is open for public viewing and if you are interested in getting a closer look, you can avail a tour guide.
3. Tiffin Top
Must-visit tourists place in Nainital is Dorothy’s Seat, colloquially referred to as Tiffin Top is situated on the summit of the Ayarpatta Hill. Surrounded by verdant green woods, overlooking the peaceful Nainital town, Tiffin Top gives a magnificent 360-degree view of the surrounding area. It makes for a fantastic picnic spot and is an irresistible attraction for photographers.
4. Naina Devi Temple
It definitely comes under the best places to visit in Nainital. Carrying with it a historical and mythological significance, this temple is the central attraction of Nainital. Multitudes of devotees throng to seek the blessings of Goddess Shakti every year. If you are right in time for Naina Ashtami, then the 8 day long festivities might seem overwhelming. If not fortunate enough, you can still pay a visit for a quick darshan.
5. High altitude Zoo
It is one of the other tourist attractions in Nainital. Located at about 7000 feet above sea level, this zoo is truly unique in that sense. Home to many endangered species of animals, it is quite a hit with the tourists’. Endowed with a favourable eco-system, the zoo also serves as a natural habitat for birds. Watching the wildlife through close quarters is a fascinating experience.
6. Naina Peak
Another of the places to see in Nainital is the Naina Peak. It is also referred to as ‘China Peak’ or ‘Cheena Peak’ by the locals; it is the highest peak in Nainital. It’s high altitude and lush green forests make the peak a hit among adventure seekers. You can often find people trekking or hiking up the rugged landscapes. If the walk up is exciting enough, the bird’s eye view at the summit will take your breath away.
7. Nainadevi Bird Reserve
The expansive forest patches and alpine grasslands of Nainital make it a favourable breeding ground for a wide species of avian fauna. This is one of the best places to visit in Nainital. The tiny hamlets situated along the threshold of the sanctuary are a good example of the integrated coexistence of human and animal habitation. The flocks of rare species of birds make it a must-visit sight for bird watchers and ornithologists alike.
8. Aurobindo Ashram
One of the best places to visit in Nainital is the Aurobindo Ashram which is an apt place to enjoy the tranquillity of the hill station. By meditating anywhere on its 4 acre wide premises, you will be transported to a spiritual retreat. It is also a good place to observe the marvels of Mother Nature by avoiding the hustle and bustle of crowded touristic streets.
9. Eco Cave Gardens
Eco Cave Gardens is a budding tourist spot comprising naturally interconnected caves which serve as a habitat for different animals. It is an educational tour for children and it also gives an insight into the lifestyle of the forest fauna. Some of the caves are quite challenging to explore and if you are claustrophobic, you might want to sit this tour out.
10. Saria Tal
Saria Tal is a stunning little lake located not very far off from Nainital. The babbling streams and quietude of green thickets make this heart-shaped lake an impeccable escape spot. Besides this is the Himalayan Botanical Garden. This garden features a fern house, library, butterfly park and herbarium. The variety of plant species put on display here is unbelievable.
11. Corbett National Park
This National Park is synonymous with Nainital and is definitely one of the best places to see in Nainital. Crowned with the glory of being one of the oldest national parks, it is one of those few places that allow for an overnight stay in the midst of the jungle. You can explore the pristine wilderness of the tiger reserve by going on a safari or you can go for a game drive along the rocky terrains of the forest. Coming face-to-face with the wildlife is truly a mesmerizing experience.
12. Gurney House
Gurney House was the residence of the famous conservationist, Jim Corbett. But now it is open to the public as a museum featuring Corbett memorabilia. It is quite a nostalgic place and gives an insight into this iconic legend’s life history.
There are many places to visit in Nainital, tourist places in Nainital and places to see in Nainital, you need to prioritise what you want to do, and which you want to visit.