It is a good idea to make up a list of the top things to do in Nainital before heading to the place on a holiday. You may be very sure that there are a number of temples you can visit, as with most destinations in India, but you will need to know what else you will find here.
Not to worry, because we actually have a bunch of recommendations for the top things to do in Nainital, once you arrive at the place.
Things to Do in Nainital
1. Go Boating
Both the Nainital and Sat Tal, with its seven interconnecting freshwater lakes, offer you a wonderful opportunity to go boating in crystal clear waters to enjoy the unique experience of being surrounded by sparkling waters and green-clad hills all around you.
Go paddling in these waters which absolve one of all sins and enjoy the incredible beauty of your surroundings and get your share of exhilarating adrenalin rush from all the exercise.
2. Trek to Naini Peak
If trekking is your thing, you will enjoy yourself at Nainital where the rewards of trekking are almost unmatched by other trekking expeditions. At the end of your trek through the beautiful cypresses and rhododendrons, you don’t settle down around a bonfire or anything mundane like that.
Reach the top of Naini Peak to look at the twinkling lights of the village below and the clouds and mists on the Himalayan range in the distance.
3. Visit the Viewpoints for Panoramic Views
You may also trek to the top to reach the Himalayan Point or Snow View point to worship Mother Nature in all her glory. Nothing can touch the awe-inspiring sight or Darshan of the white peaks of the Himalayas or the clouds which rest on them for its sheer drama.
Be spellbound by the beauty of the sunlight reflecting off the tall, snow-clad peaks of Himalayas, Nanda Kot, Kurinjal Peak, Trishul and Nanda Devi.
4. Indulge in
Think hills, lakes, rivers, valleys, greenery and panoramic views and the best sport you can indulge in, apart from boating is paragliding. Paragliding is definitely the top thing to do at Nainital. Look around you and identify one of the places offering the equipment and support for paragliding and fly away. You find places in Pangot and Bhimtal offering you the activity. You could also go camping in the wilderness.
5. See Pandas and other Wildlife
Most animal lovers reading this must be quite curious to see a real, live panda, or other exotic creatures and birds. If your answer is yes, Nainital has the answer for you in the G B Pant High Altitude Zoo, Nainital Zoo and the Kilbury Bird Sanctuary. Visit one, visit all – the experience is well worth it, as you will get to see many beautiful species, some on the verge of extinction, fighting a losing battle against mankind.
6. Smell the Flowers
Nainital is in the lower ranges of the Himalayas and has an exotic collection of fruit-bearing and flowering plants. If you are an avid gardener and plant lover, who would love to grow an apple tree in the Deccan plateau, don’t miss visiting the plants at the Himalayan Botanical Gardens amidst the mountains and be enchanted by the butterflies all around.
7. Enjoy the Street Food
Like all extremely popular tourist destinations, Nainital is also a great place for enjoying a variety of street foods. These could consist of local, read Kumaoni delicacies as well as Chinese and Tibetan cuisine which offer their own set of delectable dishes to tease your palate. Think momos, thukpas and the quintessential Chinese noodles and prawn fries but don’t miss on Bal Mithai, an Kumaoni sweet which tastes like chocolate fudge. Don’t miss the fruits from Bara Bazaar.
8. Go Shopping
Shop for a variety of locally made items in wool from Nainital, like shawls, cardigans, mufflers, gloves and caps. Other items to buy would be the uniquely shaped candles which come in a great variety of shapes, and the freshly made fruit jams from Bara bazaar. You will find Tibetan products at Bhutia Bazaar and a variety of wood carvings and artifacts at Mall Road and extremely fair-priced items at the flea market.
9. Go on a Picnic
Scenic beauty, holidays and picnics usually go hand in hand. There is no reason why you should miss out on one in Nainital when you have the most ideal picnic spot, which is popularly known as Tiffin Top (Tiffin being the slang Indian word for any snack), named Dorothy’s Seat. Settle to an afternoon of relaxation or photo sessions and a well-deserved picnic lunch, after your trek to reach the place.
10. Track Human Evolution at the Museum
Nainital makes you think about man’s journey on this planet in more ways than one. After visiting the endangered species of animals, you can visit the Folk Culture Museum at Bhimtal which showcases the evolution of man. You can also visit the Cave Garden where you can explore the six caves which were home to prehistoric cavemen and women and reconstruct the details of their starkly primitive existence in such cold and inhospitable terrain.
11. Pay Respects to Corbett
Time and again, Corbett risked his own life to rid this region of man-eating tigers and leopards which preyed upon his beloved villagers. A visit to Gurney House, where he lived, on the list of top things to do in Nainital for many visitors. This humanist, writer, hunter, animal conservationist and Britisher who could hold conversations with the animals of the jungle, left India but lives on in the hearts of the locals and his readers.
12. Make Religion a Way of Life
Nainital has many highly popular Shiva and Parvati temples which have legendary status and a great number of devotees who come only to visit them. There is also a Tibetan Monastery at Nainital and a Church of St. John in the Wilderness, which beckons you to visit with the visions it invokes. You may not want to miss visiting the beautiful structure of the Jama Masjid, with its inscriptions in Arabic.
Visit the lakes, hills and valleys of Nainital and have a great time enjoying yourself and doing some of the best things to do in Nainital, which are suggested here. Enjoy the flora and fauna and see them in all their glory in their natural habitat. Hope you have a wonderful time and come back to tell us about anymore places you have seen or things you have done and share them with us in the comments. Happy journey.