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Nainital :: City Information

Nainital - Weather

Best Travel Duration

Summer : Max 26.7C, Min 10.6C.
Winter : Max 15.6C, Min 2.8C.
Rainfall : 279 cm

March to June, September to October

About Nainital

The largest hill settlement in the Kumaon region of Himalayas is the lake town of Nainital. A dramatic climb of 1,300 metres over a 40 km route from the railhead at Kathgodam takes the visitor through winding river valleys, alongside terraced farms, lush green alpine forests and over mountain ridges, right up to Nainital. Vantage points around Nainital offer a panoramic view of Himalayan peaks on one side and the plains rolling down on the other. Narrow wooded lanes through forests of oak, pine and deodar are excellent for short refreshing walks. The older parts of Nainital also retain colonial vestiges, including sprawling bungalows, public schools, church and the British cemetery.
On reaching the head of the town where the highway from the plains meets the main Mall at Tallital, you get a dramatic view of the beautiful Naini Lake nestling in its cocoon of hills. brightly coloured sails of yachts dot the calm waters of the lake while crowds of holidaymakers throng the Mall at its edge. Boating in the lake is just one of the favourite activities of the tourists who come to Nainital. Others come here for trekking in the still forested mountains that surround the town.
Angling is or was once a favoured past time of those who came to Nainital for a bit of recreation and respite. Unfortunately, the prosperity and development that tourism has brought to Nainital is also the bane of this hill resort. Due to pollution and increased construction activity, Naini Lake is shrinking in size, there are less fish in the waters, the Lake has lost much of its depth because of siltation caused by erosion of the slopes thanks to widespread deforestation. Nevertheless, Nainital remains a popular haunt for travellers, and a base into the beautiful mountain sites of Kumaon, where tiny hamlets still retain their traditional life pattern.

Places to Visit

Naini Lake

Description: Naini Lake

This attribute lake is said to be one of the emerald green eyes of Shiva's wife, Sati (naina is Sanskrit for eye). When Sati's father failed to invite Shiva to a family sacrifice, she burnt herself to death in protest. Shiva gathered the charred remains in his arms and proceeded to engage in a cosmic dance, which threatened to destroy the world. To terminate the dance, Vishnu chopped up the body into pieces, and the remains were scattered across India. The modern Naina Devi Temple at the northern end of the lake is built over the precise spot where the eye is believed to have failen.

Snow View

Description: Snow View

At the top, a close up view of Naina Devi (7816m) which was, as the old brass plate here tells you, 'the highest mountain in the British empire'. Naina Devi was India's highest peak until Sikkim (and thus Kanchenjunga) was absorbed into the country. There's a small marble temple dedicated to Dev Mundi housing images of Durga, Shiva, Sita, Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman. From Snow View you can walk west to another point and then continue on to the main road to Kilbury. From here you could continue up to China Peak or head down the road to Sukhatal, passing great views of the lake in route.

A walk up to Snow View can take in the tiny Gadhan Kunkyop Ling Gompa of the Gelukpa order (of which the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader). Take the road uphill from the hotel city heart, from where a path branches off towards the gompa (the colorful prayers flags are visible from the road). The gompa serves Nainital's small (and mostly itinerant) Tibetan community. Most of the Tibetan families travel to Nainital in the summer season to sell sweaters and shawls, and in winter descend to the plains



There are several other good walks in the area, with views of the snowcapped mountains to the north. China Peak (pronounced 'Cheena'), also known as Naini Peak, is the highest point in the area (2610m).
A 4km walk to the west of the lake is Dorothy's Seat (2292m), also known as Tiffin Top, where a Mr Kellet built a seat in memory of his wife who was killed in a plane crash. From Dorothy's Seat it's a lovely walk to Land's End (2118m) through a forest of oak, deodar and pine. From Land's End there are fine views out over the lake at Khurpatal.
From the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), at the north-western corner of the lake is Gurney House, where Jim Corbett once lived. This two storey wooden dwelling is now a private residence, but the caretaker may let you look inside.

Naina Peak


Known as the China peak this peak is the highest point in Nainital. From here Nainital appears as a bowl. You can walk or take ponies to the peak. From this peak you can capture the exciting views of Nainital. Naina peak also gives a good view of the Camelback peak. There are no hotel or restaurant on the top so carry food and water along with yourself.

Hanuman Garhi


This place is of religious importance. Situated at a height of 1951 meters this place was established by Baba Neem Kiroli. A very beautiful Hanuman mandir is at the top. From Hanuman Garhi watching the Sunset is very soothing. You can walk down from Nainital to Hanuman Garhi.

How To Get To Nainital

By Air:


The nearest domestic Airport is Palam Airportat New Delhi, although Phool bagh being the nearest airport 72 kms from Nainital but after the termination of Vayudoot services it has become unoperational for general public. The nearest International airport is Indira Gandhi-International airport at New Delhi.

By Rail:


KATHGODAM, "The Gateway of Kumaon Hills" which is just 34 km away from Nainital is the nearest railway terminus of the North Eastern Railway which in turn is connected with New Delhi, Calcutta & Lucknow by train services. Lalkuan is 60 Kms from Nainital which is connected to Bareilly, Agra & Lucknow by narrow gauge.

By Road:


The U.P.S.R.T. Corporation (U.P. Govt. Roadways) provides direct buses to Nainital from Delhi, Lucknow and major cities of the state. There are many Private Tour Operators who provide good and luxrious coach buses to Nainital from New Delhi. Besides these Harayana roadways, Rajasthan- Roadways & the DTC (Delhi transport corp.) also operate direct buses to Nainital. It takes around 8 hrs to reach Nainital from New Delhi.