4.1 / 5

Naini Lake

📍 DAY 1 :Nainital Lake, UttarakhandView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:March to June for pleasant weather and boating, and November to February for a stunning snowfall view.

⏰ Open Hours:6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

🎒 Things To Do:Boating, Yachting, Paddle Boating, Enjoy the scenic view, Photography

💰 Budget:Boating charges: ₹210 for Full Round, ₹160 for Half Round, Yacht: ₹400 for 30 mins.

🧳 Traveller Types:Families, Solo Travellers, Nature Lovers, Photographers

🏞 Known For:Its pear-shaped design, mesmerising views and boating experiences. It is one of the four lakes in the Kumaon hills, with mythological importance.

📍 Distances:From Pantnagar Airport - 71 km, Kathgodam Railway Station - 34 km, Nainital Bus Stand - 1 km

🚣‍♀️ Activities:Boating, Yachting, Paddle Boating

🏞 Scenic Beauty:Picturesque views of the hills and settlements around the lake.

📌 Tips:Avoid visiting during monsoon due to heavy rainfall. Early morning or evening is the best time for boating.

🏨 Nearby Attractions:Naina Devi Temple, Mall Road, Snow View Point, Tiffin Top

Have questions about Naini Lake?Ask the Tripoto Community ›
Naini Lake: A Complete Guide to the Jewel of Nainital

Naini Lake is a natural freshwater lake located in the heart of Nainital, a popular hill station in Uttarakhand. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the state, attracting millions of visitors every year. The lake is famous for its scenic beauty, its boating options, and its religious importance.

But there is more to Naini Lake than meets the eye. This lake has a rich history, a fascinating legend, and a variety of activities to offer. Whether you want to enjoy boating on the lake, visit the Naina Devi temple, admire the view from the Snow View Point, shop at the Mall Road, or take a cable car ride to the Tiffin Top, Naini Lake has something for everyone.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about Naini Lake, from its geography and history to its legends and facts. We will also give you some tips on how to enjoy boating on the lake and what to see and do around it.


Naini Lake has a crescent shape that resembles an eye. It is about 1.5 km long and 0.5 km wide, covering an area of 48 hectares. It has a maximum depth of 29 meters and an average depth of 18 meters. The lake is surrounded by seven hills that form a picturesque backdrop for the lake.

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The lake is divided into two parts by a bridge called Mall Road. The northern part is called Mallital, which means the head of the lake. It is where most of the hotels, shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions are located. The southern part is called Tallital, which means the foot of the lake. It is where the bus station, the railway station, and the Naina Devi temple are located.


Naini Lake was discovered by a British sugar trader named P.Baron in 1841. He was so enchanted by the beauty of the lake that he decided to build a house on its shore. Soon, other British officers followed his example and established Nainital as a summer retreat for themselves. They also developed various facilities and attractions around the lake, such as hotels, schools, churches, clubs, parks, etc.

Naini Lake witnessed some important events in Indian history, such as the first session of the Indian National Congress in 1885, the escape of freedom fighter Govind Ballabh Pant from a British prison in 1917, and the assassination attempt on Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse in 1948. Some famous personalities who visited or lived near Naini Lake include Jim Corbett, Rudyard Kipling, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, etc.


According to Hindu mythology, Naini Lake is the place where Lord Shiva performed his Tandava dance after the death of his wife Goddess Sati. Sati’s father, King Daksha, had insulted Shiva by not inviting him to a yajna (sacrifice). Sati, unable to bear the humiliation, immolated herself in the fire. Shiva, enraged by this, carried her body and roamed around the world.

As he did so, some parts of Sati’s body fell at different places, which became sacred sites known as Shakti Peethas. One of Sati’s eyes (nain) fell at Nainital, creating Naini Lake. Hence, the lake is also called Naini Sarovar, which means the eye-shaped lake.

The Naina Devi temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, where Sati’s eye is believed to be present. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi, who is worshipped as a form of Shakti (power). The temple was built in the 15th century by a devotee named Moti Ram Shah. It was destroyed by a landslide in 1880, but was rebuilt by the locals. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year, especially during the festivals of Navratri and Chaitra.

How to Reach

There are different ways to reach Nainital from Delhi, such as by train, bus, car, or flight. The distance between Delhi and Nainital is about 300 km, and the travel time varies depending on the mode of transportation and the traffic conditions. Here is a summary of the options that you can choose from:


You can take a train from New Delhi to Kathgodam, which is the nearest railway station to Nainital. The train takes about 5 to 6 hours and costs around Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,800. From Kathgodam, you can take a taxi or a bus to Nainital, which is about 23 km away and takes about an hour.


You can take a bus from Delhi to Nainital, which takes about 7 to 8 hours and costs around Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 2,500. There are several bus operators that run daily services from Delhi to Nainital, such as International Tourist Center, Fasttrack Travels, Swagatam Holiday, etc. You can book your tickets online or at the bus terminals.


You can drive from Delhi to Nainital, which takes about 4 hours and costs around Rs. 2,600 to Rs. 3,800 for fuel and tolls. The route is via AH2 and SH13, which passes through Ghaziabad, Hapur, Moradabad, Rampur, Rudrapur, and Haldwani. You can also hire a car or a taxi from Delhi to Nainital, which costs around Rs. 4,700 to Rs. 6,000.


You can fly from Delhi to Pantnagar, which is the nearest airport to Nainital. The flight takes about an hour and costs around Rs. 4,300 to Rs. 12,500. However, there are only limited flights available from Delhi to Pantnagar, operated by IndiGo Airlines. From Pantnagar, you can take a taxi to Nainital, which is about 65 km away and takes about an hour and a half.

Facts About Naini Lake

Naini Lake has a unique water source that consists of underground springs and rainwater. The lake does not have any visible outlet or inlet but maintains a constant water level throughout the year.

The lake is home to various species of fish, birds, and plants, such as mahseer, trout, kingfisher, mallard, lotus, water lily, etc. The lake hosts several annual events that attract visitors from all over the world, such as the Nainital Boat Festival, Nanda Devi Fair, and the Winter Carnival.

The lake also holds some records that make it stand out from other lakes in India, such as being the highest lake in India (at an altitude of 1938 meters), being the only lake in India that has a gondola boat service and being the first lake in India to have a yacht club (established in 1890).


Boating is one of the most popular activities on Naini Lake. There are four types of boats that you can choose from depending on your preference and budget. Row boats are wooden boats that can accommodate four people and are rowed by a boatman.

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Paddle boats are pedal-powered boats that can accommodate two or four people and are operated by yourself. Gondola boats are traditional Venetian boats that can accommodate four people and are steered by a gondolier. Yachts are sailboats that can accommodate six people and are sailed by a skipper.

The boating charges vary depending on the type of boat and the duration of the ride. The average charges are Rs. 210 for a row boat for 30 minutes, Rs. 250 for a paddle boat for 30 minutes, Rs. 500 for a gondola boat for 30 minutes, and Rs. 800 for a yacht for an hour. The boating timings are from 6 am to 6 pm in summer and from 8 am to 5 pm in winter. The boating rules include wearing life jackets, following the instructions of the boatmen or skippers, avoiding littering or feeding the fish or birds on the lake, etc.

Things to See and Do Around Naini Lake

Naini Lake is not only a beautiful attraction in itself, but also a gateway to many other attractions in Nainital. Here are some of the things that you can see and do around Naini Lake:

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Visit the Naina Devi temple:

As mentioned earlier, the Naina Devi temple is one of the most sacred places in Nainital, where you can pay your respects to Goddess Naina Devi and seek her blessings. The temple is located on the northern shore of Naini Lake and is easily accessible by foot or by boat.

Enjoy the view from the Snow View Point:

The Snow Viewpoint is a vantage point that offers a panoramic view of Naini Lake and the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. You can reach the Snow Viewpoint by taking a cable car from Mallital or by trekking from Mall Road. The view from here is especially stunning during sunrise and sunset.

Shop at the Mall Road:

The Mall Road is a bustling street that runs along the edge of Naini Lake. It is lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels, and other establishments that cater to tourists’ needs and wants. You can shop for souvenirs, handicrafts, woolens, candles, books, etc., or enjoy a cup of coffee or a bite of food while watching the lake activities.

Take a cable car ride to the Tiffin Top:

The Tiffin Top is another viewpoint that offers a splendid view of Naini Lake and its surroundings. It is also known as Dorothy’s Seat, as it was built in memory of an English lady named Dorothy Kellett by her husband. You can reach the Tiffin Top by taking a cable car from Mallital or by trekking from Bara Pathar.

Naini Lake is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in India. It has a rich history, a fascinating legend, and a variety of activities to offer. Whether you want to enjoy boating on the lake, visit the Naina Devi temple, admire the view from the Snow Viewpoint, shop at the mall Road, or take a cable car ride to the Tiffin Top, Naini Lake has something for everyone.

If you are planning a trip to Nainital, don’t miss the chance to experience the charm and beauty of Naini Lake.

Naini Lake Reviews

The next afternoon we reached Nainital. Checked into the hotel near Mall road. We got fresh, took some rest, and then in the evening the first place we visited after reaching there was the famous Naini Jheel which didn’t even require much effort to reach as it was in the middle of the city and closest to the bus stand. Wondering what to do in Nainital first? Don’t worry, one of the best things to do in Nainital is to go around and take a tour of the scenic lakes. (unfortunately, we went in the evening so we couldn't enjoy the scenic lake) So then we headed to the nearby market. Mall road is your go-to place for some delicious food, especially if you are a momo-lover, it is heaven for you. Other attractions include local crafts, woolens, and candles. Collecting candles of various forms, shapes, and sizes is one of the best things to do in Nainital. The locals make amazing candles here – designs and patterns that you have never seen. Don’t forget to buy some and include them in your home décor. Bargain to strike the best deal. Also, we had amazing steam momo, Tibetan thukpa, and ice cream here in the winter season is one of the best things to do in Nainital in December.
Naini Lake is situated in the heart of the city. It is the eye – shaped lake which is the tourist hotspot and it acts as a magnet for all. It has earned respect since beginning and even the district is named after this enchanting lake. The heart of the place is a ravishing lake showering its beauty with pristine and stagnant water amidst seven mountains that are named as ‘Sukhatal’, ‘Narain Nagar’, ‘Charkhet’, ‘Saritatal’, ‘Khurpatal’, ‘Mangoli’ and ‘Ghatghar’ touching the sky. Naini lake is divided into two parts ‘Mallital’ and ‘Tallital’. The northern end of the lake is called ‘Mallital’ and the southern end is called ‘Tallital’. Both ends of the Naini lake have shopping centers with luxury and varied shops. The perimeter of the Naini Lake is 3.5 kilometers. People can explore the lake from one end to another watching the dynamic sun setting for the dusk providing peace and tranquility. During the night time, when the lights of the houses, cottages and hotels situated on the mountains covering Nainital reflects upon it, the lake makes the view invigorating on its majestical height. During night, it feels like there is a city underneath the stagnant water of Naini lake. The lake offers ample opportunities for yachting, boating and paddling facilities.
Lake No. 13 - Nanital Lake, Uttarakhand A very pretty Lake of Uttarakhand, but unfortunately highly commercialized. Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal are also nearby which are equally commercial now. I am sure everyone who visits Uttarakhand plans a stay here. I had visited this place in 2004 and even then it was very famous and the mall road was full of Tourists. This place is famous for its handmade candles and some temples. It is not recommended to stay in Nanital itself as its not peaceful, look for options in Bhimtal or Naukuchital for a little offbeat stay. How to Reach- Its a six to seven hour drive from Delhi to reach Nanital, one of the nearest hill stations. Bhimtal is an hour away from Nanital. It is recommended to hire a car and go or self drive. There are many buses that take an overnight journey to Nanital too. How Many Days- 3 to 4 days is a must to stay in Nanital. You can also club the trip with Jim Corbett National park and enjoy for a week.
Ropeway was closed due to COVID. However boating was open in the Naini Lake. One of the most beautiful lakes of the country, Nainital lakes is known for its exquisiteness. It is one of the four lakes of Kumaun Hills which includes the Sattal Lake, Bhimtal Lake and the Naukuchiyatal Lake besides the Nainital Lake. The famous lake finds its mentions in ancient scriptures and many poems by prominent writers. Naina Devi Temple is situated on this lake where it is believed that Sati’s eye’s fell to earth after her act of self-immolation. The lake is surrounded by the green hills which give the town a mesmerizing landscape. Being a natural freshwater lake, all nature lovers find the lake a charming site to sit, relax and spend some quality time either by oneself or with their loved ones. Lately, environmentalists have cited worries regarding the health of this lake and preservation measures are gaining momentum to save this natural treasure.
A natural, freshwater body, situated amidst the valley of Nainital, the Naini Lake is the apple of the eye of the town. The pear or crescent shaped lake the most famous piece of attraction in Nainital. According to Hindu mythology, it is the eye of Goddess Sati which fell from her body when Lord Shiva was carrying her corpse on his shoulder. The magnificent, crystal clear, emerald green water body is a soothing balm to all the five senses as well as régal de luxe(luxury treat) to photographers. For a tour around the lake, you can hire either a painted gondola-like boat at Rs. 200 or sail-boats the Nainital Boat Club at Rs. 300. Pedal boats, too, are available at Rs. 150 per hour.
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