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Experiencing Nainital in a day


Tripoto.com
Duration: 1 Day

Nainital, a sought-after destination of tourists, is located in the Kumaon foothills, of outer Himalayas, in the state of Uttarakhand. It is believed that the Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths, or religious sites where parts of the charred body of Sati (Parvati) fell on earth while being carried by Lord Shiva. The spot where Sati's eyes (or Nain) fell, came to be called Nain-tal or lake of the eye.

Altitude: ~2,100 mts. (Highest Peak: Naina Peak - 2619 mts.)

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 1/38 by Shashank Sinha

Continuing our journey from Jim Corbett, it took us around 3 hours to reach Nainital. Google Maps suggested around 2 hours, but we didn't exactly have a beast of a vehicle (a CNG hatchback). My father, was a first timer, when it came to driving in the hills and it was raining heavily, specially in the last 20 kms, due to which we progressed slower but safer. Of course, we were took breaks for tea, clicking pictures etc.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 2/38 by Shashank Sinha
The view minus me. Treat your eyes to mountains, a stream, clouds all in one expanse!
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 3/38 by Shashank Sinha
I'd suggest to pause your journey on this U-bend & take a moment to admire the valley (shown in previous pic)

Dad, the hero of our trip, had driven a lot by now & wanted to take in the pleasure of sight-seeing from a backseat. So we decided to park our car in the Nainital Parking Stand (see pic below).

Parking charge: Rs 100/- & is valid till 9 AM of the next day.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 4/38 by Shashank Sinha
There are 2 parking lots in Nainital. One of them has this structure, adjacent to it. Not sure what it was, earlier in the day. Perhaps a home for birds now? Looked artistic though!

At mall road, a bunch of people approached us to hire taxis or book a stay with their respective hotels. Some of them were rude & got pissed off for not taking their deal (so much for hospitality, meh).

If you preferred a comfortable suite with a nice view of the lake, you'd have options ranging from Rs 4500- 5,000/- for a suite. If you are bound by budget, or are traveling solo and stay doesn't matter much to you then cheaper rooms can also be booked for anything between Rs 1,200 - 2,000/-.

Most of the hotels are on mall road. No cars are allowed between 6-8 PM on the mall road, which leads to a peaceful walk/shopping experience.

We opted for a 12 point local sight seeing package with a cabbie. There was a costlier package of 5 point sight seeing (~2 - 3k) which covered the lakes around Nainital, like Sattal, Bhimtal etc. Though everyone jumped at this thought, we were constrained by time, & hence we gave it a miss. So, local sight seeing it was.

Cost of hiring taxi: Rs 800/- (Alto)

He was a funny guy & his laugh was contagious (on many occasions I laughed hearing his laughter :D. Do you get those moments, when you're actually infected?? LOL). He had an Alto, which has a better power to weight ratio than cars like swift etc. As tourism has grown, Innova & Alto(s) have made their presence stronger in the hills.

And so the sightseeing began. I will try to list the points chronologically for a better reference. I might miss one or two, like suicide point, etc. They all are the same in the scheme of things.

1) Snow View Point The cabbie told us beforehand, that the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas might not be visible due to the clouds. Indeed, that was the case. Here, one could also have their pictures taken with stallions for a few bucks.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 5/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 6/38 by Shashank Sinha

2) Mango Point - From this place, Nainital lake appears in the shape of a mango. The clouds just wouldn't clear & our patience ran out. It wasn't the season of mangoes anyways. Another 5 minute stop by and we moved on.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 7/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 8/38 by Shashank Sinha

3) A cave - I'm not sure if this roadside slit in the hill, qualifies as a cave (definitely not what one would imagine, hearing a "cave") or not. Anyways, other cabs were parked here too, which validated that this was a sight seeing point too.

What's so special about this though? Apparently, you'd feel cold winds after climbing the top. As per our cabbie, it was an effect of a hole, somewhere within the cave, which led to winds gushing in from the other side. We did experience winds, not sure though if they were coming from behind us or around us. It was anyways windy :D

It made for some classic photos though.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 9/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 10/38 by Shashank Sinha

4) Lovers Point - Not the typical place you wanna visit with your peers :D. But hey, I'm in love with the mountains, does that count?

By now you must be wondering, "hey, all the points look the same!".

Trust me when I tell you this, they sure are :D

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 11/38 by Shashank Sinha
I got ice in my veins, blood in my eyes. Hate in my heart, love in my mind. I seen nights full of pain, days are the same. You keep the sunshine, save me the rain.

5) Suicide Point: I didn't click a picture here as it seemed redundant by now. Also my phone was almost out of juice. All the points do look the same. I could post a random picture and call it a "suicide point". Would it make a difference? It wasn't exactly like the suicide point of "Kalpa, Himachal".

6) Khurpataal - Encircled by pine & old cedar trees, the noteworthy part of this lake is the shape of it, which makes it distinctive and also derives the name of the lake. Still can't guess it?

The lake is in the shape of cow's toes (Khur). Hence, Khurpataal.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 12/38 by Shashank Sinha
My best shot of Khurpataal
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 13/38 by Shashank Sinha
Banter goes on! :D

7) Botanical Garden - A must visit place to soak in the beauty of flowers. It's still being developed & also has a room which showcases taxidermy of insects found in and around the foothills of Himalayas. Do check it out, if you're into all that.

Entry fee: Rs 15/- per person.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 14/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 15/38 by Shashank Sinha
Cabs parked in the distance.

A close capture of the flowers. Made the most of my iPhone 7's lens here with some great close up shots.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 16/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 17/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 18/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 19/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 20/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 21/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 22/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 23/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 24/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 25/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 26/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 27/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 28/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 29/38 by Shashank Sinha

8) A waterfall - A waterfall in the outer part of Nainital.

Entry fee: Rs 15/- per person.

We were so tired from the journey & being in the cab since 5 AM that we had no stamina to climb up till the waterfall. I guess hunger was the bigger reason. We had lunch in a restaurant opposite the waterfall. Why was it commercialized though? That bugged me!

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 30/38 by Shashank Sinha

9) Nainital Lake - I know, I know. You waited long for this. Perhaps hit "CTRL + F" & scrolled down directly here? My apologies for the delay, but you see, I had to go chronologically. Now you are here though. Enjoy the view of Nainital in the monsoons my friends :)

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 31/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 32/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 33/38 by Shashank Sinha
View of Nainital town from Nainital Lake.

Self paddle boats are cheaper if you want to opt for that & exercise your muscles. In no mood to even, spend another joule of energy, we at once opted for the other option.

Cost: Rs 300 (For half the distance of the lake. Mostly people opt for this. An extended experience will set you back by more).

Duration: 20 minutes (give or take)

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 34/38 by Shashank Sinha
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 35/38 by Shashank Sinha

10) Naina Devi Temple - The goddess Shakti is worshiped at the Naina Devi Temple, known by locals as Naini Mata Temple on the north shore of the present day lake.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 36/38 by Shashank Sinha

This concluded our sightseeing of Nainital. We missed out on Tiffin top, I am not sure what was the reason though.

If you read various articles across internet, you'll find another point  which goes by the name: "The Flatts".

Let me introduce it to you.

11) The Flatts - A center for recreational activities. From time to time, various sporting events are organized here like cricket, football, volleyball etc. All cultural fairs and festivals are also organized here.

Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 37/38 by Shashank Sinha
Football, in the hills. Oh how much I envied those lads. Backdrop of hills and adjacent to the lake, is there a more ideal setup?
Photos of Experiencing Nainital in a day 38/38 by Shashank Sinha
Quite a crowd gathered to witness Barcelona play against Barcelona. Haha! Both the teams were wearing Batca's jersey's (Home and Away). Football, a sport which is growing popular in our country by the day!

Our sight seeing was over in the expected time frame of 3 hours. It was almost 4 PM. Having no more major points to cover, we decided to head back to Delhi on the same day! It was going to be a hell of a ride back home. We reached Dwarka, around 1 AM thus concluding a wonderful roadtrip (covering Jim Corbett and Nainital) with family!

I'll carry my visit to Nainital, in my hearts forever.

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