Nainital apparently evoked in the minds of the British the images of the Lake districts. It made them home-sick. Even today, Nainital is often referred to as the Lake District of India. The town was destroyed in a landslide in 1880 and subsequently rebuilt by the British.
The lake is the centre of attraction of Nainital which derives its name from this natural water body. Naini is the name of the lake which refers to the goddess Naina Devi while tal means 'lake'. There is a temple dedicated to the goddess.
Another interesting place to visit in Nainital is Gurney House. This house was the residence of Jim Corbett. It has now been converted into a museum and contains Corbett memorabilia.
The best way to see Nainital is on foot. Since there won't be a lot in terms of sight seeing on your itinerary, take your time to stroll about town. The attraction of a hill town lies in witnessing nature's magic. The ideal way to enjoy that magic, to take it all in, is at a slow pace, a pace that can only be achieved by walking, not while rushing about in a car.
"Nainital in 2011" by Ekabhishek - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nainital_in_2011.jpg#/media/File:Nainital_in_2011.jpg
"Nainital, Mall Road" by Sanjoy - Nainital town. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nainital,_Mall_Road.jpg#/media/File:Nainital,_Mall_Road.jpg
"Nainital Lake, April, 2009" by Ekabhishek - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nainital_Lake,_April,_2009.JPG#/media/File:Nainital_Lake,_April,_2009.JPG
"Gurney House-the home of Jim Corbett" by Schwiki - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gurney_House-the_home_of_Jim_Corbett.jpg#/media/File:Gurney_House-the_home_of_Jim_Corbett.jpg