A short drive/train ride away from Delhi, Uttarakhand makes for a great impromptu weekend trip. There are plenty of places to stay and the green hills, fresh air, peace and quiet give you a much-needed breather from the chaos of Delhi. And we've already got your itinerary worked out!
Although there are always people around, you can escape the noise early in the morning when the sunlight falls at a distant hill top. The wind here is more placid, the leaves greener, the sunlight fuller and softer. The reflection of the sun is charming and soothing as the immaculate perfection of the sky makes the sun brighter.
Situated a short walk from the Naini Lake, Sakley's is our go-to place for a good cuppa coffee or hot chocolate along with a slice of freshly baked cake. We're partial toward the moist lemon cake and the chocolate chip muffin too. We love the white metal chairs and the view of the still Naini lake, of course.
And they play a mix of jazz, rock and blues.
The Lazy Leopard
Located amidst the dense oak trees and isolated from the hustle-bustle of the crowd, The Lazy Leopard offers the finest global cuisines in the city. For a very calm and soothing dining experience, this restaurant is highly recommended.
The Naini Lake is a popular spot for boating. Hop aboard a swan-shaped colourful boat and paddle up and down at your own pace, or opt to go with an experienced boatman and simply enjoy the ripples and the rolling hills surrounding the lake.
A 4km walk west of the lake brings you to Tiffin Top (2292m), also called Dorothy's Seat. From there, it's a lovely 30-minute walk to Land's End (2118m) through a forest of oak, deodar and pine. Mangy horses gather 3km west of town on the road to Ramnagar to take you on rides to these spots.
A two-hour ride costs about ₹900, but you can take shorter rides (eg Tiffin Top for ₹500); you can always negotiate. Touts for these rides will no doubt accost you in Mallital near the ropeway.
This may be a master of the obvious point, but carry your sneakers and sneak in a trek in the morning/afternoon hours wherever you see a trail. Best ask a local or your hotel peeps about the paths though, to ensure you don't go slipping and falling.
And please, don't trek at night lest you're looking for a tete-a-tete with a leopard or a snake.
Another amazing thing to do in nainital is to collect souvenirs from your visit by shopping at the Tibetan Market where you can find artefacts made by locals. Dotted with shops and shacks of local specialties, this bustling market impresses visitors with its vibrancy and uniqueness. 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.
#Rooted: Do not miss the most romantic and enchanting sunset. It is around 3.5 kms away from the bus stop and taxis are available to reach there. Reach before 4 in the evening to witness the frenzy.
Best time to Visit - All round the year. However we prefer Spring and Autumn.
Visit the place in different seasons and you will experience it as a different place every time. Live it as much as you can because nature empowers you.
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