Nainital reminds me of the Bollywood song “Taalo mein Nainital baki sab tallaiya J”!! This beautiful lake city is located at the foothills of Kumaon hills and is home to several beautiful lakes. I have visited Nainital and Corbett national park at two different times, but many do it together in a single trip.
Initially discovered by sugar businessman Mr. P Barron in 1839, it was the ‘summer seat’ of northwestern provinces. However, its ancient history dates to the time of its mention as ‘Manas Khand’ in Skanda Purana.
The legend says that once Parvati insisted that she should attend the yajna being arranged by her father although she was not invited. Here she was insulted by her father. Finally, when her father insulted Shiva, Parvati jumped into the fire. When Shiva came to know about this he was furious. He reached the place where yajna was being conducted and went beserk with ‘Tandav’, the dance of destruction carrying the charred body of Parvati in his hands. It is believed that Parvati’s body parts fell at 108 locations all over India those are today known as ‘Shaktipeeth’.
It was here that the charred eye of Maa Sati fell to form the lake. Hence, the name Nainital derived from ‘Naina’ or the ‘eye’. Naina Devi temple is situated at the northern end of the temple.
Although the place now is crowded with tourists coming from far and abroad, it’s still good enough to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
How to Reach Nainital:
The nearest airport is Delhi Airport which is around 270 km away from here. The road from Delhi to Nainital is mostly plain and not very scenic for a road trip. Its better to take a train or a bus. The nearest railway station is located at 34 kilometers at Kathgodam, at the foothills of the Kumaon hills. Kathgodam railway station enjoys good connectivity to important places such as Delhi, Lucknow and Howrah. Nainital is well connected with main cities by bus too.
Best Time to Visit Nainital:
Nainital offers different charms in all seasons. The place gives a brief escape from blistering heat during summers. It gives an enchanting view of snow-white mountains if visited in winters. March to June are the best months to visit Nainital in the summers. November to February are the best season for winter lovers. The monsoon season runs from July to September and can be avoided.
What to see in Nainital:
You can spend an entire day visiting the famous lakes of Nainital. Naukuchia Tal, Malli Tal, Bhim Tal, Sattal and Khurpa Tal, and the very famous Naini Lake. You can spend some quiet time boating in the lakes.
You can witness Buckingham Palace in India with the Governor’s House in Nainital. Built-in 1900 in Gothic-style architecture, this majestic building still maintains its charm and has an 18-hole golf course as well.
A ropeway ride to this place will give you a view of the snow-clad Himalayas (hence the name Snow View). You can enjoy many family activities in this fun park.
It is a group of interconnected natural caves, which can be crawled in. There are about six caves that you can choose from; the easiest being the Tiger Cave and the most difficult is Bat Cave in which you will have to crawl. You can see life size effigies of rural men and women and small yet beautiful parks for the visitors to relax. It is altogether a new experience for the tourists.
There are other spots like Hanuman Giri, Golf Course, and Naina Devi Temple which are also must visit in Nainital.
Corbett National Park: Jim Corbett national park formed in 1936 is one of the oldest national parks. It is known to be the root of Project Tiger created to save tiger from being the most endangered animal of India. Spread over almost 520 sq meters, this is home to Bengal tigers and many other species of animals and birds. The jungle safaris are highlight of the visit to national park. You can do the jeep safaris as well as elephant safaris here. We were lucky enough to spot a tiger chasing a deer. Do not miss this for the extra thrill of sighting wild animals in their home pitch.
Do visit the site below for more details of this place – Corbett
Nainital has its own Chandani Chowk which is a famous restaurant in Nainital. This has authentic Punjabi cuisinie as well as Dilli ki Chaat. Another famous eatery is Sonam which serves piping hot momos along with Dry and Soup Thupka. Do not miss Maggie and parathas in your early morning breakfast. They taste extra good in the fresh mountain air.
Nainital has a Mall road which is shopper’s paradise. It has a Tibetan market which offers various Tibetan goods. Also there are Jams, Juices which can be bought from here. Not to forget the woolens to save you from the chilly winters.
Kilbury and Pangot:
If you want a lazy holiday simply laying down and watching the clouds float, then Kilbury and Pangot are the best places around Nainital. Far from the city’s tourist crowd, these two hideouts let you have your way. Kilbury is the home to about 500 species of birds, Pangot on the other hand is a heart shape hamlet offering an exhilarating escape from the usual.
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Are you a globe trotter seeking adventure on the slopes of mountains? Or a busy bee wishing the escape the daily hurry and worry? Are you planning to enjoy the upcoming holidays with your family in a calm and serene environment? Then Nainital and Corbett national park holiday is for you. Try it and share your experiences with us.