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Situated in the Kumaon Hills, in the north-west of India, at an altitude of 6437 feet above sea level, Nainital is surrounded by mountains on three sides. It became a hill resort when a British traveler, Barron, chanced upon the Naini lake, and set up home here. The waters of the lake are considered sacred by the local people and the Naina Devi temple at one of the lakes holds an annual autumn fair. Apart from offering a cool retreat from the heat of the plains, Nainital is popular with adventure enthusiasts as it is a base for many trekking routes in the Kumaon region. Places to visit in and around Nainital include the Naini Peak which at a height of 2610 metres commands the finest views of the town and Snow View which is accessible by foot or on horse back.

Nainital town finds reference in several ancient mythologies of India. One of the earliest references called the Nainital lake Tri-Rishi-Sarovar in reference to the three sages or rishis who dug a hole at the location of the lake and siphoned water from the holy lake of Manasarovar.Another mythological reference refers to Nainital lake as one of the 64 Shakti Peeths where parts of the charred body of Sati fell when being carried by Lord Shiva. It is said that the eye (or Nain) of Sati fell here hence the name Nain-tal or lake of the eye.

Naini Lake: Naini Lake or Naini Taal, the picturesque blue green lake is located in the district of Nainital. It is from this lake that the city of Nainital, the beautiful settlement by the lake, derives its name. Naini Lake is so called because of its eye-like shape.

Naina Peak: Known as the China peak this peak is the highest point in Nainital. From here Nainital appears as a bowl. You can walk or take ponies to the peak. From this peak you can capture the exciting views of Nainital. Naina peak also gives a good view of the Camelback peak. There are no hotel or restaurant on the top so carry food and water along with yourself.

Snow View: The Snow view point is located at height of 2270 meter from the sea level. This place can be reached by the ropeway or the ponies available at the Mallitaal. Click here for details on Snow View Trek

Observatory: The clear skies over Nainital prompted the government to setup an observatory here. The observatory has one of the most advance telescopes in India. With the help of this telescope the movement of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies can be calculated to great precision. The entry in the observatory is by permission and timings are fixed. It will be better if you collect the prior information about the place.

Zoo Gardens: Naini Tal has a small but a very beautiful Zoological garden. There are many animals kept here which includes Deers, Bears, Tigers and many more. The hygiene and cleanness of the zoo is a point which attracts the mind even if one ignores it. Not surprising this zoo is one of the most clean zoos in the country. The zoo can be reached on foot or taxi can be hired.

Hanuman Garhi: This place is of religious importance. Situated at a height of 1951 meters this place was established by Baba Neem Kiroli. A very beautiful Hanuman mandir is at the top. From Hanuman Garhi watching the Sunset is very soothing. You can walk down from Nainital to Hanuman Garhi.

Naina Devi Temple: The attractive lake of Nainital is said to be the eyes of Sati, wife of Lord Shiva. Sati jumped into the sacrificial bonfire. Lord Shiva to mourn the death of his beloved wife carried the body across the country. The remains of her body fell at various places which today are sacred worship places for the Hindus.

St. John's Church: This church was built in 1847. A brass memorial is kept in memory of the persons who were buried in the infamous landslide. The few bodies which could be dug out were buried in the church premises.

HORSE RIDING: Any visitor coming to Nainital cannot miss the joy of riding a horse on the Mall. Not only at the Mall but to reach the Snow view point, Tiffin top, Kilburi from the Mallital area one can hire ponies and horses.You can go around the town riding the horse. In fact one of the ways to experience Nainital is on a horses back. The flora and fauna of the region can be closely watched from the horses back. You can go to the interiors of nearby area and get a first hand experience of the mountain life of Nainital. The municipal corporation has fixed the rates of horse riding and one should avoid paying more than the prescribed rates.

1. Nainital Betalghat Trek
2. Nainital Binayak Trek
3. Nainital Kainchi Trek
4. Nainital Kilbury Trek
5. Nainital Kunjkharak Trek
6. Snow View Trek

Ranikhet 59.5 kilometres
Naukuchia Lake 4 kms from Bhimtal(it is lake with nine corners hence it is known as the Naukutchia lake).
Ramgarh 26 kms
Ram Nagar is 65 kms from Nainital.
Mukteshwar is only 52 kms Nainital
Kilburi is slightly away from Nainital. 12 kms
Corbett National Park (120 km)

BEST TIME TO VISIT: April to June and resumes from October and November

By Air: Pantnagar 70 Kms from Nainital is the nearest airport. The other nearest air ports are at Delhi(322 km) and Lucknow.

By Rail: Nearest railhead is Kathgodam-35 kms, well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, and Agra..Those coming by rail mode can take a taxi or Buses from Kathgodam

By Road: Naintal is 322 km from Delhi, 141 km from Bareilly, 401 km from Lucknow, 66 km from Almora, 46 km from Ranikhet, 120 km from Kausani and 128 km from Corbett (Dhikala).

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