Nestled in the serene embrace of the Kumaon hills at an altitude of 2,084 m above sea level, a jewel of Uttarakhand glistens with natural splendour and historical allure—welcome to Nainital. This picturesque hill station, adorned with emerald lakes and verdant forests, beckons travellers seeking solace and adventure alike.

Legend has it that Nainital derived its name from the enchanting Naini Lake, which is believed to be the emerald eyes of the Hindu goddess Parvati, who once shed a tear here. 

This quaint town was discovered in 1841 by a British sugar trader, P. Barron, who was captivated by its tranquil beauty and declared it a summer retreat for the British Raj. Since then, Nainital has evolved into a harmonious blend of colonial charm and Himalayan mystique.

Nainital is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The panoramic vistas from Snow View Point and Tiffin Top, trekking opportunities of Naina Peak or boating on the shimmering waters of Naina Peak, Nainital offers a quintessential experience to everyone.

Beyond its natural wonders, Nainital boasts a rich tapestry of various cultural landmarks and historic landmarks like the Naina Devi Temple and Raj Bhavan.

As the misty veil of dawn unveils the tranquil beauty of Nainital, one cannot help but surrender to its timeless charm and soul-stirring allure. 

Why Visit Nainital?

Nainital is to the jaded city soul what oxygen is to the body. Whether trekking through pine-scented forests, immersing in local folklore or indulging in culture and history, Nainital captivates everyone’s hearts and ignites spirits, weaving tales of serenity and adventure in the fabric of memory.

Here are some great reasons to visit Nainital:

  • Pure Mountain Air

With urban air pollution plaguing many parts of the country, Nainital offers a refreshing escape with its pristine mountain air. Shielded from the haze of city pollution, visitors can breathe in the crisp, clean air, revitalizing their lungs and spirits. 

  • Tranquil Environment

Unlike bustling cities, Nainital boasts a sparse population, offering visitors a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Despite the potential tourist influx during summer, Nainital's laid-back ambiance remains intact, providing a haven for those seeking solace amidst nature's embrace. 

  • Old-World Charm

Embracing a simpler way of life, Nainital exudes an old-world vibe that captivates visitors. The locals, with their humble and family-oriented demeanour, offer a glimpse into a past era characterized by simplicity and kindness.

  • Culinary Delights

Nainital's culinary scene offers a delightful fusion of local flavours and international cuisines. From hearty classics like ras dal and aloo ke gutke to mouthwatering sweets like gulgula and arsa, the town's eateries tantalize taste buds with their authentic flavours and homely ambiance. Best Month to Visit Nainital for Foodies is during September or October to savour the freshest local produce.

  • Unique Shopping Experience

Discover Nainital's hidden treasures as you explore its vibrant shopping hubs. From locally crafted handmade candles to fresh fruits like mulberries and blueberries, the town offers a plethora of unique items that make for perfect souvenirs.

The Best Time To Visit Nainital

The best time to visit Nainital is the summer season, that is between March and June. The day time remains pleasant and you can see all the interesting places to visit in Nainital, and even indulge in adventure activities. 

However, if you want to explore Naintial in s serene way visit this place in the start of the winter, between October and mid-November. There are less tourists and you can move around undisturbed. Also, the weather begins to turn cold and you can see the beginnings of frost. In February 2024, after a long dry spell, it started snowing in China Peak, the highest point in Nainital. 

We recommend avoiding Nainital during the monsoon season. The area is prone to landslides, and the roads become slick and dangerous to drive on when it rains.

The 15 Best Places To Visit In Nainital

Now that you have planned your vacation and booked your resort in Nainital, let’s get you acquainted with the top places to visit in this hill station. Be sure to add these to your itinerary:

  • Naini Lake

The Naini Lake is the most famous distinguishing landmark in this area. In fact, Naini town is set around this lake, and it is possible that the town derived its name from the lake. Take a leisurely stroll around it with your partner, or simply enjoy the views. It is also possible to go boating on this lake, which your family will love and cherish. The boat ride takes about two hours, so carry water and snacks if there are youngsters in the group. 

Entry Fee: Free

Timing: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm all days of the week.

  • Naina Devi Temple

Nestled on the shores of Naini Lake, the Naina Devi Temple stands as a beacon of spirituality in Nainital. Dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi, it holds immense significance in Hindu mythology, believed to be the spot where the eyes of Goddess Sati fell. Pilgrims throng to seek blessings and divine intervention, amidst the tranquil surroundings and serene ambiance, making it a must-visit destination for spiritual seekers and tourists alike.

Entry Fee: Free

Timing: 6:00 am to 10:00 pm all days of the week.

  • Governor's House

A majestic relic of colonial architecture, the Governor's House, also known as Raj Bhavan, exudes grandeur amidst the lush landscapes of Nainital. Built during the British era, it serves as the official residence of the Governor of Uttarakhand. With its sprawling gardens and exquisite design, it offers a glimpse into Nainital's colonial past and stands as a testament to its rich heritage and architectural splendor.

Entry Fee: Rs. 50/ person

Timing: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Mon-Sat.

  • Gurney House

Formerly the residence of renowned conservationist Jim Corbett, Gurney House is a historic landmark nestled amidst the verdant hills of Nainital. Converted into a museum, it showcases Corbett's life and work, offering insights into his conservation efforts and wildlife adventures. Surrounded by scenic beauty and tranquil ambiance, it invites visitors to delve into the fascinating world of nature and conservation.

Entry Fee: Free

Timing: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm all days of the week.

  • Astronomical Observatory ARIES

Perched atop a hill in Nainital, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is a premier astronomical observatory renowned for its cutting-edge research and discoveries. Home to state-of-the-art telescopes and scientific facilities, it offers astronomers and researchers a unique vantage point to explore the mysteries of the universe. Visitors can partake in guided tours and stargazing sessions, immersing themselves in the wonders of the cosmos amidst the pristine mountain setting.

Entry Fee: Free

Timing: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Mon-Fri.

  • Cheena or China Peak

The Cheena or China Peak is traditionally referred to as the Naina Peak by the locals. Summer beckons for a visit to Naina Peak, boasting pleasant weather and ample daylight. Winter treks present challenges, but the reward is breathtaking vistas of snow-draped Great Himalayan peaks and chilly breezes. While many prefer to walk right up to the top, which usually takes 1-2 hrs, you might enjoy taking a horseback ride up. Your resort can recommend a good operator for you.

Entry Fee: Free

Timing: 8:00am to 5:30pm all days of the week.

  • Snow View

It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital if you want 360⁰ views of the region. Visit Snow View for an exquisitely serene experience of watching the beauty around you from up high, in hushed silence and with the sounds of birds for company. You can trek up the trail to the top, or take the famous cable car that drops you to the top (there might be long queues in the tourist season, so arrive as early as you can). Meanwhile, another thing to do apart from gape at the valley, is to go trekking with a trusted guide, and make your way to the bottom of the Himalayan peaks.

Entry Fee: Free. 

Ropeway Tickets: Rs. 200  for children, Rs. 300 for adults, Rs. 20/binoculars

Timing: 10:30 am to 5:00 pm except for Saturday.

  • Land’s End

Yet another viewing point in Nainital, this is the place to be if you like staring at gorgeous vistas. It is actually a trekking location and both amateur and experienced trekkers will enjoy the trail. You can see the surrounding hills and also acres of pine forests alongside. 

Entry Fee: Free

Timing: Sunrise to Sunset

  • GB Pant High Altitude Zoo

Do you like wildlife? Do you like high altitudes? How about if you combined the two? This is literally one of the highest zoos in India, at an altitude of 2100 metres above sea level. It is a breathtaking property, full of hushed silence and the sounds of animals and birds. There are many endangered species of animals here, as well as those native to Nainital. Expect to see some real beauties, like Tibetan Wolf, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Bear, etc.

Entry fee:




5-12 yrs


13-60 yrs






  • Free entry is provided for Senior Citizens and Disabled People.

  • Students get free entry on World Environment Day, Zoo Foundation Day, Ozone Day and during Wild Life Week

Timing: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm all days of the week.

  • Kilbury Bird Sanctuary

Nainital is rich in wildlife and several species of flora. If you like birdsong playing in the background and looking at pretty birds, then you should head to one of the best places to visit in Nainital – the Kilbury Bird Sanctuary. It is one of the highest bird sanctuaries in India (it is located about 2000 m above sea level) and is the only one to be located inside an actual living village. It has over 250 species of birds. Many of these birds are migratory, and you can see a lot of them during the winter months.

Entry fee: Free

Timing: 6:00am to 5:00pm all days of the week

  • St John in the Wilderness Church

In the dense deodar forest of Nainital stood an abandoned house where St. John sought solace for his health issues in the 1800s. This site, known as 'St. John in the Wilderness', later became a church in 1880, commemorating victims of a devastating landslide which took more than 150 lives. Despite the church's dedication to the bishop, its origin lies in the solitary refuge of a man seeking respite amidst nature's embrace.

Entry fee: free

Timing: 7:00 am to 6:30 pm Mon-Sat and 9:00 am to 6:30 on Sundays.

  • Eco Cave Gardens

This is a manmade set of caves set in a way that they interconnect via a common road. You will love how the road twines in and out of the caves, and your children will love the musical fountain created at the centre of the cave complex. There is also a sound and light show here in the evenings, but not during the monsoon season. Entrance to the caves is on a ticketed basis.

Entry Fee: 




5-12 yrs


13-60 yrs



Timing: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm all days of the week

  • Tiffin Top

Also known as ‘Dorothy’s Seat’, Tiffin Top is a viewing point that overlooks the Himalayan range. It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital if you are looking to bag some stunning photographs. The place was named ‘Dorothy’s Seat’ after a former British artist Dorothy Kellet, who would sit at the extreme point of the jutting rocks to paint the landscapes. Ask your resort or hotel to pack a picnic hamper and spend half a day at this scenic spot with your family.

Entry fee: free

Timing:8:00 am to 5:30 pm all days of the week.

  • Mall Road

This famous landmark is among the most popular places to visit in Nainital. It is a long stretch of road originally laid during the British Raj. It was used in those days as a pathway through the town for walking, transport, moving cargo around, etc. It runs right through the centre of town, parallel to the Naini Lake. Today, it has hotels, banks, restaurants, home stays, stores, cafes, money exchange centres and travel agencies. It is normally abuzz with activity from both locals and tourists during the day time, while the evenings are more sedate but not during the tourist season.

Entry fee: free


Timings of Traffic

Entry of traffic is prohibited during May, June and October




9:00am to 10:00pm

Light Vehicles

6:00pm to 10:00pm

Cycle Rickshaw

6:00pm to 9:00pm

Parking is strictly prohibited on the Mall Road except some designated parking places with in Nainital.

Note: Traffic shall be strictly prohibited on Mall Road between 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm during season. Only one way route from Tallital to Mallital for LMV.

  • Khurpatal

Tucked away amidst the emerald landscapes of Nainital, Khurpatal is a serene hill station renowned for its pristine lake and tranquil ambiance. Surrounded by dense forests and misty mountains, it offers a perfect retreat for nature lovers and solitude seekers. Visitors can indulge in boating on the tranquil waters of the lake, explore the surrounding trails, or simply bask in the tranquillity of nature's embrace, making it an idyllic destination for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Entry fee: free

Timing: No timings

Where to stay in Nainital

Elevate your Nainital getaway by immersing your family in the luxury of Club Mahindra Naukuchiatal Resort. 

Tucked away in Uttarakhand, this exclusive retreat promises a sanctuary of opulence and tranquillity. Indulge in the allure of well-appointed rooms boasting breathtaking vistas, while rejuvenating your senses at the onsite spa and engaging in recreational activities tailored for both adults and children. 

Conveniently situated a mere 5 km from the nearest market, you can easily explore and indulge in some retail therapy. Don't miss the opportunity to savour delectable culinary creations at the resort's restaurant, adding a flavourful touch to your stay. 

Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, Club Mahindra Naukuchiatal Resort offers an unforgettable escape where every need is meticulously catered to. Experience the epitome of comfort and luxury during your Nainital excursion by securing your reservation at this idyllic retreat.

About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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