Think hill stations and the name that tops the list would be Nainital. Popularly known as the ‘Lake District of India’, Nainital sits snugly amidst the tall peaks of Kumaon. The beautiful Nainital and the Kumaon mountains surround this beautiful city located in Uttarakhand. To experience some breath-taking scenic views, you can book Nainital Tour Package from Thomas Cook.
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Most Popular Nainital Tour Packages 2023
Below are the most popular Nainital tour packages:
Nainital is located in the state of Uttarakhand, where the government has initiated Uttarakhand Travel Guidelines for Covid 19. You must provide a negative report of a COVID test done within the last 72 hours before your Nainital tour for the safety of the locals as well as other tourists.
Best time to visit Nainital
Nainital is one of the coveted holiday destinations not only in Uttarakhand but all over India due to its pleasant weather that contradicts the country's increasing level of heat. As a hill station, it is a relatively cold destination with a lot of greenery and picturesque views all around.
You can plan your Nainital packages at any time of the year, especially if you favour cooler weather conditions. However, if you are a burst to extreme drops in temperature, the best time to visit Nainital is during the summer months, starting from March to June. This is the peak season in Nainital when the climatic conditions can rapidly change from hot in the afternoon to pleasantly cool at night.
You can make the most of your Nainital trip during the summer season as there are several activities that are operational during this time. Partaking in hiking, boating, nature tours, temple tours, and extreme sports is safer at this time of year when the climate is favourable and the surrounding sceneries are at their utmost beauty.
How to reach Nainital?
There are two major modes of transportation that can get you to your Nainital trip. As a hill station close to Dehradun in the state of Uttarakhand, Nainital is well connected by road and railways from major cities. Nainital doesn't really have a dedicated airport as a hill station. However, the Pantnagar airport located about an hour away from the main city is the closest airstrip where you can land. Major airlines from metropolitan cities offer flight services to the Pantnagar airport. You can also choose to land in Delhi at the Indira Gandhi international airport and reach Nainital via the popular means of transportation which are as follows:
The Kothgodam railway station is the closest you can get to Nainital via train. There are direct trains available from Agra, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mathura, and Dehradun. You can also catch connecting trains from other major cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, and others. The simpler way would be to fly to one of the cities that greater direct trains to the Kothgodam railway station.
Since Kothgodam is only 34 kilometres away from the main city of Nainital, you can hire a cab service to take you to your accommodation. There are also state buses available to help you reach your destination.
Another major means of transportation to Nainital is by roadways. There are daily buses available from the neighbouring cities of Delhi and Dehradun. You can take road trips to Nainital from anywhere in Uttarakhand and Delhi and neighbouring areas of Punjab, Agra, and Chandigarh. You may need to make pit stops along the way in order to keep up your energy when driving to Nainital, but the panoramic views along the scenic route are one for the ages.
Best honeymoon destinations in Nainital
Spending a honeymoon in Nainital is like a dream come true for newlywed couples. The serenity of the location, coupled with the historic architecture and natural beauty, is overwhelming in more ways than one. If you plan your Nainital tour packages during your honeymoon, here are some of the places where you can spend time with your spouse:
- The Naini Retreat - enjoy a much-needed pampering at the Naini retreat hotel. Even if you do not book your accommodation due to the high prices, you can always visit for lunch with your spouse while overlooking the beautiful lake and exploring the gorgeous infrastructure of the hotel.
- Café lakeside - spend an afternoon at the cafe lakeside for panoramic views of Naini Lake while the chilly winds cut through the heat.
- Lovers Point - as the name suggests, it is a place dedicated to couples. Not only does the scenery all around create the perfect romantic backdrop with lush greenery and faint clouds in the sky, but the local establishments also cater to the area keeping couples in mind.
- The Jim Corbett National Park - it may not seem so, but the renowned Jim Corbett National Park is a perfect honeymoon tour destination in Nainital. The thrill of the wilderness coupled with cosy bonfires had the retreat in the evening, and the ever-knowing presence of wildlife lurking in the shadows adds an adventurous touch to your honeymoon in Nainital. Sharing this heart-throbbing experience will surely bring you closer as a couple.
Best places to visit on your Nainital trip
When planning your Nainital trip packages, be it for a honeymoon, a vacation, or a solo expedition, there is a lot to explore on the hillsides of Nainital. Here are some of the best places to visit in Nainital that our Nainital Tourism Package can offer:
- Eco cave gardens - India is a land of many caves, but the eco cave garden in Nainital is a hidden gem that you simply must explore. The reason it is called a cave garden is not simply because it is surrounded by lush greenery but rather the interconnectivity of a monumental number of caves that house several forms of wildlife. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that may just bring out your adventurous side.
- Naini Lake - this gorgeous tourist destination in Nainital gets its name from the shape in which it is formed. ‘Nain’, meaning ‘eye’ is almost what the lake looks like from above. It also resembles part of the yin-yang design, which explains why you feel so serene even while sitting in the lakes surrounding. Naini Lake is the perfect place in Nainital to go on a boating excursion and enjoy the scenic view of the mountains that create the lap of this WAVY water body.
- Jim Corbett National Park - if you plan your packages to Nainital from winter to summer, then be sure to check out the Jim Corbett National Park. This glorious natural habitat is home to many rare species of tigers as well as other land animals. You can take a safari trip or spend the night at the accommodation facility in the heart of the forestry for a unique experience on your Nainital trip.
- Nainital Zoo - if you think the Jim Corbett National Park is a good place to spend time, the Nainital Zoo is going to surprise you even more. It is home to red jungle fowls, Tibatan wolves, the lady Amherst pheasant, varieties of leopards, and the coveted rose-ringed parakeet. May not be able to catch a glimpse of these rare species of animals and birds anywhere other than on your Nainital tour.
- Naina Devi temple - the most coveted spot dedicated to worshipping the divine goddess Naina Devi. Pilgrims come from all over India, if not the world, to pray for prosperity and good health at the feet of the goddess who inspires tranquillity even in her surroundings. Make sure to pay a special visit to the temple during your package for Nainital.
- Raj Bhawan - there is no better place to learn the historical significance of Nainital than the residence of the royal family at Raj Bhawan. In truth, this is where the governor resides rather than an actual royal family in the present day, but the structure was constructed during the British reign keeping the royal family in mind. It is not a surprise that the infrastructure of this mansion strongly resembles Buckingham Palace.
- Snow viewpoint – it snows in Nainital every couple of years, but you don't have to plan your trip around it to check out snow viewpoint. This ever-present holiday destination overlooks the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayan range. If in case, it does snow during your plans for the Nainital tour packages, then take this coincidence as an opportunity the trek up Snow viewpoint and treat your eyes to white flakes every which way you see.
- Sunset Point - the perfect place to photograph yourself and capture the memory of your vacation in Nainital. You can hike up to sunset point after a day of touring the city to catch a glimpse of the sun going down on the horizon of the Himalayan range surrounding Nainital.
- Lovers' Point - among the many romantic destinations in Nainital is Lovers' Point, a location dedicated to couples. There is much to be said about the edge of this cliff, but the most important is how nature itself has created this beautiful scenery to encourage the most beautiful feeling in the human race, which is love.
- Tiffin Top - one of the major attractions of Nainital to view the spectacular Himalayan range as the sun rises from behind it, covering the snowcapped mountains with a gorgeous orange glow. You can opt for an early morning drive to see the sunrise or trek up the hill to Tiffin Top Point. Take some pictures to remember this memorable moment in time.
- Pangot and Kilbury bird sanctuary - whether or not you have any interest in ornithology, the Pangot and Kilbury bird sanctuary is about to change the way you view the aviary lifestyle. Home to many indigenous birds of Nainital, the sanctuary is dedicated to preserving the lives of rare and beautiful birds in their natural habitat.
Things to eat in Nainital
Nainital is such a magical place. How can we expect the food to be ordinary, right?
The culinary charms of Nainital will leave your mouth watering. Even as you head back from your package for Nainital, these dishes are bound to make you hungry when you think about them:
- Alu ke gutke - A popular traditional dish prepared in almost every Kumaon home, is a snack-like item consisting of potatoes. The recipe simply consists of diced potatoes that are cooked with red chillies and sprinkled cilantro.
- Baadi - It is a concoction similar to panch ratan dal but prepared with three instead of five types of lentils, namely moong, toor, and chana dal.
- Bal mithai - It is a sweet dish that combines the essence of gulab jamun, chocolate fudge, and baklava. It is primarily prepared with khoya that is roasted and covered with a brown coating that melts in your mouth.
- Bhang ki chutney - This is a side dip prepared by grinding bhang seeds and mixing them with herbs and spices.
- Bhatt ki churkani - This is a special recipe prepared during Pahadi festivals. Price paste is mixed with soybean and cooked before adding chopped onions and herbs simmered in ghee.
- Chainsoo – It is a variation of the traditional dal made by grinding urad dal to a fine paste and cooked slowly in an iron skillet.
- Gulgula - it is a type of sweet dish made by mixing jaggery with wheat flour that resembles malpuas.
- Kafuli - The traditional vegetarian recipe consisting of fenugreek and spinach leaves. The cooking mostly involves toasting the leaves with salt and locally grown spices for a flavourful extravaganza.
- Momo - A traditional gharwal recipe that is popular in India but especially in Nainital due to the high population of Pahadi residents. These steamed and fried dumplings are available in both veg and non-vegetarian options with this side of the most delectable homemade chilli sauce.
- Ras - Another popular recipe for dal that combines different lentil seeds and is cooked on an iron skillet. In order to preserve the nutritional value, this recipe is prepared on very low heat.
- Thukpa - Thanks to the high Tibetan population in Nainital, Thukpa has become a staple food in the region that you simply must try. This basic recipe of wheat noodles cooked in vegetable or chicken broth served as a noodle soup is like comfort food in the chilly air of this hill station.
When in Nainital, you must pick up the local craftwork and delightful delicacies from the following marketplaces. They make excellent gifts as well as memorabilia for your tour of Nainital:
This is an age-old marketplace that is popular for offering a variety of items that appeal to tourists on their Nainital trip. You can find the best offering of fresh fruits such as Pahadi apples, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and a variety of other locally grown produce.
This marketplace is also famous for its preservatives of jams and marmalades that are homemade. Not to mention, when in the bara bazaar, don't forget to shop for souvenirs to carry home a piece of Nainital and remember your memorable vacation. There are a lot of choices, including homemade candles, wooden candlesticks, items of décor, and a lot more.
Kumaon women are very talented and self-reliant. It is no surprise that the Bhotia Bazaar is the destination of choice for selling their selective goods. In this unique market, you will find homemade delicacies such as preserved bhang chutney, sesame chutney, a variety of pickles, marmalade, and more. But it doesn't end there.
The women of the Bhotia Bazaar are also skilled with their hands. Therefore, you can acquire items made of wool, such as sweaters, scarves, gloves, etc. At really good prices. Aside from that, there is also a wide range of fresh fruits and dried fruits available in the market, not necessarily courtesy of the womenfolk, but truly worth acquiring.
The most famous shopping destination in Nainital is mall road. Established during the colonial era, this shopping features a variety of stores as well as restaurants and cafes. It is an experience in itself on your Nainital tour packages as you walk along Mall Rd. Shopping for traditional woollen pieces of clothing such as shawls, sweaters, cardigans, gloves, scarves, and mufflers.
Aside from the selection of woollen items, mall rd. Is also famous for offering wooden trinkets featuring the exquisite handicraft of the locals. From candlesticks to vases and small pieces of décor, the selection is endless. Much like most markets in Nainital, mall road also features handmade candles, hand-woven textiles, fresh fruits, and preservatives. You can pick up a few souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones back home before enjoying the local cuisine at the restaurants and cafes in the area.
The large population of Tibetan residents in Nainital have a dedicated market to sell their products. The Tibatan market offers an inundated variety of clothes, accessories, and souvenirs reflecting the traditional Tibatan style. You can shop for ethnic Tibatan dresses as well as shawls and scarves in the traditional Tibatan imprints.
You can also purchase accessories such as watches and bags at very reasonable prices, not to mention the array of souvenirs to remind you of your trip to Nainital and the diversity of culture in the area. The Tibetan market is a great place to shop on a budget and acquire one-of-a-kind items for yourself and your loved ones.
Things to do in Nainital Trip Packages
Nainital provides a perfect backdrop for a holiday away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life. Not only is the picturesque view enough to revive your spirit but here are some of the best things to do in Nainital on your holiday:
- Go boating on the lakes and admire the land on the horizon with its lush greenery.
- Pick the ropeway for a bird's eye view of the scenic landscape of Nainital.
- Try the local food at the embassy restaurant, where the chefs bring to life ordinary ingredients with the touch of Nainital’s specially-grown herbs and spices.
- Have a cup of coffee with your friends, family or loved ones and experience the special blend only available on this hilltop.
- Gaze upon the valley from Tiffin Top, or view the sunrise and sunset for an ethereal experience.
- Explore the hidden cave garden and discover what it hides in its ample bosom.
- Shop for souvenirs at the Tibetan market or mall road.
- Go on a temple tour around the city and pay homage to the renowned idols who reside in Nainital for a special blessing.
- Take a tour of the royal palace, also known as raj bhavan catch a glimpse of the upstanding structure and ingenious architecture from an era left behind.
- Visit the Pangot and Kilbury Sanctuary for birds. They come across some indigenous species that enlighten your interest in ornithology.
- Check out the amazing view of the valley and mountains from Lovers' Point and Cheena Peak. Your jaw might just drop and roll down the mountainside at the astounding side before you.
Adventurous activities in Nainital
Aside from admiring the scenic views and exploring the top attractions of Nainital, you can also partake in a little adventure while on your trip. It is the perfect place to get the adrenaline rushing through your body and feel alive on your break from the mind-numbing activities of daily life. Here are some of the top adventurous activities that Nainital has to offer:
- Rock climbing - if you have ever gone rock climbing in the city, can you imagine how much more fun it is to climb an actual rock with the constant fear of toppling down the side? Don't worry, in Nainital; there are institutions with dedicated expert climbers and facilitators who will ensure your safety when partaking in this adventure sport. Nevertheless, climbing those steep mountainsides is still beyond thrilling in the natural environment.
- Boating - boating in Nainital is a time-honoured activity that entices both tourists and the locals of this hillside destination. Paddling through Naini Lake seems like a tranquil activity most of the time, but if the waterfall happens to gain speed or there is a rise in the water level due to recent rainfall, the word adventure takes on a whole new meaning when boating in Nainital.
- Hiking - who doesn't like to hike? Being one with nature as we trudge along paths less taken and discover our primal side, along with exercising our body holistically, is the best way to spend time on Nainital trips. The ample forestry and rolling mountainsides allow the perfect opportunity to go hiking and trekking with fantastic views, offering an authentic experience of Nainital hills.
- Ropeways - while treading through the rocky mountains and smooth pathways carved by humans to explore the towns and sites around Nainital may be thrilling, you have seen nothing till you look at it from up above while you soar through the skies on the Nainital ropeway. Stretching above the woodlands, it is a spectacle to look around and see the whole town come to life with the dotted shrubberies, lakes, astounding temples, curvy roadways, and the stretch of greenery as far as the eyes can see.
Interesting facts about Nainital
Nainital is a popular holiday destination. However, it remains a hidden gem to this day. People who visit Nainital rarely discover the secrets that make it such a wonderful holiday destination. Here are some interesting and lesser-known facts about Nainital:
- Betty White may have been older than sliced bread, but Nainital is much older than Jesus Christ himself. Legend has it that in ancient times the area was known as Kadesh, where three pundits travelled and found a lack of water. They meditated for days till the ground opened up in the form of an eye, much like lord shiva's third eye, and filled the hole with water from Mansarovar Lake, which is a sacred water body in Tibet. This lake later came to be known as Naini Lake.
- Another legend claims that goddess Sati lost her left eye, which fell in Nainital and turned into Naini Lake. It is believed that Nainital has a constant presence of the divine source of Naina Devi and is a Shakti Peeth.
- Udaipur may be the city of lakes but Nainital is the lake district of the country India. The resemblance of Nainital to the city of Cumbria in the UK is what beckoned Britishers during their reign in India to select this district as their summer home.
- Speaking of the Britishers’ summer home, raj bhavan what's constructed during the British reign for the royal family to vacation in Nainital. In fact, it was the summer capital which inspired them to renovate the area. Some of his infrastructure still stands steadily and serves as tourist attractions.
- Back in 1926, as a means of entertainment, the British government built an 18-hole golf course, which later became the country's most esteemed golf establishment and a pass time for the public in 1994.
- Global warming may be affecting the amount of rainfall that India receives on an annual basis, but Nainital is devoid of its influence. This late district features water bodies in the northern area, which cause rainfall almost every afternoon making it one of the unique phenomena of nature that governed Nainital.
- Nainital is also known for its diversity and welcoming of adversity. Not only does the city provides shelter to Tibetan refugees and hosts tourists from all around the world, but it also defeats the belief of different religions contradicting the faith of each other. In order to establish this fact, you can find a church, a mosque, a temple, and a gurudwara all within a radius of 1 kilometre, where the locals collectively celebrate their festival seasons with vigour and vibrancy.
- Nainital is also famous for discouraging the British rulers from fulfilling all their desires to change the infrastructure of India. Seeing as Nainital was their summer capital, they wanted to connect this tourist destination to the rest of India via railway. However, due to the location being prone to landslides, the design process took much longer than they anticipated. By the time they came to an agreement, India had acquired independence from British rule, leaving their desire unfulfilled.
- Many of the colonial structures built by the British were later converted to schools and colleges as well as heritage sites. Rather than a protest against British rule, the residents of Nainital took the opportunity of beautiful buildings with historical significance to educate the younger generation and make the district one of the leading experts in education.
- The Naina Devi temple didn't always stand by Lake Naini. Back in 1880, Naina Devi temple was located on a site that experienced a landslide, causing pieces of the surrounding mountain to slide into the lake, raising the water levels that affected the area. Naina Devi temple was rebuilt near Lake Naini, causing a lot of controversy in the history of the lake and the temple itself. The previous destination of the temple was eventually rebuilt into a flat ground where housing could be supported.
Despite the controversial history of Nainital, it remains a popular holiday destination for honeymoons, holidays, and pilgrimages inviting people from all over the world to witness the essence of the lake district. There is much to learn in the region, and historians strive to identify the true significance of Nainital from ancient times.