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Crowded around a deep, green volcanic lake, Nainital is Kumaon’s largest town and favourite hill resort. It occupies a steep forested valley around the namesake lake Naini and was founded by homesick Brits reminded of the Cumbrian Lake District.
Plenty of hotels are set on the hillside around the lake. There’s a busy bazaar, and a spider’s web of walking tracks covers the forested slopes to viewpoints overlooking distant Himalayan peaks. For travellers it’s an easy place to kick back and relax, eat well, and ride horses or paddle on the lake. In peak seasons – roughly May to mid-July and October – Nainital is packed to the gills with holidaying families and honeymooners, and hotel prices skyrocket.
Quite close to the temple of Naina Devi, hidden in the narrow lanes of Bhutia (Tibetan) Market, you will find Sonam Fast Food. Their momos and thukpa, both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties, are justly famed. Do find the time to have at least one meal here, and make sure you are not ravenously hungry because the crowds here might make it necessary for you to wait your turn.
Head to Naini Sweets to satisfy your sweet tooth as never before with this popular Kumaoni sweet called Bal Mithai. Coated with sugar balls which look like small pearls, this dark brown sweet is surely not something to be missed. Its milky sweet taste which beats a milk chocolate any day and don’t be surprised if it is the best memory you have of the whole trip, at least in the gastronomic department.
This amazing food place is very much like a noodle bar, and if you are not someone dedicated to Indian cuisine, you should stay with their Chinese items of which the fried prawns win hands down any day. There’s nothing like hot soup to warm you up on a cold, starry night at Nainital and if you are at Machan on such a night, your day is definitely made.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Nainital and its heart – the Naini Lake reflects the colour of beautiful surroundings. The lake is a pear shaped, attracts lots of tourists who come and enjoy boating, yachting or paddling in the lake. One can explore the lake from one end to another watching dynamic and peaceful views of the sunset. The lake is surrounded by seven verdant hills and steals the heart of many!
The Naini Peak gives a magnificent panoramic view of the snow-capped Himalayas and an excellent view of the Nainital city. Also known as Cheena Peak or China Peak, the peak is famous for trekking and horse riding in Nainital. Wake up a little early in the morning and climb up to this peak for a mesmerizing view of the sunset you’ll never forget, as a plus point the crowd during this time is almost nill so you can enjoy peace in the lap of nature.
The Mall Road is amongst the best places to visit in Nainital. A shopaholic’s paradise, one could stroll here for hours. The road has many street shops, shopping centres, banks, hotels, restaurants, and more. This is a perfect tourist hub as has everything a tourist wants, with a perfect backdrop! On your trip to Nainital, just don’t let this place get missed at all costs.