Lake District of India
Nainital, a paradise for nature lovers, is the largest, and one of the most popular hill resorts of Kumaon region. Situated at an altitude of around 1938 metres, Nainital has a varied topography. The beautiful district is surrounded by seven majestic peaks, namely Naina Peak (2611 m), Alma Peak (2432 m), Sher-ka-Danda (2405 m), Laria Kanta Peak (2485 m), Ayarpatta or Dorothy Seat (2292 m), Handi Bundi (2179 m) and Deopatta or Camel's Back (2422 m).
According to the 'Manas Khand' of the Hindu Skanda Purana, Nainital is referred to as the 'Tri Rishi Sarovar' (The lake of three sages - Atri, Pulastya, and Pulaha). People believe that the 'Naini Lake' was formed when these sages dug a hole here and transferred some water into it from the sacred lake 'Mansarovar', to quench their thirst. This hill town was discovered as a major tourist destination by a Britisher, Lord Barron in 1841.
Nainital invites adventure enthusiasts from all over the world to indulge in several thrilling sports like canoeing, kayaking and parasailing. Summers are considered the best for hot air ballooning, mountaineering and rock climbing at Nainital.
Mall Road, Bohtia Bazaar and the Mallital market in Nainital are the main markets. One can shop for good quality woollen garments, candles and decorative wooden items.
This lake forms the most important part of Nainital's picturesque beauty. The lake draws the maximum number of tourists every year and offers facilities for boating as well. The northern and the southern ends of the lake (Mallital and Tallital, respectively) serve as great shopping centres.
Naina Peak or China Peak
The highest peak of Nainital, Naina Peak lies at a distance of about 6 km from the town. The peak offers wonderful views of the bright snow-laden Himalayas and also of the whole town.
The Flatts is a renowned place for leisure activities. It has the statue of Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, a mosque, Naina Devi Temple, a Gurduwara and a beautiful fountain. For other excursions, there is Bhotia market, Boat House Club, Masonic Hall, and a playground.
Situated at an altitude of 2100 m, the zoo is situated quite close to the bus terminal. One can spot a number of rare animals like Himalayan Black Bear, Siberian Tiger, Leopard, Himalayan Monkey, Wolf, Palm Civet Cat, Silver Pheasants, Sambar, Barking Deer, Ghoral, Hill Fox and Rose-ringed Parakeet here.
A thrill for all age groups, this peak (at 7450 ft) is reached by an aerial rope-way. It offers spectacular views of the snow clad Himalayas.
If one has any time to spare, one can also visit the Governor's House (Raj Bhawan), Caves Garden, Hanuman Garhi, Dorothy Seat & Tiffin Top and Lands End in Nainital.
By Air: Pantnagar, 70 km, is the nearest airport that operates direct flights to Delhi.
By Rail: Kathgodam (35 km) is the major railhead near Nainital that is directly linked to Delhi, Dehradun, Howrah and other important cities of India.By Road: Nainital is connected with other major cities of India via National Highway-87. Regular bus service is operated from Delhi, Agra, Haridwar, Dehradun, Kanpur, Lucknow and many other nearby places.