Saturday, August 18, 2012

ROMANCING THE KUMAON HILLS: NAINITAL

The Famous Naini Lake
Also known as the Honeymooner’s Paradise, Nainital is situated at an altitude of 2084 meters above the sea level in the Kumaon Hills. The valley is named on the Naini Lake which is considered to be one of the 64 Shakthi Peeths where parts of charred body of Sati fell on earth. The spot where Sati’s eyes fell came to be called Naini-Tal or lake of the eye. Naina Devi temple can be found on the shore of this lake.
The Rising Sun
I had first been to this place with my parents and decided to come for my Honeymoon to Nainital only. Taking a stroll on the mall road in a chilly atmosphere with the picturesque Naini Lake on your side is highly romantic. In the evening you can find endless honeymoon couples, walking hand-in-hand on the mall road, either shopping for some famous Handmade Candles and other handicrafts or simply sitting near the lake, hugging each other.
How to Reach
There are multiple trains (Ranikhet express, Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti Express, Kathgodam-Dehradun express etc.) from Delhi that come till Kathgodam Junction. Tourists travelling by train can get down either at Haldwani or Kathgodam Junction and take a taxi or bus to Nainital.
We took Ranikhet Express from Purani Delhi Station and reached Kathgodam somewhere around 6 in the morning and took a cab to Nainital. After a 30 minute drive, we reached Nainital. The glimpse of the Lake so early in the morning was ecstatic.

Stay at ALKA- The Lake Hotel
There are infinite options for accommodation in Nainital. If you are travelling in the peak season, booking the rooms in advance is advisable. Most of the hotels are located on the Mall road itself with a view of the Lake while some of them can be found on the hills as well. We chose to stay at “Alka- The Lake Side Hotel” which is one of the best located hotels in Nainital. We had made an advance booking and chose to stay in the Standard room (Rs. 4200/per night). The room was spacious with bamboo walls and a French window overlooking the magnificent Naini Lake. 
The view from my Room
 Apart from this, they also have Economy rooms, Luxury rooms, duplex apartment (Mughal Room) and suites. One can check their website before booking in order to opt for the best option available with them. We slept the whole day, and came out only in the evening for a cozy walk on the mall road. The wind was chilly and I gorged on some aloo chat and Paneer chila to revive my taste buds.

Attractions       
                                                       
Nainital Zoo: Approximately 1Km away from the bus stand, the Nainital Zoo is located on a small hill. Just like any other zoo, one can find animals like the Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, Siberian Tiger, civet cat etc. You can also spot some exotic parakeets, owls and parrots. Since there is nothing very special about this place, we gave it a miss on our trip.
Caves Garden: It is located near the Kumaun University Campus and is a great place for some adventure activities. There are a number of natural caves here.  You can try to get in and out of these caves for an experience.
Snow-View: It is easily accessible through ropeway.
Naina Peak or China Peak:  It is the highest peak of the town and provides a beautiful view of the snow-laden Himalayas on one side and the lake city on the other. Some of the guides may tell you that the China border is visible from this peak, but trust me this is not true. China is too far to be visible from India.
The Magnificent Himalayas
Naini Devi Temple:  The temple is located on the shores of Naini Lake, the deity being “Ma Naina Devi”.  The temple is very peaceful and you can get a full view of the hill station from this place.

The other Taals: Apart from Naini Lake, Nainital has 4 other natural lakes named Bhimtal, Sattal, Khurpa Taal and Naukuchia Taal (9 cornered lake). All these lakes have a wonderful view of the hill station and also have different myths attached to them. 
Naina Devi Temple

Naukuchiya Lake
Golu Devta ka Mandir: Trip to Nainital is incomplete without visiting Golu Devta’s temple. As per the folklore, if there is any wish, it can be written on a piece of paper and hanged in the temple premises. Don’t forget to hang a bell once your wish has been granted.
Mukhteshwar: It is a pictersque town, around 8200 ft above sea level. The attractions here include a Shiva Temple, Chauli ki Jali and Suicide Point. There is a PWD Guest house in Mukhteshwar that can be booked for a short stay. The major peaks on Himalayas like the Nanga Parbat, Trishul Parbat and Nanda Devi are clearly visible from this spot. 

The PWD Guesthouse at Mukhteshwar

Suicide Point
 Though we had covered most of the tourist attractions, the one that we missed was the Ropeway, Hanuman Garhi and Pangot.

Shopping

Majority of the shops are present on the Mall road where you can find local fast food, Kashmiri emporiums and some beautifully carved candles. Approximately half a kilometer away from the mall road is the Tibetan Market. Here you can find some cheap but beautiful bags, jackets, sweaters, hats, shoes and delicious MOMOs.

We stayed for 4 days in Nainital and returned back to Delhi. I have been to a lot of other hill stations as well but, I haven’t found something as romantic as Nainital. Let me know if you require further information on this Destination.








9 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I came across your blog while reading about some Indian destinations and found your blog informative.

    I am a travel blogger, associated with cheapoair.com. I write blogs www.businesstravelconnection.com and www.funfoodandtravel.com . I read your blogs and must admit you have an impressive blog.

    Being a blogger it would be a pleasure to write a guest blog for you. The post would be related to the contents of your blog. So, contact me ashwin-at-cheapoair.com , if you are interested.

    Waiting for your reply.

    Regards,

    Ashwin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ashwin... thanks so much for stopping by and reading my blog. I am glad that you liked it and would be more than happy if you write a guest blog for me... I would be providing a review on Andaman Islands soon. Hope that you like it as well...

      Delete
  2. very informative.u have extremely good recapitulating skill.u had been to andaman and seen some exclusive locations. do write about it in ur blog for other bloggers.andaman is still fully undiscovered...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm truly enjoying the design аnd layout of youг wеbѕite.

    It's a νery easу on the eyes which maκes it
    much morе plеasаnt for me to come heге and visit more often.
    Dіd уou hiгe out a develοper tо crеate
    your theme? Outstanding wοrk!

    Аlso visit mmy weblog - cheap trick the flame

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hеllo! I could haνe sworn Ι've visited this site bеfore but after lookіng аt а few of the postѕ I realizеd it'ѕ
    nеw to me. Regаrdleѕs, I'm definitely pleаsed I found it and I'll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    Ηеre iis my blog poѕt cheap bakugan

    ReplyDelete
  5. My pаrtner and I absοlutеly lоve yοur blοg and find many of your ρoѕt's tο be just ωhаt I'm lοоking for.
    can you offeгguest writewrs to ωrite content aνailable foг уou?
    I wouldn't mіnԁ writing a ρost oг elaboratіng οn а
    lot of the ѕubjects you write concеrning hеre.
    Agаіn, aωesοme weblog!

    My ωeblog; insurance handbook for the medical office 12th edition

    ReplyDelete