10 Places to Visit in Nainital in One Day: A Perfect Itinerary!

 In Day Trip, Places To Visit, Travel, Uttarakhand

Nainital, located in the state of Uttarakhand, is a beautiful hill station famous for its scenic lakes, green hills, and views of the Himalayas. If you only have one day to spend here, don’t worry—you can still see some amazing places that show off the best of Nainital. Nainital is one of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand.

Start your morning with a relaxing boat ride on Naini Lake, the main attraction of the town. The lake is surrounded by hills and looks stunning in the early light. Next, visit the Naina Devi Temple, which is close to the lake. It’s a peaceful spot where you can spend some quiet time.  It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

Take a walk along Mall Road, a lively street with lots of shops and eateries. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs and taste local snacks. For incredible views of the snow-covered Himalayas, ride the cable car to Snow View Point. If you like a bit of adventure, you can hike or take a horse ride to Tiffin Top for a 360-degree view of the area. It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital

In just one day, you can enjoy the natural beauty, spiritual sites, and simple life of Nainital with our Uttarakhand Tour Packages!

Top 10 Places to Visit in Nainital in One Day

  • Naini Lake
  • Naina Devi Temple
  • Mall Road
  • Snow View Point
  • Tiffin Top
  • Eco Cave Gardens
  • Nainital Zoo
  • Raj Bhawan
  • Kilbury Bird Sanctuary
  • Hanuman Garhi

1. Naini Lake

naini-lake

Start your day with a visit to Naini Lake, the heart of Nainital. This pear-shaped lake is surrounded by hills and offers a tranquil environment to relax and soak in the beauty. You can indulge in boating, which is the most popular activity here. There are rowboats, paddle boats, and yachts available for hire. Early morning is the best time to visit as the lake is calm, and the reflections of the surrounding mountains in the water create a mesmerising view. It is among the top places to visit in Nainital in one day.

Spending some time on a boat lets you experience the lake from different perspectives. The gentle rowing motion and the sound of water splashing against the boat can be incredibly soothing. Whether you choose a paddle boat, rowboat, or yacht, each offers a unique experience. The boats are often colourful and add to the charm of the lake. As you glide over the clear waters, you might notice fish swimming below, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot some ducks paddling alongside you. You might also like to check the best things to do in Uttarakhand for your next visit.

2. Naina Devi Temple

naina-devi-temple

After enjoying the Naini Lake, head to the nearby Naina Devi Temple, situated on the lake’s northern shore. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi and is an important religious site for Hindus. The temple is believed to be one of the 64 Shakti Peeths in India, where the eyes of Goddess Sati are said to have fallen. The temple’s peaceful ambiance and beautiful surroundings make it a perfect spot for some spiritual reflection.

The temple complex is adorned with beautiful sculptures and intricate carvings. As you enter, you are greeted by the fragrance of incense and the sound of bells ringing, creating a sacred atmosphere. The temple is usually filled with devotees, and you can often see people offering prayers, lighting candles, and ringing the temple bells. The main deity, Goddess Naina Devi, is depicted with large, expressive eyes, symbolising the all-seeing nature of the goddess. It is among the top places to visit in Nainital in one day.

The temple’s location offers a fantastic view of the Naini Lake and the surrounding hills. The temple premises also house smaller shrines dedicated to various deities. Walking around these shrines, you get a sense of the deep spiritual significance the place holds for the locals.

3. Mall Road

mall-road

No visit to Nainital is complete without a stroll along Mall Road. This bustling street runs parallel to Naini Lake and is lined with shops, restaurants, and hotels. Here, you can shop for souvenirs, woollens, and local handicrafts. Don’t forget to try the local street food like momos, chaat, and maggi from the numerous stalls. The Mall Road also offers beautiful views of the lake, especially during the evening when the entire area is lit up.

The shops on Mall Road offer a variety of goods, from colourful shawls and scarves to wooden artefacts and jewellery. You can find beautiful candles, handmade soaps, and other local crafts that make for perfect gifts. The shopkeepers are friendly and often willing to bargain, adding to the fun of shopping.

When it comes to food, Mall Road has something for everyone. The aroma of freshly cooked food wafts through the air, making it hard to resist the temptation to try everything. The street food vendors offer a range of delicious snacks. Momos, stuffed with vegetables or meat, are a must-try. The spicy chaat, with its tangy flavours, is another popular choice. If you’re looking for something warm and comforting, a bowl of maggi noodles cooked with vegetables is perfect.

In the evening, the lights from the shops and street lamps create a beautiful reflection on the lake. The cool breeze from the lake makes the walk along Mall Road even more enjoyable. You can also find musicians playing local tunes, adding to the lively atmosphere. It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

Suggested Read: Places to Celebrate New Year in Uttarakhand in 2024

4. Snow View Point

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To get a 360 view of the snow-capped Himalayas, head to Snow View Point. You can reach this point via a cable car ride from Mallital, which is an exciting experience in itself. The Snow View Point provides a stunning view of the Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Kot peaks. There is also a small temple dedicated to Dev Mundi at the top. The spot has telescopes installed to get a closer look at the peaks, and there are several tea stalls where you can enjoy a hot beverage while taking in the stunning views.

The cable car ride to Snow View Point is an adventure in itself. As you ascend, you get a s-eye view of Nainital and the surrounding hills. The ride is smooth, and the scenery is just wow. Once you reach the top, the view of the snow-covered peaks is simply awe-inspiring. The white peaks stand tall against the blue sky, creating a picture-perfect scene. This is also a famous Trek in Nainital.

There are telescopes available that allow you to see the peaks up close. Looking through the telescope, you can spot the intricate details of the snow-covered mountains, the ridges, and the valleys. The small temple at Snow View Point is a peaceful place to sit and reflect. The area is also dotted with small stalls selling snacks and hot beverages. Sipping a cup of hot tea while gazing at the Himalayas is an experience you won’t forget. It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

5. Tiffin Top (Dorothy’s Seat)

tiffin-top

Next, make your way to Tiffin Top, also known as Dorothy’s Seat. This popular picnic spot is located about 4 kilometres from the town centre and can be reached by a short trek or horse ride. The spot was built in memory of Dorothy Kellet, an English artist, and offers an amazing 360-degree view of Nainital and the surrounding countryside. It’s a perfect place to relax, enjoy a picnic, and take some beautiful photographs.

The trek to Tiffin Top is moderately easy and takes you through a beautiful forest trail. As you walk, you can hear the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves, creating a peaceful atmosphere. If you prefer, you can also hire a horse for the journey. The horse ride adds a bit of adventure and is a great way to enjoy the scenic route.

Once you reach Tiffin Top, the view is worth the effort. You can see the entire town of Nainital, the sparkling Naini Lake, and the surrounding hills. The picture-perfect view is perfect for photography. There are benches and shaded areas where you can sit and relax. It’s an ideal spot for a picnic. You can bring your food or buy some snacks from the vendors around. The fresh air, the beautiful view, and the tranquil environment make Tiffin Top a perfect place to unwind. It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

6. Eco Cave Gardens

eco-cave-gardens

For a bit of adventure and fun, visit the Eco Cave Gardens. This complex of natural caves and hanging gardens is a great place, especially if you’re travelling with children. There are six interconnected caves of different shapes and sizes, resembling the habitats of various animals like tigers, panthers, and bats. The caves are well-lit, and there are also musical fountains that add to the charm of the place. 

It’s a fun and educational experience that showcases the natural beauty of the region. It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

The Eco Cave Gardens are designed to give visitors a glimpse of the natural habitats of different animals. The caves are dark and narrow, which adds to the excitement. Some of the caves require you to crawl through, making it a thrilling adventure, especially for kids. The pathways inside the caves are well-lit, ensuring safety while maintaining the natural feel of the caves.

7. Nainital Zoo

nainital-zoo

If you’re an animal lover, a visit to the Nainital Zoo, officially known as the Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo is a must. Located at an altitude of 2,100 metres, this zoo is home to several endangered species of animals and birds. You can see animals like the Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, steppe eagle, and Tibetan wolf. The zoo is well-maintained and offers a great opportunity to learn about the region’s wildlife while enjoying the scenic views of the surrounding hills.

The Nainital Zoo is spread over a large area and offers well-laid-out paths for visitors to explore. The enclosures are designed to mimic the natural habitats of the animals, providing them with a comfortable environment. The zoo is home to several species that are native to the Himalayas, giving visitors a chance to see these animals up close.

The Himalayan black bear, with its thick fur and distinctive white V-shaped chest patch, is one of the star attractions. 

The snow leopard, with its beautiful spotted coat, is another highlight. The steppe eagle, with its impressive wingspan, and the Tibetan wolf, known for its striking appearance, are also fascinating to observe. Informational boards near the enclosures provide interesting facts about the animals, making the visit educational as well.  It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

8. Raj Bhawan

raj-bhawan

Take a short detour to visit the Raj Bhawan or Governor’s House, which is a fine example of Gothic architecture. The sprawling estate includes a golf course and beautiful gardens. Though prior permission is required to visit the main building, the well-manicured lawns and the surrounding landscape make it worth a visit. It’s a great place to appreciate colonial architecture and take a leisurely walk in the well-maintained gardens.

Raj Bhawan, with its grand architecture and green surroundings, is a testament to the colonial history of Nainital. The building’s Gothic style is characterised by pointed arches, intricate stonework, and large windows. The estate covers a vast area, and the gardens are meticulously maintained with a variety of flowers and plants.  It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

The main building is often used for official functions and is not always open to the public. However, the gardens and the golf course are accessible and provide a peaceful environment for a stroll. Walking through the gardens, you can see a wide range of flora, from colourful flowers to towering trees. The golf course adds to the charm of the place, with its rolling greens and well-maintained fairways.

9. Kilbury Bird Sanctuary

kilbury-bird-sanctuary

For nature enthusiasts, the Kilbury Bird Sanctuary is a paradise. Located about 12 kilometres from Nainital, this sanctuary is home to over 580 species of birds, including many migratory ones. The drive to Kilbury is scenic, and once there, you can enjoy bird watching amidst the tranquil surroundings. Some of the commonly spotted birds include the Brown Wood Owl, Collared Grosbeak, and the White-throated Laughing Thrush. It’s a peaceful retreat away from the bustling town. 

It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

The drive to Kilbury Bird Sanctuary takes you through landscapes, with dense forests and stunning views of the mountains. The sanctuary itself is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers. The greenery and the environment make it an ideal spot for observing birds in their natural habitat.

Equipped with a pair of binoculars, you can spot a variety of birds. The Brown Wood Owl, with its striking appearance and haunting call, is a fascinating sight. The Collared Grosbeak, known for its vibrant colours, and the White-throated Laughing Thrush, with its distinctive call, are other birds you can spot here. The sanctuary is also home to many other species, both resident and migratory.

10. Hanuman Garhi

hanuman-garhi

End your day with a visit to Hanuman Garhi, a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Situated about 3.5 kilometres from the town centre, this temple offers a stunning view of the sunset. The temple is perched on a hill, and the sight of the setting sun behind the hills is truly magical. The temple complex also includes a shrine dedicated to Lord Ram and Sita. It’s a peaceful place to end your day with some quiet reflection and stunning views.

The temple’s location on a hill offers a 360 view of the surrounding landscape. The best time to visit is during the evening when the setting sun casts a golden glow over the hills. The sight of the sun slowly disappearing behind the mountains is just awesome and provides a perfect end to your day in Nainital.

The temple complex also includes smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Ram and Sita. These shrines are beautifully decorated and offer a peaceful place for prayer and reflection. Sitting on the steps of the temple, you can feel the cool breeze and enjoy the peaceful environment. The tranquil atmosphere and the beautiful views make Hanuman Garhi a perfect place to relax and reflect on the day’s experiences. It is one of the best places to visit in Nainital in one day.

Additional Tips for a Perfect Day in Nainital

additional-tips
  • Start Early: Start early to make the most of your day. Nainital has a lot to offer, and an early start will help you cover more ground.
  • Dress Comfortably: Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. The weather can be quite unpredictable, and it’s best to be prepared for both sun and rain.
  • Stay Hydrated: Carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated, especially if you’re planning to do a lot of walking.
  • Local Transport: Utilise local transport like rickshaws, taxis, and the ropeway to save time. Walking is also a great option to explore the town at your own pace.
  • Respect Local Customs: Be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites.

What is Nainital, and why is it famous?

Nainital is a beautiful hill town known for its lakes and mountain views. It’s famous because of Naini Lake where people go boating and Mall Road with shops and restaurants.

Can I explore Nainital in just one day?

Yes, you can see Nainital’s main places in one day. Start with Naini Lake and Naina Devi Temple, walk around Mall Road, visit Snow View Point for mountain views, and see the sunset at Hanuman Garhi. It’s small enough for a day trip.

What is the best time to visit Nainital?

The best time to visit Nainital is from March to June and September to November. During these months, the weather is nice, not too hot or cold, which is perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing. It’s better to avoid July-August because of heavy rain.

Are there any guided tours available in Nainital?

Yes, you can find guided tours in Nainital. Local tour companies offer guided tours that take you to places like Naini Lake, Naina Devi Temple, Snow View Point, and other interesting spots. Guides will tell you about the town’s history, culture, and nature.

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