Nainital has long been a favoured summer getaway for people from across India. But now, in the summer months, Nainital is packed beyond capacity with tourists. The weather is still great but if you don’t have a place to stand, it’s pointless to even attempt a holiday there. Don’t despair though. There are a lot of places and things to do in Nainital district which will take you away from the crowds. These places are known to regular travellers, but are not as popular or well known as main Nainital town.
Here are a few places you should visit in the Nainital district to avoid the summer tourist rush.
This small, picturesque town is about 50 kms away from Nainital. If you’re looking for adventure activities with a 180 degree view of the Himalayas, this is the place for you. The undisturbed view of mountain peaks is worth travelling the extra hour from Nainital. There aren’t too many tourists here yet, but Mukteshwar is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to Nainital. This is a great spot to go for long walks or treks.
Distance from Delhi: 380 kms, driving time of 8-9 hours
Distance from Kathgodam railway station: 60 kms, driving time of approximately 2 hours
This tiny town, around 24 kms from Nainital, is centred around one lake and is perfect for those who want peace and quiet. Unlike Nainital, the lake here is not crowded at all and is ideal for boating. If you stay in a lakeside property, the boat will pick you up directly from the hotel. This is the perfect place for an escape from the city and for a spot of adventure. You can go paragliding in Naukuchiatal to get a bird’s eye view of the hilltops.
Distance from Delhi: 300 kms, driving time of 6-7 hours
Distance from Kathgodam railway station: 25 kms, driving time of 1 hour
Further up the mountains in Nainital, you will find a small, quiet village named Pangot. If the heat of the city is getting to you, Pangot is meant for you. The temperatures drop dramatically as you drive up the steep road from Nainital to Pangot. Just 15 kms away from Nainital, this is also the perfect place in this region to spot some rare birds. You can also go trekking to Naina Peak or Corbett National Park from here.
Distance from Delhi: 345 kms, driving time of 7-8 hours
Distance from Kathgodam railway station: 52 kms, driving time of 2 hours
A tiny village about 15 kms away from Nainital, Nighlaat is a nature lover’s paradise. From undisturbed views of the mountains to the sounds of birds all around, you will find it all here. You can also do a day trip to Nighlaat if you would like to stay elsewhere. This village is located on the Almora Ranikhet road, so it is fairly easy to reach.
Distance from Delhi: 250 kms, driving time of 5-6 hours
Distance from Kathgodam railway station: 35 kms, driving time of 1.5 hours
About 51 kms away from Nainital, and near Corbett National Park, Kotabagh is a hidden gem in the hills of the Kumaon region. With views of lush green forests and sweeping hills, Kotabagh is perfect for a short weekend getaway from Delhi. The Ramnagar Forest area is nearby so you might even spot some wildlife during your stay.
Distance from Delhi: 315 kms, driving time of 6 hours
Distance from Ramnagar railway station: 31 kms, driving time of 45 minutes.
Here are a few things to do near Nainital which will take you away from the crowd and let you admire the beauty of the mountains peacefully.
Watching the sunrise over the Nanda Devi peak
Birdwatching on Kilbury Road
Strolling through Cave Garden
So, give the main town of Nainital a rest this summer and visit some of the beautiful areas near this tourist hotspot. You will love the peace, serenity and adventure in the less popular areas in this district.