Nainital Experience: Nainital is the perfect place to go if you are completely clueless on where to travel and have not time to research alternatives. Polluted with ugly hotels, garbage heaps, cows, traffic filled with loud tourists, and agents trying to hustle you to buy a room, package or tour, this 'hill station' is not at all what it used to be.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The 'Naini' Tal - Naini Lake - stinks, has floating garbage, and hills on one side covered with gaudy hotels. If you absolutely have to visit Nainital the places worth visiting are on the outskirts of the town - Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal and Sat Tal. These lakes are cleaner, calmer and in surroundings that are far more intriguing.
Nainital will offer you tons of cheap touristy shopping options. Nothing you will not get in any large city like Bombay or Delhi.
Activities & things to do: Boating on Naini Lake - yikes. There is a sightseeing point accessed by a cable car which is tolerable.
The day tour of the lakes in the vicinity is interesting. It would be a good idea to spend an overnight at resorts closer to the other lakes.
Local tour operators can organize hikes in the area.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Overnight train from Delhi to Kathgodam and a 3-4 hour road trip to Nainital. Taxis - shared or private - and buses are available.
Nainital Experience: Nainital is a pleasant weekend getaway from the scorching Delhi sun. The weather is pleasant, the air cool, the lake pristine & shining in green glory of the lush trees that abound Nainital, the shehtoots and strawberries yummy, and the view from the snow viewpeak (you go up there through the ropeway), breathtaking. Naina Devi temple offers much needed tranquility after the Delhi hustle bustle, and you'll want to stay there forever in the lap of mother nature. A winner all the way!!!
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The Naini lake itself is a treat to the eyes, with its crystal clear water. The mall road offers a good walk. The essenceof Nainital, Naina Devi temple is a must see. They take you to the snow peak through the ropeway, from where you can see the Himalayan range, and myriad other things. At a little distance is Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal, which are relatively smaller but equally beautiful and serene. Do buy shehtoots and strawberries- absolutely fantastic(approx. Rs. 90/- a kg for strawberries). The tibbati market near the Naina Devi temple offers good bargains- have a dekko.
Activities & things to do: Boating rules!! what luxury it is to relax and let your hair down while the lake's water splashing around and making soothing music!! Who would ever want to get out!! O maajhi re..... Then, stroll along the side market near the parking area, shooting baloons, sipping masala tea, savouring the strawberries. Take the horseride to China Peak and surrounds- amazing visuals when you reach there. A trek is what I would personally prefer. Also, a trek to the snow peak is a real adventure. See if you can get to play cricket on the huge ground near the parking area- the action is always on.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: The journey from Delhi to Nainital is 326 km. Absolutely stunning road from Delhi till Muradabad (elevated toll road). After that, till Haldwani its mixed- smooth/broken/narrow/busy etc. If you start from Delhi early morning, you'll quickly bypass the busy Hapur Moradabad stretch which gets busy with trucks and the city traffic as the daylight increases. Have breakfast at the famous Giani Hotel in Gajraula, and move ahead. After Haldwani, its hilly climb of 23 km, easy and smooth. Takes roughly an hour and half to reach Nainital. DO NOT eat at any of the Reliance A-1 plazas- the food is pathetic, and the service lousy. There are long stretches without inhabitation so check your stepni etc.
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