Monday, October 17, 2016

Nainital



Nainital is a beautiful hill station in Uttrakhand surrounded by mountains with an emerald green lake of the same name. Nainital district  is also called  the lake district because there are many lakes in the region. I have many well -loved memories of this hill station which I visited with my parents.
 There are many scenic spots in the region and one can spend several days touring them in the comfort of taxi or buses available.One can stay at hotels according to one's budget, restaurants  offering various cuisines are a top favorite of tourists. Small as well as large shops are well stocked with ready to wear clothes, dresses and woolens like caps, sweaters, mufflers .  Souvenirs made of wood  like clocks, walking sticks , toys and candles are sold in many shops.
Nainital is easily accessible by road , one can reach Kathgodam by train and take a taxi or bus to the hill station. Pantnagar is the closest airport . One can see the awesome mountains from Kathgodam, the winding hill roads take us through the lush green scenery with halts at tiny stalls selling fruits and steaming cups of tea and snacks. It is difficult not to stop and admire the scenery and breathe in the fresh unpolluted pine scented air !
 Day one- reach Nainital  in the afternoon , relax in hotel room , take a walk on the Mall Road , shop, take a boat ride in the Naini Lake and take in the local ambience or take the aerial ropeway to see the awesome Himalayan range !
Day two- visit Bhim Taal , Saat Taal , Naukuchia Taal by cab, Taal by the way means lake .
Day Three - Visit Mukhteshwar  and see the orchards, temple and trek to see the waterfalls.
Day Four-  Nainital has a high altitude zoo ,one can also visit other popular points /spots like    Dorothy Seat, Tiffin Top, Snow View all situated atop the mountains in Nainital itself. Horses are available on hire, the aerial cable car goes up to the Snow View , the more adventurous can enjoy the trek.The local , helpful  guides and tour operators offer many other day site seeing trips.Car parking is available in some hotels and public parking lot is also there in Mallital. Vehicles are not allowed in the evenings on the Mall Road  leaving the road free for tourists.
 Personally I have not had the pleasure of taking the cable car as the queue is pretty long and it operates only during the peak tourist season. I remember trekking to Snow View , Dorothy Seat with my father  and walking around the lake, not to forget the pony rides. Even today we can see the colorful yachts  skimming the surface of the lake like butterflies! The tiny stalls lined the Mall Road earlier too. This time we visited the old local book store in its  antique stonewalled building also housing the Billiard Room. It was a pleasure to see the lake facing Public Library busy with people , a rare site indeed in today's world. The Band Stand where people gathered in the evenings to enjoy music lies vacant, the parade ground is used by kids for playing and parking cars.
   All in all Nainital has a lot to offer to all age groups . Summer is the peak season, people also come during Dushera vacations and to enjoy the snow fall in winter. Light woolens are required at all times as the temperature falls significantly even after a short shower , one can see locals attired in sweaters round the year ready to face all eventualities!

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