A Wanderer's Choice
People often ask me about the places to visit from Nainital, and how these places could be a wanderer’s choice? obviously, when we think about wandering, we imagine exploring in the woods or seeking places that are yet to be discovered.
we ponder a lot of questions like this in our hearts but there is one thing we always forget, “to wander is to be alive”. We don’t need to think of a particular place or time to be fully alive, in my opinion, you are alive where you are happy, and being happy is a treasure of a wanderer.
Having said that, let me take you to some mesmerizing places that you can experience through this blog.
Untravelling the places to visit from Nainital
Nainital is a very popular destination in Uttrakhand district and is not uncommon amongst the people of north India, and hence you can expect the bulging crowd on weekends and even more on Govt holidays. But still, there are places you can scout regardless of overcrowding in the main city.
I am an avid traveler and I love to share my experiences to help you plan your trip effortlessly.
Without taking much of your precious time and effort, let us delve straight into my personal list of best and less explored places.
Mukteshwar is located about 50 km from Nainital and the usual route you take is Nainital – Bhowali – Ramgarh – Mukteshwar. The approximate height of the place is about 2,200 mts above sea level due to which it gives panoramic views of beautiful Himalayan peaks like Trishul, Panchahuli, Nanda Devi, and Nanda Kot. Trishul & Panchachuli peaks are very famous amongst Indian mountaineers who seek to climb the peaks under 8000mts in India. Mukteshwar is surrounded by a beautiful dense forest of Deodar trees and hence an ideal place if you are looking for serene and calm beauty in the lap of mother nature. The things I always enjoy on this route are apple trees, some people even call this place a city of apples, as you can see many apple gardens en route to this place. You might not want to pick apples from these trees as they are in private gardens but yes, if you can talk with the locals and convince them, then you might get a chance to enjoy picking apples.
The road condition between Nainital to Mukteshwar is surprisingly fair if not good, it is a two-lane road but you should not compare it with Himachal roads. But yes if you have experience to drive till Nainital then you can comfortably drive your vehicle till Mukteshwar. Besides, you will see very less traffic on this route, so enjoy the scenic beauty and drive slow, it should take about 2-3 hours to easily reach this place from Nainital.
Accomodation and things to do
Even though this place is popular due to its mythological believes, Mukteshwar still justifies itself by offering numerous activities and places to explore nearby. you can easily find lots of places to stay here that include some very beautiful and exotic resorts.
Bhalu Gaad Waterfall, one of the lesser explored places to visit from nainital
This place is not very famous amongst tourists yet, but it has slowly started gaining popularity because of social media promotion. Undoubtedly this place is just perfect for people looking for short hikes. This waterfall is about 10 km in distance from Mukteshwar out of which 8km is motorable road and rest is hiking in the jungle, we would strongly recommend hiring a guide that can cost you somewhere 200-300 rupees.
Other things to explore
If you are looking for other adventurous activities like trekking, mountain climbing, rappeling, camping, etc then this place will surely surprise you with numerous options to explore, a place like Chauli ki Jali offers some mountain climbing and rappelling experience, whereas there are treks like Peora to Mukteshwar or Peora to Almora. However, if you are looking for some serious trekks, I would not recommend you this place, but there are a lot of things to experience once you reach this place. I would recommend spending about 2-3 nights here if you want to explore the entire Mukteshwar place.
Lakes are the best places to visit from Nainital
It is an injustice to not talk about 7 beautiful lakes while mentioning the best places near Nainital, once you are on mall road, you can easily find numerous taxi options for this 7 lakes tour, this is a single-day tour and can be comfortably done by your private vehicle as well.
The beautiful lake is said to be located at 1370mts above sea level and amongst the beautiful forest of orchard trees in Mehragaon valley. This place is approximately 45km drive from Nainital and the roads conditions are superb, I never miss a chance to visit this lake whenever I am in Nainital. Sattal’s literal meaning is “7 lakes”, and this name justifies its mystery, Sattal is actually a cluster of 7 lakes that are connected with each other and hence form a one big Lake, these 7 lakes also have their individual names based on Hindu mythology. being one of the most humongous lakes in Uttrakhand, you can expect a variety of things to explore. And yes, don’t worry about parking, this place has a good place for parking vehicles so you don’t have to worry about hustling for parking your 4 or 2 wheeler.
Things to do
From boating to jorbing or to just relaxing by the lakeshore, this place has almost everything to offer, I can spend hours at this place sitting by the lake dipping my feet in the water and being at peace, the place is so huge that no one will ever disturb you except some ducks and swans. I would recommend spending here some time to witness the sound of beautiful nature. It is also a very good option for bird watchers as you can find a variety of migratory birds around in this area.
And yes if you are hungry after doing these activities, plenty of lake-facing restaurants are always there to welcome you where you can enjoy the best “kadi chawal” of your life, I would always recommend to have your lunch here at Sattal lake.
This lake is situated at an elevation of 1370mts above sea level and yet another very beautiful place, it is about 24km from Nainital and if you are looking for comparatively cheaper options to stay than Nainital, then this is one of the best options. You can easily find a lot of hotels, homestays, etc., another best thing about Bhimtal is the destination weddings, so if you have a wedding in mind, do consider this serene and beautiful place. If you are feeling a little adventurous here, then the option for best paragliding is there to quench your thirst for the thrill, all in all, this place has a number of things to offer for people of any age group, and that is what makes it one of the best places to visit from Nainital.
If you are coming towards this place then another thing you can explore is Naukuchiyatal, which is my next destination to write about.
Paragliding in Bhimtal is a must-do activity if you call yourself a traveller, you can literally feel the thrill and adrenaline rushing in your veins.
Paragliding at Bhimtal
Naukuchiyatal is around 7-8kms from Bhimtal and it takes about 20-25 minutes to cover this distance. The road between Bhimtal and Naukuchiyatal is a little bit narrow but very well maintained, you can find some of the very beautiful resorts en route to this lake.
If you are driving your own vehicle then you can comfortably cover these 3 huge and famous lakes and call it a day. I personally love to visit these lakes whenever i am in Nainital.
If you have some time left in hand then you can visit other surrounding lakes like Khurpatal, Sariyataal, Kamaaltaal, etc, all have their unique charm.
It is never a harm to explore as much as possible if you have time in hand, but if you are on a tight schedule, then I always recommend exploring fewer places and spending quality time, so that you embrace the beauty of a place and then move on to the next place. you cannot experience the true vicinity of a location unless you spend enough time.
Kausani, sunset & sunrise charm!
It has been about some time since I last visited Kausani, but the place is so magical that I can write for hours about it. Nainital to Kausani is about 115-120kms and it takes about 5-6hrs(comfortable drive) to reach the place. the roads conditions are fair and you can drive here any vehicle, just need to be a little cautious on curves.
Kausani gives you a spectacular view of Trishul, Nanda Devi, and mighty Panchachuli peaks of the Himalayan range, this place is famous for its sunsets and sunrise. I visited this place in winters and woke up early to witness the beautiful sunrise.
The mighty Himalayas blushes red as the sun sneaks above the horizon on these snow-laden peaks at dawn. If you are a person that enjoys nature photography then this place will leave you spellbound. This place is also a paradise for bird watchers, it said to be a home of more than 50 species of birds and you can hear their chirping throughout the day.
Kausani is very famous for its heavy snowfall, and the entire place goes white at Christmas time, if you are looking for snowy places to visit from Nainital, then this could be a very nice option in winter, make sure you plan your visit for December or January if you want to experience snowfall.
I would personally recommend this place as a leisure trip and not much of an offbeat destination, but still, Kausani has a lot of things to offer for any type of tourist. You can enjoy short treks here which are relatively easy yet picturesque. Tea gardens are one of the very popular attractions and a must-visit place around.
If you are a religious person, you can find lots of temples here, Kausani is very rich in its culture and gives you the true vibes of the Uttrakhand region. There are plenty of options to stay in Kausani that includes some of the very beautiful and cozy resorts, you can find every type of staying option here starting from budget homestays to lavish resorts for Honeymoon couple.
Munsiyari, an offbeat experience amongst the places to visit from nainital
A place less explored, serene beauty, the heaven in India, A paradise on Earth, you can call it whatever you want, but the truth is that you cannot define its beauty in words, impeccable view of the mighty Himalayas standing tall right in front of your eyes, looks indescribable. Munsiyari is about 260kms from Nainital and could be a paradise for people who love offbeat and less crowded places. If you want to explore this beautiful place I recommend you skip the rainy and winter seasons, the weather conditions can get very harsh here, hence the best time to visit this place is March to June, and then September to October, check the weather if you are planning to visit this place after mid of november.
Route and Road conditions
There are ways to reach Munsiyari from Nainital, one is if you want to explore Kausani en route, and the other if you want to take the shorter route, in either of the routes I would definitely recommend you to take a night halt in between and do not try to do it at a single stretch.
route 1. (Nainital – Ranikhet – Kausani – Baijnath – Gwaldham – Bageshwar – Chaukori – Munsiyar).
route 2. (Nainital – Almora – Berinag – Chaukori – Munsiyari)
I have never seen the 2nd route as i always prefer to stay at Kausani first and then drive for Munsiyari the following day. The road conditions are mostly fair, they are narrow with some potholes that you can drive upon easily, the problem is near the Chaukori till Munsiyari, in this stretch some of the patches are in very bad condition and you need to be an experienced driver to drive there, but having said that, if you drive carefully and slow then it shouldn’t be a much problem.
Birthi Falls, one of the most underrated places to visit from nainital
Bithi fall is about 35km from Munsiyari and can be done via a short trek too, you should not underestimate this fall by its pic as it is one of the humongous falls that I have seen. The flow of water is so severe that it can make your clothes wet even from a good distance. If you are in Munsiyari you can never afford to miss this place.
You will never forget the experience of sheer sight at this place, and it gets more beautiful as you ascend gradually near the fall. This place is indeed heaven for nature photographers and I am sure you would want to carry extra batteries here for your cameras.
Other places to explore
If you are already thinking about the various things to explore here then wait, did I mention you that it is one of the best destinations for trekking?
If you are a trekker and loves exploring nature with your feet then this is a must-visit place for you. Munsiyari is a base camp for numerous treks and some of them are even glacier treks. To name few are Nanda Devi base camp trek, Milam glacier trek, Khaliya top trek, etc. I would strongly recommend planning your trek and hiring an experienced guide. Some of the treks are very technical and requires a moderate to difficult level of trekking.
Khaliya Top is a comparatively easy trek that you can do comfortably do in a day. It requires your little fitness level and you can witness this unbelievable view at the top of the mountain. Spend some time here and be at peace, this place is very less crowded and no one is there to bother you.
Apart from these famous places, you can try visiting Thamri Kund, which is a small lake at around 10kms from Munsiyari. you can also explore some nearby farms and enjoy the village beauty, If you are still skeptical about this place then let me assure you it is a must-do amongst the places to visit from Nainital.
Jim Corbett Park, one of the most wildest places to visit from nainital
The place needs no introduction as Jim Corbett park is in the bucket list of every traveler who wishes to explore the wildlife of Uttrakhand. The park was named after a Britisher, a colonel in rank of the British Indian Army, Mr. Jim Edward James Corbett(July 1875 – April 1955). Mr Edward rescued many Indian villagers from man-eating tigers, in his life he killed many tigers and leopards and was famous as a mighty hunter of his era. Now there are many debates on Mr. Edwards, some say he was an animal killer some say he was a life savior for villagers, but I don’t want to dig into that controversy as of now.
Jim Corbett Park is a part of a larger Tiger Reserve area which is spread across 1288 square kilometers, out of which around 520 square km are consists of hills, riverine belts, grasslands, and lakes. Around 73% percent of the park is dense forest and home to 110 tree species, 50 mammal species, 580 birds species, and 25 reptile species of animal. It is indeed one of the biggest tiger reserves of Asia with rich flora and fauna.
This jungle attracts the eye of many tourists, and people often book their stays and jungle safari here in well advance. check here for availability. There are 7 zones(gates) of this park and the closest to Nainital is Bijrani Safari Zone, it is 1km from Ramnagar city and around 67kms from Nainital. To reach here from Nainital you take the kaladungi route and follow the road to Ramnagar, it is a very well-maintained road with plenty of signboards to lead your way.
If you are specifically looking to spot a tiger here then i would recommend going to the Dhikala safari zone and spending at least a night here, if possible then book a night elephant safari, you increase your chances to spot tiger here.
If you enjoyed reading my eyewitness above, then please check out my other experiences here, I hope to give you the best possible information about the places and help you plan your next big trip without any agent, visit our service for more information or leave a message below if you want us to explore any new place. feel free to share any feedback, thank you!