The complete guide to visiting the beautiful hill station of Nainital by train and its major tourist attractions you must explore.
Nainital Hill Station
The lake district of India – Nainital is one of the most visited hill stations in India. Nainital is a popular tourist place in the state of Uttarakhand and honeymoon destination in India during summers as well as winters. Nainital is an ideal winter destination for thousands of visitors to welcome the New Year and celebrate the Christmas Eve.
According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Sati’s left eyes fell down when the lord Shiva was carrying her corpse around in grief. It is also said that the emerald lake is formed in the eye shape. Thus the name of Nainital has been derived from ‘Naina’ which means eyes and ‘Tal’ which means lake.
Nainital is famous for the schools, research facilities and observatories. The Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is located 9 km from Nainital. It is the centre for astronomical studies and optical tracking of artificial satellites.
How to Reach Nainital
The Nainital city is well connected with the rest of the country and can be reached effortlessly through all the modes of transport from every city. However, if you want a hassle-free visit, you can pick your choice of the mode accordingly.
How to Reach Nainital By Air
The Pantnagar Airport in Nainital is the nearest domestic airport which is 70 km far from the main city. If you plan to go by air, you can get down at the airport and avail a taxi/cab from outside to reach inside Nainital city. There is also an international airport serving Nainital – the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) situated at New Delhi which is 300 km away from the city.
How to Reach Nainital By Train
Kathgodam railhead is the nearest railway station located at a distance of 23 km from the beautiful city of Nainital. It is connected with Nainital that runs directly along with the hill station. Buses and taxis are easily available from outside the station. Some of the direct trains are running daily from the metro cities such as New Delhi, and major cities of Lucknow, Kolkata, and Agra to Kathgodam.
How to Reach Nainital By Road
Nainital is connected to major cities like Agra, New Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata, and a number of buses and cabs ply regularly from these cities to Nainital Bus Stand (Tallital Bus Station). People travelling to Nainital generally take cabs to see the beauty of the town.
Nearest Railway Station to Nainital
Kathgodam is the nearest railway station in Nainital, located in Nainital District. The railhead carries many loads of the arrival-departure trains. It attaches the city to the other corners of India. Passengers can also catch their train from supporting stations to avoid congestion during boarding/deboarding the train.
Here is the list of the nearest railway station from Nainital so that visitors can reach this quaint place with ease:
1) Kathgodam Railway Station (KGM)
Located in the district of Nainital, Uttarakhand, Kathgodam railway station is just 23 km from the city. Kathgodam is one of the famous railway stations which connects to major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Agra and many more. Tourists can book a taxi or cab from outside the station premises for reaching the town.
Passengers can also order food in train, check seat availability, PNR Status, Train Schedule, ticket price online at RailRestro.
Trains Passing through Kathgodam Railway Station
Here is the list of some of the important trains that pass through the Kathgodam station are:
- KGM Garib Rath (12255),
- Ranikhet Express (15014),
- Jan Shatabdi Spl (02091),
- Lucknow KGM Express (15043),
- NDLS KGM Express (12040)
2) Haldwani Railway Station (HDW)
Haldwani railway station is a single broad-gauge railway station located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The distance between Nainital city and Haldwani railway station is 42 km. Many trains stop here so that tourists can visit Nainital.
Some of the trains that stop at Haldwani are:
- Moradabad Kathgodam Passenger (55303),
- Bagh Express (13019),
- Anand Vihar Trm Kathgodam Sht (12040),
- Dehradun Kathgodam Express (14120),
- Ranikhet Express (15013)
3) Lalkuan Junction Railway Station (LKU)
Lalkuan junction railway station falls under Ijjatnagar railway division of the North-Eastern railways. It is 60.7 km away from Nainital city. There are several trains which stop at Lalkuan railway station from where you can go to Nainital city by bus or taxi.
Some of the important trains that pass through the Lalkuan Junction Railway station are:
- Lal Kuan Bareilly City Passenger (55348),
- Ramnagar Bandra Terminus Express (19062),
- LKU Ndls Ac Spl (02039),
- Jammu Garib Rat (12207),
- Ramnagar Express (19061)
Related: Order food in any train online from RailRestro, train food app.
Top Things to Do in Nainital
From boating to trekking, this city offers many experiences for having a soul-satisfying trip to Nainital. The cold climate, fascinating beauty of hills and lakes make Nainital a dazzling place to visit. Nainital is among the most popular hill destinations in India as it includes many temples, viewpoints, picnic spots, parks, zoo, and more.
Have a look at some of the famous tourist places in Nainital and top things to do there:
Famous Places to Visit in Nainital
1. Naini Lake – Engage in Boating
Naini Lake is very famous for boating among travellers. Its majestic view attracts tourists and honeymoon couples. The Nainital Lake is surrounded by seven different peaks, popularly known as ‘Sapta-Shring’ – namely Ayarpata, Handi Bandi, Deopata, Cheena Peak, Laria Kanta, Alma, and Sher Ka Danda.
Boats are available for 30 mins to 60 mins for one family. Stopover at points to relish a delicious lunch at famous eateries like Boat House club which is favourite for the mouth-watering taste.
2. Tiffin Top – Enjoy Himalayan View
Tiffin Top is a favourite picnic spot in Nainital and viewing the sunrise from Tiffin Top is the most captivating experience for travellers. Situated on the Ayarpatta Hill, Tiffin top sits in a location where you can see the charm of Nainital on one side and the alluring Kumaon hills on the opposite side.
The place is only 4 km away from the heart of Nainital. If you are excited for activities to do in Nainital, then a hike up to Tiffin Top to capture the beauty of Himalayas and be ready for an adventurous trek. You can also try a horse ride to go there.
3. Naina Devi – Soak in the Spirituality
The city of Nainital got its name from the Naina Devi Temple. The goddess Naina Devi or Maa Sati is worshipped in this temple, who is believed to govern the Naini Lake. It is also known to be one of the 64 Shaktipeeths in India. According to Hindu mythology, the temple is built on the spot where Goddess Sati’s eyes fell down when the Lord Vishnu cut her body into 51 different parts.
4. Raj Bhawan – Visit A Royal Palace
The Nainital Governor’s House has been constructed by the British in 1924, which gives a feel of Buckingham Palace, London. The two-storey palace contains around 113 rooms, but tourists can only visit its big lawns. There is also an 18-hole golf club that is set around a scenic forest and is the house to unique species of flora and fauna.
5. Jim Corbett National Park – Witness Wildlife
This oldest national park in India is a perfect place for wildlife and nature lovers. It is not only for wildlife, but it is also a home to rich flora and fauna. A Jim Corbett visit will take you on an adventure through a lush green valley, water holes, reverie belts, and 521 sq km of abounding animal and plant kingdom.
Shopping in Nainital
Mall Road, Bara Bazaar, Tibetan Market and Bhotia Bazaar are the best shopping places for buying a range of items from branded goods to locally produced apparels and products during a trip. It is not possible to think of returning home without stuffing your luggage with scented candles, artificial jewellery, trinkets, handicrafts from these shops. You can also buy jams and fruits like apples, blueberries, cherries, etc. and take them home. Tibetan market or Bhoti Market is another famous marketplace, mostly known for its women’s clothing, scarfs, and shawls. These will be the perfect items to take back as memories that you can cherish forever.
The Best Time to Visit Nainital, Uttarakhand
The weather is pleasant the whole year, but the time between March-June can be considered as the best time to visit Nainital. In Monsoon season (July-September) sometimes heavy rain showers are expected. But being an off-season, hotels offer best discounts for travellers during this season, and a lot of budget travellers travel during monsoon time. October to February can also be a perfect time to visit Nainital as the temperature is neither very hot nor too cold during the sunshine. The winter season has a pleasant misty attraction with the most frigid days seeing the temperature dipping to zero degree Celsius. If you like snow, then plan a trip between December-January.
Hotels in Nainital
Nainital is also known as a popular honeymoon destination for newly-weds couples, and you can opt for budget or luxury hotels for accommodation. Some of the hotels and resorts are:
- The Naini Retreat (Heritage Hotel),
- Bara Bungalow (Heritage Resort),
- Mountain View Luxury Stay (5 stars),
- Nainital Willows (3 stars),
- Hotel Cloud 7 (2 stars),
- Royal Windsor Hotel (1 star)
Local Food Options in Nainital
The famous eat-out option in Nainital is Embassy Restaurant which is the haunt of locals and tourists alike. It is an excellent option to enjoy local food. Some of the dishes are Bhatt ki Churkani, Ras (a dish made with several dals), Baadi, Aloo Gutke (a spicy dish of boiled potatoes, Arsa (a sweet item), and Gulgula (a sweet snack). Cafe de Mall is the best place to spend some relaxing time having excellent coffee.
Fairs and Festivals in Nainital
Some of the popularly known festivals and fairs in Nainital are Basant Panchami, Uttarayani, Phool Dei, Nanda Devi fair, Khatarva, Harela, Gheeya Sankranti, and Sharadotsav. The celebration includes many folks and classical dances, firework, artwork, and the list are endless.
The purpose of celebrating the fairs and festivals is showing the joyful life and cultural uniqueness of Nainital. These fairs and festivals offer the living style and cultural thoughts of this place.