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Weekend Getaways Near Nainital

Weekend getaways are all about distances and planning trips based on facilities and logistics. You can reasonably pack in a shorter time without making it seem like a whirlwind tour is the bottom line.

Nainital, the picturesque hill station in Uttarakhand state, north India is one of the most popular tourist destinations and is sometimes referred to as ‘India’s lake district’. Many tourists make a beeline for this quaint little town as a quick weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of metros around. Exciting as these trips are, to see the best of Nainital town itself and the closer spots around that allow a host of sporty and adventure activities like boating, trekking, mountaineering, angling, paragliding, skating etc. Apart from these, fun and leisure trips to the lakes, wildlife park, monuments and temples add variety.

Nainital Lake

But equally varied are the choices for weekend trips out of Nainital to take in the natural splendor and beauty of the pristine mountainside and visit smaller towns and places of natural beauty and significance. There are several customized packages on offer to make choices from or one can tailor-make getaway packages according to preference and time available. Nainital is well connected by NH24 and NH47 and the roads are good for motor travel.

The customized packages include some very interesting places around Nainital like Corbett National Park, Mussoorie, Ranikhet, Mukteshwar, Kausani, Haridwar, Rishikesh and many more.

Make-your-own Plan for Weekend Getaway near Nainital

The idea of a weekend getaway is to rejuvenate and recharge mind and body with as much as the eyes can take; the perfect window to the soul. One can choose from a variety of destinations based on personal choices and the kind of activities that will provide relief and refreshment and build wonderful memories. An ideal weekend getaway should have a mix of everything and it calls on the creativity and individuality of persons to make up their own tour packages.

To begin with, there are a handful of lakes within a 30-km radius around Nainital that offer pristine views and inspiring activities. The more adventurous and leisurely who like to take things at their own pace and enjoy every moment of a weekend getaway could choose the option of hiking or trekking part of the way to get around these lakes. More youngsters in groups may be more inclined to exercise this option.

  • Khurpa Tal – about 11 kms by road from Nainital, this beautiful lake with terraced fields around it, probably the reason for its name, is a popular spot for anglers to try their hand at netting some of the catch from the lake. Adventure lovers may prefer to hike the 5-km trail from Nainital.
  • Sattal (seven lakes) – Garud, Laxman, Nal Damayanti, Purna, Ram, Sita and Sukh are the seven fresh water lakes interconnecting to form the Sattal, about 22 kms from Nainital. The dense forest cover offers excellent nesting for migratory birds that spend several months here away from the cold weather up north, nesting and breeding. Sattal fortunately has remained unspoiled and retains its freshness, prompting many Britishers to draw comparisons with the Westmoreland District of England.
  • Bhim Tal – Said to be present from ancient times, specifically the Mahabharata period, the main attraction of this lake located 24 kms from Nainital is the small island in the centre of lake. Believed to be the spot where Bhim, one of the Pandava brothers, spent time during his exile, Bhim Tal offers excellent connectivity to Kumaon and an area of Nepal; historians have suggested that Bhim Tal may have been on the ancient Silk Route to China via the Himalayan mountain passes.
  • Naukuchia Tal (nine-cornered lake) – Not one that will inspire curiosity but some respect no doubt because of tale woven about how one can go up in smoke if all nine corners of the lake can be viewed by the eye, Naukuchia Tal is 28 kms from Nainital and the deepest of all the lakes in and around Nainital.

Places for Weekend Getaways near Nainital

Places near Nainital
  1. Almora – if you are looking for a place that offers everything, this is ‘the one’. A charming little town that gives visitors panoramic views of the surrounding mountain tops earning it the soubriquet ‘Switzerland of India’, rich and tongue-tickling cuisine from all over the North, uniquely crafted artifacts and handicrafts, an exciting range of wildlife to view, remnants of colonial architecture and its own rich culture, the list goes on. About 68 kms from Nainital, Almora was already well known during the British days; being known as the place where Swami Vivekananda spent a lot of time in meditation puts another feather in its cap!
  2. Corbett National Park – Easily the most distinguished of all wild-like parks in India and one of the oldest, established in 1936, this wild life park owes its existence to the hunter turned animal conservationist Jim Corbett who became synonymous with the Kumaon foothills for his many trysts with man-eating tigers. The park is home to some of the finest and rarest of flora and fauna, counting amongst it over 600 species of birds and over 450 species of plants. The park has an extent of 521 sq. kms. and is about 70 kms from Nainital.
  3. Mukteshwar – one of the earliest research-study centres established by the British, Mukteshwar is home to Mukteshwar Dham; a hill-top temple nearly four centuries old with views of the Himalayas that literally take away your breath, dedicated to Lord Shiva whose love for snow-called mountains is the stuff of legends.
  4. Kausani – this charming mountain resort with classical setting among snow covered peaks, around 115 kms from Nainital, is endowed with a pristine beauty that is ‘hard to describe’ as Mahatma Gandhi said when he visited here in 1929. Kausani leaves it to the imagination of visitors to work out their own sightseeing tour.
  5. Haldwani – popularly referred to as the ‘gateway of Kumaon’, Haldwani offers accessibility to reach destinations like Delhi, Haridwar, Lucknow and other regions around the Kumaon foothills like Champawat, Pithoragarh and many other places through its well-run transport system. Its strategic location at the beginning of the Kumaon hill range in the Bhabhar sector of the Indo-Gangetic plain has made it an important in the trade network of the region; notwithstanding this, the natural scenic beauty of the place stands out.
  6. Ranikhet – literally known as the ‘Queen’s Meadow’, Ranikhet is a place to visit to see exciting flora and fauna and gaze on the snow covered Himalayan peaks. Home to the Kumaon and Naga Regiments of the Indian Army, it is easily reachable from Nainital at 65 kms distance.

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