Weekend Getaway from Delhi: Nainital – the Lake District of Uttarakhand

The best part of living in the Capital is that the party doesn’t end with the city. If your regular joints and run-of-the-mill urban haunts bore you to death, pack your bags and drive down for the weekend to any of the hilly retreats tucked away in the deep pockets of the Trans-Himalayan region. Our pick of the month: Nainital – The Lake District of Uttarakhand.

“Famous for its misty mountains and picturesque counties, Uttarakhand is one of the more popular tourist hubs kissing the outlying fringes of Delhi. Be it the Kumaon or the Garhwal, Forest or Wildlife, Adventure treks or a dip of Holiness, Uttarakhand has got something for everyone.”

Surrounded by deodars and pine forest and home to countless myths of the mountain Gods, Nainital is the idyllic summer retreat that still boasts of imposing mansions and manicured lawns built in the colonial era. Take a walk down the mile long trails, stay up in one of the lesser known cottages set amidst verdant forests, and revisit the legends of yore in the Naini Devi temple. When you are done, don’t forget that boat ride in Naini Lake, the long-standing favorite of the visitors & locals alike.

THE MANY THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO

Go Bird Watching: Uttarakhand is supposedly a haven for avi-fauna, and bird-watchers from all over the world flock here each year to set their eyes on a pair of Black-headed Jays, Eurasian Jays, Chestnut-headed Laughing Thrushes among others. Tiffin Top & Naina Peak is home to some exotic birds; you can also visit Kilbury Bird Sanctuary in Pangot, and if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of some of the 240 species of birds that makes the sanctuary their home.

bird watching  uttarakhand, weekend getaway from delhi
source: phototravelasia.wordpress.com

Don’t forget your binoculars!

Float your Boat: Nainital is not called the Lake District for nothing. The other famous lake retreats like Bhimtal, Sat Tal and Naukuchiatal are just a hop, skip and jump away. All you need is a pair of wheels to drive down.

nainital Lake,  weekend getaway from delhi
source: travelztrip.com

Soak in the serenity of the lake with some Masala Chai!

Go Golfing: Spend a day playing the gentleman’s sport in this vast Golf Course situated inside the Raj Bhavan Bungalow in Nainital. Opened to the public in 1994, this Golf Course boasts of 50 acres of lush forest and 18 holes with 18 different tees, and was constructed by the British Army engineers in 1926.

nainital, weekend getaways from delhi
source: rajbhavangolfcoursenainital.golfgaga.com

Play the perfect Gentleman!

Where to FIND THE PERFECT NEST

Luxury Suite

weekend getaway from Delhi, nainital, nainital homestaysDesigned with a lot of care, this property is surrounded by lush green garden, bringing the guests closer to nature. The warm and welcoming ambience, the exemplary services provided by the host and the scenic locales make your stay a truly enriching experience.

Looking for unique vacation stays? Click here to book this property with GuestHouser.

Summer House

nainital, weekend getaway from delhi, nainital homestaysBuilt by a British resident in the late 19th century, this summer house of the erstwhile Nawab Rehmatullah Khan Sherwani of Bhikampur exudes an unmistakable aura of a bygone era. The place is surrounded by thick Deodars and adjoins the famous Raj Bhawan Golf Course.

Want to live like a king? Click here to book this property with GuestHouser.

Cottage amidst Quietude

weekend getaway from delhi, nainital, nainital propertyNestled on a quiet hillside in Gagar (near Nainital), and in tete-a-tete with the mighty Shivaliks, this place is drenched in tranquility so deep that one can actually hear the sounds of silence. Let the all-pervading sense of calmness transports you into a completely different world of relaxing quietude.

Liked this property? Click here to book it with GuestHouser.

Luxurious 3 Bedroom Cottage

weekend getaway from delhi, nainital, nainital homestaysOffering a comfortable and stress free holiday, this property is neither a five star nor a boutique hotel, but a place you can call home. Sumptuous food and clean & hygienic surrounding comes with the property, which is a hit with people looking to go to Nainital to unplug from big city trappings.

Still looking for a place to stay? Click here to book this property with GuestHouser.

iNDULGE IN SOME GASTRONOMICAL DELIGHT

Café Chica: A little piece of sunshine set inside the premises of Prasada Bhavan in the Abbotsford Lawn, Café Chica is famous for its stuffed croissants, roasts, grills, pastas, soups and salads.

Machan: Located right in the heart of the busy lanes of Nainital, Machan is famous for its North Indian fare that comes with a spectacular view of the Naini Lake.

Sakley’s Restaurant and Pastry Shop: There is something homely and comforting in the smell of freshly baked pastries that make us kinder to our brethren. Swing by this spotless bakery for the amazing pepper steaks and sizzlers or the delectable éclairs and chocolate truffles.

Reach for the mountains

Nainital is 280 km from Delhi and is a straight eight-hour drive through the somewhat mushy roads of Uttar Pradesh. You can also take a train to Kathgodam and drive down the remaining 40 km by road or fly down to the Pantnagar airport that’s 65 km from Nainital.

With Tallital adorning the southern flank of the lake, Mallital embellishing the northern flank and charming sights everywhere in between, Nainital is a great base to explore the many picturesque villages and pretty spots dotted all over the Kumaon region.

If this much frequented tourist hub seems too bland for your taste, then check out these other options of weekend getaway from Delhi.  Sling your hook and decamp at any of these vacation retreats and laze in the reverie of some blissful idleness before the weekend gets over and your duty calls you back to the city life.

Priyanka lives in the hope of catching fireflies in a mid-summer twilight. Occasionally she dreams of owning a huge library with a fireplace and a Chesterfield chair, where she can cozy up with Ms Austen, a bag full of fish popcorn and her dog, Tasha, for company. When she is not working, she is trying to create a world without smartphones (she constantly tries to lose her own and then panics when she can’t find it!)