Spring time backpacking in Nainital

Writing on a trip that happened almost three years back, Nainital will always be pretty close to heart. A bunch of students on a shoestring budget and in couple of hours notice, left for the unknown. We took an overnight bus from Delhi – the easiest thing to do by eternally unplanned backpackers and reached Nainital at the break of dawn.

The trip threw pleasant surprises as we left the usual sight-seeing and went on exploring through:

Random trek uphill through mossy pathways and undefined trails

Meeting furry strangers on our way

Playing cricket with Kumaoni kids in the twilight-ish meadows located bang on top of the hill..
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Hide-n-seek is also perfectly suitable

Mood for adventure? You can try some flying fox style zip-lining
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Or take a free-fall ride
(Note: this one can be pretty scary for ordinary mortals)

While all the way, marveling at the breathtaking views

The clear water from mountain springs is just fine to drink
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And the views, again..

Once in the plains:
it is nice to stroll around the lively lakeside and try some boating which is amazing until you reach the lake’s centre and be frozen humans!

Nothing to worry though, as they give you free life jackets (and insurance)
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Going crazy shopping for umbrellas, and woolens (if you miss one in your backpack)

and of course, Nainital’s famous candles

Meanwhile, EAT, EAT, EAT….

Choco soufflé pastries from Nainital bakeries
Choco soufflé pastries from Nainital bakeries

Fresh and healthy

Fresh and healthy
Fresh and healthy

and the mountain quintessential maggi
and the mountain quintessential maggi

Also, not to miss is the piping hot paratha- dahi- achaar combo in either Sher-e-Punjab or Nani-Nanu Dhaba on the mall road. Both dhabas are amazing and should be business partners rather than competitors


If one is taking road trips out of Nainital, they should drop by this pretty waterfall named after the famous Jim Corbett, and on the way to the National Park

The jeep safari inside the national park is amazing and glimpses of the wildlife can be seen.
Be careful though, watch out for monkey people in masks (if you’re really lucky)..

Practical stuff

Finding a hotel: By the dawn’s break Nainital wakes up to  super cold lake winds. Scurry through innumerable budget hotels, located mostly uphill to find out a suitable place to deposit your stuff.

TIP: If you are being stalked by hotel staff (touts), accept their offers to give you a free car ride up; after that if you can as well look for other hotels if you do not like what they have.

    If you are okay with trekking up to your hotel each time, do not settle for lake side ones meant for those on leisure/luxury  trip.
    We found one very old perched at the edge of the hill  with two interconnected dorms super cheap. Nevertheless, returning to  this place especially at night was usually thrilling as many furry and non-furry friends  would each time chase us to hike very fast!

 

This was actually  our Kohli mama’s property, and no, THAT is not him  😉

After all this or otherwise, if you are really planning to just chill for  hours, you can spend all the time you have in apni ‘Thandi Sadak’ (Cool Street). To reach here, keep walking through the town centre until you cross the lake to the other side, the Tibetan market and Gurudwara.
This street is worth its name.

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