The Nanda Devi festival takes place in the first fifteen days of September each year and is held on the Flats, attracting local artisans from around the Kumaon region. Other traditional festivals observed in the hills include Phooldeyi, Uttarayeni and Harela. The Autumn Festival showcases Indian artistes in drama, dance and music and is hugely popular. The beautiful ‘Deep-Daan’, when hundreds of tiny diyas are floated on the lake at night, is a highlight of the festival.


OUR LAKE DISTRICT : One lake not enough for you? Never fear, because Nainital is India’s Lake District – comprising of many stunning lakes, each ensconced in its own rolling valley. Bhimtal, Saat-tal, Naukuchiatal, Khurpatal, Sariyatal are all within easy driving distance from Nainital and make for happy day excursions.


BREATHTAKING VIEWS FROM EVERY PEAK : Naina Peak, also known as Cheena Peak, is the town’s highest point and is a steep 3 kms. trek (or by horseback) from the ‘Tonkey’ bend. The effort to get up the hill is rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayan mountain range, the teardrop-shaped lake, and the sweeping plains beyond. Equally spectacular views of the lake and surrounding countryside can be enjoyed from the top of Snow View or Dorothy’s Seat.


ST. JOHN’S IN-THE WILDERNESS : This old church, which still holds services to this day, was established in 1844 and stands tucked away amongst the tall Deodar trees on the northern end of the town. A plaque was added inside the church as a memorial for the people who lost their lives on 18th September 1880, when a deadly landslide swept down the Alma Dhar hill and created the present day ‘Flats’, now a sports and recreation ground. Another plaque commemorates those who lost their lives during WWI.


GOLF : Built by the British Army Engineers in 1926 within the Government House grounds and fringed with towering cliffs on one side, this eighteen-hole golf course is one of the most challenging in the world – don’t be surprised if mist suddenly descends on to the fairways as you prepare to tee off!


GOVERNMENT HOUSE (RAJ BHAWAN) : Government House, the erstwhile seat of governance when the British designated Nainital as the summer capital of the United Provinces, is now the residence of the Governor of Uttarakhand when he is in Nainital. Built of grey stone, in what is described as the ‘Victorian Gothic style’, along the lines of Buckingham Palace, the building was completed in March 1900. Surrounded by beautiful lawns and stately Deodar trees, it offers a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the town. Beautiful walks around the eighteen-hole golf course lead to spectacular views from the cliffs and perhaps a sighting of mountain goats (Ghural) and other wildlife.


WALKING IN THE HILLS : For those who can’t imagine a hill-station without thinking long walks, Nainital provides ample opportunity for all types of walkers. The easiest, of course, is to walk around the lake itself – nothing like a brisk three kilometre walk to start the day along the Thandi Sadak with the early morning Whistling Mountain Thrush singing in the trees. Or try the uphill walk on the Government House road, which provides for great views of the lake and reach the top just in time to watch the sun rising over the mountains in the distance. Harder walks are to the top of Dorothy’s Seat, Camel’s Back, Cheena Peak, Kilbury or even Ratighat, all between two and ten kilometers long, along winding forest paths.


YACHTING : Yachting is a very exciting way to enjoy the lake. ‘Pirouette’, with her light blue and white stripes is our Yacht and you’re most welcome to take her out for a spin!


HORSE RIDING : Why not try a little adventure and enjoy a bit of riding? You could try short rides to the picnic spots at Land’s End or Dorothy’s Seat or tackle Cheena Peak. Kilbury is also good for a gallop, though that is recommended only for the pros.


BIRDWATCHING : Nainital and its surroundings are well-known for being a bird-watcher’s paradise: – you may hear calls from the forest behind the hotel, but any walk along the quiet paths around the lake will have you spotting any number of Barbets, Verditer Flycatchers, Kingfishers, Drongos, Lampuchias, Blue Jays, Ospreys and Redstarts. If you go further into the forests, you are sure to glimpse rarer species like the Black Headed Sibia or the Gray Winged Whistling Thrush.