Cuisines of Nainital

Nainital’s lip-smacking traditional cuisine is a must try for food lovers. Just like in any other place of India, Nainital also has its own unique combination of spices and herbs to create authentic dishes having a nice aroma, delicious taste, and a tempting presentation.

Cuisines of Nainital Rice or roti is an integral part of Nainital cuisine. It is a usually accompanied with different types of chutneys. People here use different varieties of rice for different recipes.

If you are a food gourmet and like to taste new delicacies, then you can try the local food at any restaurant in the Nainital town. You can easily find one while taking a stroll on the mall.

Some of the sumptuous dishes are mentioned here.  

Ras

It is a delicious recipe having a high nutritive value. It is a semi-liquid preparation made from different varieties of dals. It is normally eaten with steamed rice and bhang ki chutney. Ideally, Ras is prepared in an iron pan on a low heat to let it cook slowly in order to retain its nutritional content. 

Baadi

The dish is frequently prepared by the local inhabitants of Kumaon region. Like Ras, it is also prepared from a mixture of toor, moong, and channa dal in the right proportion. It gets tastier when taken with bhang seed or sesame seed chutney.

Bhatt ki Churkani

It is a delicacy prepared on special occasions. Rice paste and black bhatt are its main ingredients. For a variety in taste, it can also be prepared with plain flour. 

Aloo Ke Gutke

It is a spicy dish prepared with boiled potatoes, coriander leaves, and whole red chillies. It forms a part of the snacks menu.

Arsa

It is a dessert, which is sweet in taste, prepared mainly on special occasions like family gatherings, weddings, and festivals. Its main ingredients are jaggery, rice, and mustard oil. It is also a healthy recipe because it uses jiggery and not processed sugar for sweetness. Similarly, mustard oil has no cholesterol and is a better alternative to refined oil.

Gulgula

It is also a sweet dish prepared from wheat flour and jaggery. 

Black and White Roti

It is a type of stuffed roti prepared with wheat flour and mandua flour. Both the flours are combined in a given ratio to prepare the dough. The roti is normally taken with dollops of ghee or butter. 

People of Nainital

Nainital gives you an insight into the local life and customs of people living in the hilly areas of the country. There is a stark difference in their belief and way of living compared to their city counterparts. The native population of Nainital is god-fearing and superstitious. They show their participation in any religious ceremony by attending community prayers and by wearing things that are considered auspicious. For instance, ladies put a long pithya starting from the upper nose to the forehead on all occasions. Pithya is a tilak made of turmeric.

People of Nainital The normal routine of people is guided by commonly believed superstitions. Any action against the blind belief is considered offensive by the society and the person becomes answerable to everyone. For instance, all death mourning takes place only on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The rest of the days are meant for all auspicious invitations and good work initiatives. Visit to sick people on mourning days and Thursdays is a complete no. Women also cannot visit their parents’ house on Thursdays. To keep evil spirits away, a black kohl dot is put on the forehead or behind the ear of a person. This is a common practice to save small children from negativity. 

Unlike in other parts of India, Nainital people also follow a greeting protocol. Younger greets the elders by touching their feet and in response they are blessed with long life wishes.

Married women put sindoor or vermilion on their forehead and a black-beaded chain on their neck to signify their marital status. On special occasions, they wear a huge golden nose ring called nath. The traditional wear is Ghaghara-pichora that is normally worn on family weddings. Normally, women are seen in saris.

People mainly live in houses made out of stone or bricks. All of them have a slope roof tops so that the snow easily slips and falls on the ground during winters. The roof tops are generally made of stone. The livelihood of people is mainly from the tourism business. They are shopkeepers, guides, hotel staff, restaurant owners, cab drivers, etc.

The population of the area is mainly Hindus. People worship local deities like Golu, Bholanath, Sam, Gangnath, and Adi for bringing peace and harmony in their lives. The normal life of everyone, irrespective of the age group, revolves around religious activities. That is why, places of worship are hub for all cultural activities and social gatherings.

Nainital Property Market

Nainital is a paradise for people who cherish to spend days in the solitude and fresh air of the mountains. Being situated near Delhi and other major cities of Northern India, the place is visited by a category of people who want to stay here for a longer period of time. They want to relax and de-stress themselves from the hectic city life. Such people are mainly professionals who regularly take a break from their work to rejuvenate themselves for new challenges.

Due to frequent visits, they prefer buying an accommodation in Nainital to avoid the inconvenience and the high cost of staying in a hotel. As a result, the property rates in and around the place have gone up thereby giving a boost to the Nainital property market.

Nainital Property Market If you are interested, then you can find both fully-furnished and raw accommodations for yourself. The property dealers take the onus of buying a property for you. He takes you to the desired locations, arranges a meeting with the seller, negotiates a price on your behalf, and completes the documentation work. All this is for a reasonable commission amount.

The property rates vary according to the proximity of the location to the Nainital town. The more you move away from the town, lesser will be the rate. Various buying options are flats, bungalows, cottages, and a room in a resort. They are provided with basic fittings and fixtures.

As Nainital has one of the renowned educational institutes of the country, family members of the students visit the place frequently to meet their children. Such people also form an important consumer segment of the property market.

Instead of selling an accommodation, many locals have started letting out a room or a flat for an amount that is much lower than the hotel rent. For some, it has become a full-fledged business in which they also provide meals to their guests. They usually have a tie-up with the property dealers who bring them the interested parties against the brokerage fee. Alternatively, they put a hoarding outside their let-out accommodation for people to see. Overall, renting has become a profitable business in Nainital.

There is an equal boom in the commercial property market. Renting of commercial shops, office complex, showrooms, garages, warehouses, etc. are in high demand. The rent structure is variable. It is high during peak seasons and at its lowest during winters.

Nainital Travel Map

Nainital, a destination that brings in a feel of wintry morning, attracts a huge number of tourists every year. The beautiful hill station located in the Kumaun Division of Uttaranchal adorns the outer Himalayan Mountain Range with its scenic views and exotic landscapes.

The travel map of Nainital below displays the vibrant and dynamic hilly town with all its magnificent destinations and a world of adventure.

Nainital Travel Map

Accommodation in Nainital

The type of accommodation plays a very important role in deciding whether you enjoyed your getaway or you just had to struggle with inconveniences. Nainital has a large number of hotels and resorts that generally work seamlessly to provide you with the best facilities to make your stay memorable with them.

The tariff structure of every hotel varies depending upon its proximity to the landmark areas, the hotel standard, the time of the year, and the facilities provided. The hotels that are near to the Naini Lake or the Mall Road have higher room rents compared to the distant ones. Similarly, the hotels that are strategically located to get a continuous picturesque view of the Himalayan ranges or the Naini Lake or both are also more expensive. Overall, all the rents rise steeply during peak seasons.

Accommodation in Nainital Apart from this, the rents vary for different types of rooms. The suites are the most expensive ones. They are like mini-homes having a separate dining area, dressing area¸ living room, and the bedroom with a huge balcony. They are fitted with all the latest electrical appliances like LCD, microwave, and electric toaster. The bathrooms are spacious and can have Jacuzzi fittings. Deluxe and economy rooms have lesser tariff.

In case you want to spend the least on your stay, then budget hotels is the best option. They offer only the required facilities like hot water, clean rooms, breakfast, heaters, etc. to make your stay comfortable.

In Nainital, many old buildings that were initially British homes have been converted into hotels and resorts. They have still maintained the Victorian style of architecture of yesteryears. You can also stay here and reflect on the British style of living at a slightly higher cost.

To have an experience of living amid dense forests, you can book a cottage for yourself or opt for a resort. You can get home-cooked food at all the mealtimes. Besides, you can also enjoy morning walks in the forests. This de-stresses and takes you away into a different world far away from the regular mundane of life.

These days most of the hotels also take care of your vacation activities. They provide you with trekking, hiking, bird watching, rock climbing, boating, musical evenings, indoor games, and many more. Their cost is either included in your stay package or is charged separately for each activity. Overall, Nainital has hotels for every pocket.

Holidays In Nainital

Nainital is a hot vacation retreat due to its pleasant climatic conditions and beautiful landscape nestling fresh water lakes in its arms. It is a picturesque location that provides a glimpse of the magic of the Mother Earth in one sight. The Kumaon hill, on which the hill station is located, has dense woods providing life to a rich flora and fauna. The place is full of many medicinal plants that are highly demanded for their great therapeutic properties.

Climate and the quality of soil make horticulture and fruit-growing are popular commercial activities. Overall, a visit to the place not only rejuvenates your tired nerves but also adds educative value to your trip. With the help of a reliable and registered guide, you can learn a lot about the life on the hills.

Holidays In Nainital Nainital town is the heart of the hill station. All hotels, shopping centers, and tourists facilities are situated in and around this area. The place has something to offer to everyone, be it college youngsters, children, women, adventurers, senior citizens, and even business visitors. Moreover, its good connectivity with all modes of transport makes your travel to and from the place comfortable and relaxing.

The place has a range of activities for everyone. Boating and yachting are the most popular ones. Horse riding for small children and trekking for the young must be experienced. The older ones can sit for long hours near the Naini Lake under the British-style lamp post and enjoy the cool breeze while admiring the majestic beauty of these hills.

The shopping areas like Bhotia Bazaar and Bara Bazaar are inundated with shops selling candles and local handicraft stuff. Nainital is known for the unique designs of its candles that are available at dearth cheap prices. Restaurants, in the vicinity, have a variety of items suiting different tastes. So, whenever you feel tired of shopping or walking on the Mall, you can step into any of these eateries to regain your energy level. As the commercial market is well-developed, you can easily get all daily essentials from the shop next door.

For sight-seeing lovers, there are beautiful peak points like Naina Peak and Tiffin Top, Eco Cave Garden, the Flatts, Observatory, Naina Devi Temple, etc. There are many other lakes near Nainital like the Bhimtal Lake and the Sattal Lake. You must try to visit these places to complete your visit.

Nainital Fairs and Festivals

Nainital is a land of beauty and excitement. With abundance of joy the hill station spreads, it also abounds believes, customs, and faiths depending on different segment of people residing there. The land of beauty blends magnificently with a spectrum of fairs and festivals celebrated there.

Fairs and festivals in Nainital has its own charm and color, adding more excitement to the life of people residing there as well as a large number of tourists who visit there every year. Some of the most popular and lively celebrations include those of Phooldeli, Gheeya Sankranti, Bikhauti, Hariyala, Khatarua, and Batsavitri. Apart from these celebrations there are fairs like Nandadevi Fair, Ranibagh Fair, and Sharadotsav.

Nainital Fairs and Festivals Phooldeli

It is also known as Phooldeyi and is celebrated by adorning the threshold and entrance of every house with the first flowers of the season in March. These flowers are known to bring good luck and prosperity and bring the people of Nainital close together.

Gheeya Sankranti

Also known as Olgia, it is celebrated on the first day of Bhado that turns out to be the middle of August. On this day, agriculturists and artisans are known to give presents and gifts to their land owners and others who are involved in their trade and transactions. It is also known that people of Nainital eat ghee on this day and also apply the same on their forehead.

Bikhauti

This is known to be celebrated for nine days in the Chaitra month when women do nine day fasting. Also known as Navratri, the celebration comprises of sowing seven types of grains that symbolizes the growth and prosperity to be achieved in future.

Hariyala

This is celebrated in Shravan month that falls in the month of July-August. The celebration welcomes the monsoon and also commemorates the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

Khatarua

Khatarua is celebrated to welcome the arrival of the autumn season on the first day of the Ashwin month in mid September. The festival is marked by cucumber offerings and is known to kill evil forces and influences.

Sharadotsav

Sharadotsav is a popular fair that takes place in the month of October. Various dances, cultural programmes, and arts mark the celebration along with the presence of a large number of local residents as well as foreign tourists.

Nandadevi Fair

This fair is organized in September with a variety of cultural activities that symbolizes the assorted culture and tradition of the beautiful hill station. The fair symbolizes the tradition, beliefs, and faiths of the people living there.

Ranibagh Fair

This fair is held every year at Ranibagh on Uttarayani. Although the fair takes place about 30 kms away from Nainital, it is known to be one of the most awaited fairs of Nainital.

Shopping In Nainital

Nainital also takes care of its tourists who are fond of shopping. It offers a variety of goods that you can buy for yourself as well as for your beloved ones. Nainital is known for its handmade candles throughout the country. The best part is that they are made of eco-friendly material.

The candles are affordable and available in different designs and colors. They are of various sizes making it easier for you to pick the ones that fit the size of your candle stand. You can also decide what candle sizes you want keeping in mind the place where you want to keep them. For instance, small floating candles are suitable for corner tables in the guest room whereas big ones look nice in the corridors.

Shopping In Nainital For foodies, the place is a paradise. It has a number of retail shops selling home-made jams, squashes, fruit preservatives, and juice concentrates. You can also relish juicy fresh fruits from the orchards. Apples, cherries, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and even mulberries are bound to tempt you to gorge on them. The fruit-sellers have the expertise of packing the fruits in a manner that you can carry them safely to your home. They won’t get rotten or squeezed during transit.

Local handicrafts in the form of home décor items and ornaments are also popular with shopping lovers. Handmade masks are especially beautiful and reflect the authentic taste of the locals. It is a popular buyers’ choice.

The place also has many restaurants offering different state cuisines like Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, and South Indian. You can activate your taste buds and explore different food items. It also helps people who are uncomfortable with other types of cuisine find their native food.

Like any hill station, Nainital offers good-quality woolens for sale. They are cheap yet warm and durable. You can find a variety of shawls, sweaters, blankets, caps, gloves, and many more things in various designs and colors. They are an ideal gift for elderly people at home. Moreover, in case you didn’t carry enough woolens, you can easily buy for yourself without worrying and spoiling your trip.

Besides, you can easily find all daily essential products like medicines, toiletries, footwear, etc. You need to visit the market places of Bhotia Bazaar, Mallitaal, The Mall Road, and Bara Bazaar for all your shopping needs.

Nainital Colleges

It may be surprising to know that Nainital has a large number of educational institutes. Besides known for its best schools, it also has a number of good colleges for higher education. Studying in these colleges amid the serene beauty of the Kumaun hills is a lifetime experience.

Most of the academic colleges are affiliated to the Kumaun University of Nainital. It was established in 1973 under the UP State Act. These colleges need not necessarily belong to the Nainital town but can be situated in any part of the Kumaun district like Almora, Haldwani, Ramnagar, and Pithoragarh. The colleges provide both post graduate and undergraduate courses in areas like environmental economics, particle physics, and environmental geology. Overall, it has around 27 affiliated colleges across the entire region.

A number of professional institutes are also affiliated to the university. They offer courses in the field of applied sciences, engineering, management, and information technology. All the institutes aim at providing quality education to children to help them fulfill their dreams. They provide excellent teaching and research opportunities to bring out the best in every child. Being a hilly district, it provides immense research and learning opportunities in the areas of homeopathy and botany.

Some of the colleges in the district are:

  • Nainital Colleges Govt. P.G. College, Ranikhet (Almora)
  • Thakur Dev Singh Bisht Campus, Nainital.
  • Govt. P.G. College, Pithoragarh
  • Pyarelal Nandkishore Galbaliye, Ramnagar (Nainital)
  • Motiram Baburam Govt. P.G. College, Haldwani (Nainital)
  • Radhe Hari Govt. P.G. College, Kashipur (U.S. Nagar)
  • Govt. Girls Degree College, Haldwani (Nainital)
  • Govt. P.G. College, Dwarahat (Almora)
  • Almora Campus, Almora
  • Ganna Krishak Girls Degree College, Kichcha (U.S. Nagar).
  • Govt. P.G. College, Lohaghat (Champawat)
  • Guru Nanak Girls Degree College, Nanakmatta (U.S. Nagar)
  • Govt. P.G. College, Khatima (U.S. Nagar)
  • Arya Kanya Degree College, Almora
  • Chandrawati Tewari Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Kashipur (U.S. Nagar).
  • Govt. Degree College, Didihat (Pithoragarh)

Some of the affiliated professional institutes are:

  • Uttaranchal Institute of Technology, Almora
  • Birla Institute Of Applied Sciences, Bhimtal
  • Amrapali Institute of Management & Computer Applications, Haldwani
  • Department Of Management Studies, Bhimtal Campus (Nainital).
  • Kumaun Engineering College, Dwarahat (Almora)
  • Sriram Institute of Management and Technology, Kashipur
  • Saraswati Institute of Management & Technology, Rudrapur
  • Chandola Homeopathy Medical College, Rudrapur

Nainital Schools

Nainital schools are famous throughout the country for their excellent educational standards. Every year, a large number of students pass out from these schools and make a name in the outside world. The schools are present separately for both for day scholars and boarders. However, many of the boarding institutions have the policy of admitting local students as day scholars.

The schools are known for inculcating an impeccable value system and a disciplinary lifestyle among children. The teaching methodologies focus on bringing out the hidden potential of the students and make them explore their passion. They dedicatedly work towards the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual development of a child.

Nainital Schools These schools organize a wide range of activities like debates, literary clubs, excursion planning, etc. to help students develop confidence and the ability to take decisions in life. This helps them in their careers in the long run as they thread fearlessly overcoming all the obstacles. Some of the renowned schools were started during the British period. The academic session is normally from March to November.

Some of the schools are:

St. Mary’s Convent School – As the name suggests, it is a girls’ school that was established by the British in the year 1878. It has classes from Nursery till 12th and follows the Council for the Indian School Certificate (ICSE) curriculum. It is both a residential and day school having both outstation and local students.

Sherwood College – It is a boys’ school that came into existence before 1947. It is the oldest school in the Nainital area and is known for churning out the cream of the country like the film actor Amitabh Bachchan. The school follows the ICSE Board curriculum. It is a boarding school that even accommodates day scholars.

St Joseph‘s College – It is also a residential school like its counterparts and follows the ICSE curriculum.

All Saints College – It is an educational institution providing women education and was founded in the year1869. Like other schools, it is also a residential and day school having classes till 12th standard.

Sainik School – ‘Sainik’ means ‘soldier.’ Therefore, the school is established with the purpose of admitting those students who want to join the Indian Armed Forces. From the very beginning, they prepare students in a manner that they fit the profile of an armed officer. However, it also admits other students and makes them competent enough to face the real-life challenges.