28 Apr 2019
Traveler's Desk

Last day in Nainital? Own it like a boss!

Have you seen the length and breadth (maybe height as well) of Nainital already, and are now onto the last day of your trip? It can get a little tricky to plan your last day because neither do you have full day at your disposal nor do you want to waste those precious hours before your head back to your usual life. I write here how I spent my last day in Nainital last time I was there.

Having checked out of the hotel around 9 am after a home-made breakfast (puri bhaji), we were looking forward to our day with hopes to do a lot of things, eat local food, buy souvenirs, and just soak in the solace this city of lakes had to offer – one final time.

Having deposited our heavy suitcases at a cloakroom near the bus stand that we booked through Bagdolo, we were free birds (at least for next 7-8 hours) looking to parade the Mall Road and not miss the uniqueness Nainital had in store.

Food:

  • Lunch: Zooby’s Kitchen was our choice for the final full meal because of the Mughlai delicacies it had on its menu. Find a table with lake view and don’t miss the kababs. The place is jam packed typically because it keeps attracting people strolling on Mall Road by the fragrance of the food and nice wooden décor visible from outside.

  • Snacks: Mamu’s Sweets was a discovery we made through locals. 5-mins walk from Mall Road towards Bara Bazar and you reach an ancient sweet shop with live jalebi counter. Try 100 gms of fresh jalebi and you will be left asking for more. The right balance of sweetness and crunchiness makes this jalebi a must-have. Get Bal Mithai packed for your loved ones back home as the popular sweet from Almora.

Shopping:

  • Souvenirs: Mall Road has a number of shops that sell different types of Nainital souvenirs that include fridge magnets, key rings, door hangings, mugs etc. Test your bargaining skills if you want but be prepared to shell out money for overpriced tiny stuff.
  • Wooden Handicrafts: Bara Bazar and Mall Road offer a lot of options for wooden handicrafts – boxes, clocks, miniature furniture etc.

Sightseeing:

  • Boating: You can enjoy a 30-mins boat ride in the lake and trust me the view and the serenity is worth it. Go for the manned boats because we could clearly see travelers struggling with the self-sail boats, and they invariably looked funny.

  • Sports Ground: You can sit in the pavilion of the ground or by the elevated walls to catch some action in the middle of hustle bustle of the Mall Road. This ground holds different sports in different seasons. We watched for 15-30 mins a semi-final match of cricket between two trade unions of the city with a running commentary by a 16-year old boy who wanted to play professional cricket and move to Delhi soon. I could see his bright eyes and wide grin when he would throw back the cricket ball with all his might and get back to describing the game to us.

The sun was already preparing to retire behind the mountains and that marked the end for our Nainital trip. We headed back towards the cloakroom while we said goodbye to the mountains, the lake, the cold breeze, and the glittering shops. The city has got a different vibe to it, and that for sure is going to bring me back.

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