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Visiting India's Lovely Himalayan Hill Station Nainital

India is full of beautiful 'hill stations,' towns in the hills and mountains built by the British as a getaway from the heat of cities down below. And ensconced 2,084 meters (6,837 feet) above sea level in the northwest India foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarkarand state (an overnight train ride from New Delhi), is one of the most beautiful (and popular of all. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Nainital is blessed with gorgeous lakes (this area is famous as India's "Lake Disrtict"), ancient temples, and gorgeous scenery - making it among other things one of the country's most popular honeymoon destinations. This small city (pop. 41,400) is spread around wonderful Naini Lake, and these are the top five places to visit in Nainital:

Naini Peak

Also known as China Peak, the highest hill in the area (2,615 m/TK ft.) is of course one of Naintal's most picturesque places to visit affording spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and town (you can also spot nearb Nanda Devi Peak, and even the Tibet border). Excellent for trekking, as well. 

Snow View Point

Another spectacular local peak - though at 2270 m (TK ft.) not quite as high as Naini Peak - it offers inspiring views of snowcapped mountains like Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Kot. There is a small temple and monastery located up here to visit.

Naina Devi Temple

A well-known temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Naina Devi, represented by two eyes, it draws devotees from all across India. Inside the sanctum, devotees can have darshan of her and two other deities, Mata Kali Devi and Lord Ganesh. Nanda Ashtami is a big eight-days festival here in early September.

Naini Lake

This crescent-moon-shaped natural bit of fresh water, has a tw-mile permimeter and a depth of six to 28 m, with an outlet at the southeastern end. The Nainital Boat Club provides boating and yachting facilities, with both pedal and row boats.

High-Altitude Zoo

The G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo was built in 1984, the objective of conserving the wildlife and biodiversity of the hill region of Uttarkhand. The zoo has numerous endangered species of animals in the Himalayas and animals like snow leopard, Tibetan wolf, Japanese macaque, sambar, Himalayan civet, Himalayan martin, barking deer, Royal Bengal tiger and Himalayan bear.

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