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Embark on a mesmerizing Himalayan adventure with the Rishikesh to Nainital road trip. Covering a distance of approximately 275 kilometers, this journey takes you through the heart of Uttarakhand’s natural beauty. Starting in Rishikesh, known for its yoga and spirituality, you’ll traverse a scenic route that winds through Haridwar, Najibabad, and Kashipur, each offering its unique charm.

As you approach Nainital, a serene hill station nestled beside a picturesque lake, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking vistas of the Himalayan foothills. The road trip is an adventure in itself, with opportunities to explore attractions like Corbett National Park and Bhimtal along the way. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, this road trip promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Himalayas.

Exploring the Route from Rishikesh to Nainital


Exploring the Route from Rishikesh to Nainital

Embarking on a journey from Rishikesh to Nainital is an enchanting experience that combines the spirituality of Rishikesh with the serene beauty of Nainital.

Rishikesh to Nainital Distance:

The distance between Rishikesh and Nainital is approximately 275 kilometers (171 miles) when traveling by road. This scenic route takes you through the heart of Uttarakhand, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayan landscape along the way.

Rishikesh to Nainital Route:

The preferred route begins in Rishikesh, known for its yoga and spiritual significance. From there, you’ll journey through picturesque towns and forests. The route commonly taken is:

1. Rishikesh to Haridwar (20 kilometers): Begin your adventure in Rishikesh and make a short 20-kilometer drive to Haridwar, a spiritual hub on the banks of the Ganges.

2. Haridwar to Najibabad (60 kilometers): Continue your journey towards Najibabad, a town steeped in history.

3. Najibabad to Kashipur (70 kilometers): Kashipur awaits next, offering a glimpse of Uttarakhand’s rural charm.

4. Kashipur to Nainital (125 kilometers): Finally, traverse the last stretch to reach Nainital, the jewel of the Kumaon region, cradled by lush hills and the Naini Lake.

The route is not just a road trip; it’s an exploration of Uttarakhand’s diversity, culture, and natural beauty. So, gear up and embark on this unforgettable journey from Rishikesh to Nainital.

How to Reach Nainital from Rishikesh

To reach Nainital from Rishikesh, you can take a scenic road journey covering approximately 275 kilometers. Start by heading southeast from Rishikesh to Haridwar, then continue to Najibabad, followed by Kashipur. Finally, drive to Nainital, which is nestled in the Himalayan foothills. This picturesque route offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. You can travel by car, hire a taxi, or opt for bus services. There’s no direct train route, but you can take a train to Kathgodam, the nearest railway station to Nainital, and then complete the journey by road.

Highlights Along the Way to Nainital

Highlights Along the Way to Nainital

As you embark on the mesmerizing road journey from Rishikesh to Nainital, you’ll encounter a series of captivating highlights that add depth and charm to your adventure. These attractions not only break up the drive but also offer you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the region.

1. Corbett National Park

Located along the route from Kashipur to Nainital, Corbett National Park is a crown jewel of India’s wildlife sanctuaries. Spanning over 500 square kilometers, it’s renowned for being the oldest national park in India and a safe haven for diverse flora and fauna. Travelers often pause here to explore its untamed beauty. The park is named after the legendary British hunter turned conservationist, Jim Corbett, and is celebrated for its tiger population. A safari here can unveil the majesty of these big cats along with other creatures like elephants, leopards, deer, and numerous avian species. The thrill of a jungle safari amidst the Himalayan foothills is an experience to cherish.

2. Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal

As you draw near to Nainital, the enchanting lakes of Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal beckon. Bhimtal, named after the Mahabharata hero Bhima, boasts a serene lake surrounded by lush forests. Boating and exploring the small island at its center are popular activities. Naukuchiatal, on the other hand, is famed for its unique nine-cornered lake. It’s a quieter alternative to the bustling Nainital and offers tranquil boat rides and opportunities for angling. Both destinations are perfect for a peaceful pit stop amid nature’s serenity.

3. Naini Lake

Nainital’s heart and soul, Naini Lake, is an exquisite natural freshwater body bordered by lush hills. As you reach Nainital, this iconic lake greets you with its tranquility. Stroll along the Mall Road, which skirts the lake, and enjoy the cool breeze and scenic views. Boating on the lake is a must, allowing you to soak in the panoramic beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Naini Lake has a mystical charm, and it’s a place where moments become memories.

4. Naina Devi Temple

Situated on the northern shores of Naini Lake, the Naina Devi Temple is an ancient and revered site dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi. The temple’s architecture reflects the region’s traditional style, and its spiritual aura draws devotees and tourists alike. Pay your respects to the deity and take in the panoramic vistas of the lake and town from the temple premises. It’s a place to find both solace and spirituality amidst the Himalayas.

5. The Mall Road

Nainital’s Mall Road is a bustling promenade that runs alongside Naini Lake and is lined with a plethora of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Here, you can indulge in shopping for souvenirs, handicrafts, and local products. Savor a cup of piping hot tea or relish local cuisine while enjoying the scenic views and the bustling atmosphere of this charming hillside market. The Mall Road is the heart of Nainital’s social life and a perfect place to unwind after your picturesque journey.

These highlights along the Rishikesh to Nainital route promise an enriching experience, offering a glimpse into the natural wonders, spirituality, and culture of the Himalayan region. Each stop adds a unique facet to your adventure, ensuring that your road trip is not just a journey but a memorable exploration of the Himalayan paradise.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the best time to take a road trip from Rishikesh to Nainital?

The best time for this road trip is during the summer and early autumn months, from March to October, when the weather is pleasant and the landscapes are lush.

2. How long does it take to travel from Rishikesh to Nainital by road?

The road journey typically takes around 7 to 9 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

3. Are there any accommodations en route?

Yes, you’ll find a range of accommodations in Haridwar, Najibabad, and Kashipur if you wish to break your journey into smaller segments.

4. Is the road from Rishikesh to Nainital safe?

The roads are generally safe, but it’s essential to drive cautiously, especially on winding mountain roads. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition and obey traffic rules.

5. Can I find petrol stations along the way?

Yes, you’ll find petrol stations in towns along the route, so it’s advisable to fill up your tank before embarking on the journey and at these stations as needed.


In conclusion, the road trip from Rishikesh to Nainital, with its mesmerizing vistas and diverse experiences along the way, encapsulates the essence of a Himalayan adventure. Covering a distance of approximately 275 kilometers, this journey not only offers a scenic escape but also an opportunity to explore spiritual towns, pristine lakes, and wildlife-rich national parks. Whether you embark on this adventure for a Rishikesh tour, to discover the Rishikesh to Nainital route, or simply to savor the natural beauty and tranquility, it’s a road trip that promises unforgettable memories. To reach Nainital from Rishikesh, the road trip remains one of the most rewarding ways to experience the beauty and culture of Uttarakhand’s Himalayan region.

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