Nainital: At 1938 m in the Kumaon hills, this attractive mountain resort was once the summer capital of Uttar Pradesh and now a bustling hill station. Naini Lake is often said to be one of the emerald green eyes of Lord Shiva's wife. One can enjoy a ride on pedal boats on a quiet summer evening.
Built in 1847, soon after the British arrived, St. John's Church contains a brass memorial to the victims of a famous landslide. The few bodies that could be recovered from the rubble were buried in the graveyard here.
A chairlift (ropeway) takes one up to the popular viewpoint of Snow View (2270 m). At the top, there are powerful binoculars for a close-up view of Nanda Devi, situated 7817 m above sea level.
There are good views and spectacular sunsets over the plains from Hanuman temple, 3 km south of Tallital. Just over 1 km further on is the state observatory, which is open at weekends.
Ranikhet: North of Naini Tal at an altitude of 1829 m, Ranikhet is a peaceful hill station offering excellent views of the snow-capped Himalayas, including Nanda Devi. It is an important army town and the headquarters of the Kumaon regiment. Though not developed as a tourist center, Ranikhet is a delightful place to spend some time. There are several good walks-to Jhula Devi temple-and the orchards at Chaubatia (3 km).
Almora: The picturesque hill station of Almora, at an altitude of 1650 m, is one of the few hill stations not created by the British. Some 400 years ago, it was the capital of the Chand rulers of Kumaon.
The area has the reputation of being a "power center" and travellers rent houses and stay here for months.
Pithoragarh: The easternmost hill district of Uttaranchal, Pithoragarh is often referred to as miniature Kashmir. Nestling in a small valley, 5 km long and 2 km wide, the town was an important landmark of the Chand rulers of Kumaon and known as Saur valley. It is situated at an altitude of 1650 m above sea level. One can have panoramic views of vast snow range extending from Trishul, Nanda Devi, Panchchuli Group, and Mount Appi of Nepal from the Chandak hill located at around 2000 m.
Chaukori: The charming and picturesque town of Chaukori is situated in the heart of Pithoragarh district (112 km) on the verge of the exciting Jim Corbett country. Literally cupped in a bowl by the majestic Himalayas, Chaukori is famous not only for the magnificent view it offers of Panchchuli peaks but also for its breathtakingly beautiful sunsets. The spectacular sunrise and sunset tinge the awe-inspiring pristine peaks, making Chaukori an idyllic holiday resort amidst unspoiled nature.
Nearest railhead is Kathgodam (214 km). By road it is just 125 km away from Almora, 183 km from Nainital, and 480 km from Delhi.
Kausani: Nestling amongst thick, dense pine forests, atop a narrow ridge and separated from the towering mountains of the Nanda Devi range by low, medium mountains, at Kausani the grandeur of the Himalayan scenery comes alive. The view of the snow-covered Trishul and Nanda Devi is so clear that one gets a feeling of the snow within touching distance. Its ethereal sunrise and a 300-km-wide view of the Himalayan range have attracted thousands of visitors to this place time and again.
Nearest railhead to Kausani is Kathgodam (142 km). The hill station is well connected by road to Almora (53 km), Ranikhet (79 km), Nainital (120 km), and Delhi (410 km).
Jim Corbett National Park - India's first national park, cradled in the foothills of the Himalayas, spreads over an area of 520 sq km and is 290 km from New Delhi. The magnificent Ramganga River flows through the entire length of the park. Corbett has the highest density of tiger in India. Other carnivores include the leopard, elephant, bear, and sambhar. Basking along the banks of the Ramganga are the slender gharial and the marsh crocodile. The river is rich in the magnificent mahseer; however, angling is not permitted inside the National Park. There are watchtowers, elephant safaris and jeep safaris for wildlife viewing.
The best time to visit Corbett national Park is from November to May. The park is closed from mid-June to mid-November. The nearest town Ramnagar (51 km) is the ideal linkage for rail. Nearest airhead is at Pantnagar (110 km).
Bhowali: This small health resort, situated at an altitude of 1,707 m, is around 10 km from Nainital. It has the best T.B. sanatorium in the country. Bhowali is also the main export center for hill fruits and vegetables.
Ramgarh: Located 16 miles from Nainital, Ramgarh is famous for its apples, apricots, and peaches. India's Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, stayed here for a while and wrote some of his famous poems.
Mukteshwar: Perched at an altitude of 2,286 m above sea level, Mukteshwar is 33 miles from Nainital. It is well known for its Veterinary Research Institute established in 1898. Mukteshwar presents a panoramic view of the snow-clad Himalayas in early summer and autumn.
Kumaon has three distinct trekking regions: the foothills of the Himalayas of the Nainital district and the lake area; the hill areas of Almora, Ranikhet, Kausani, Chaukori, and Pithoragarh; and the Himalayan glacier area of the Kumaon hills.
Nainital and the lake area is the most suitable for schoolchildren with pleasant trekking trails. Basic facilities for amateur trekkers are available in and around Nainital. The hill areas of Almora, Ranikhet, Kausani, Chaukori, and Pithoragarh are ideal for the more experienced trekkers. The Himalayan glacier area of the Kumaon hills has difficult routes, picturesque riverbeds, and rhododendron forests.
The Kumaon region also provides perfect background for other adventure sports like paragliding, rock climbing, river rafting, and mountaineering.