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Editorial Desk

Nainital: Beyond The Lake, Discovering The Region's Fauna

by Nimisha Tewari 11 Sep 2023

Nainital, a popular hill station in Uttarakhand, is not just known for its stunning lake and scenic beauty but also for its rich biodiversity. The region surrounding Nainital, offers opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to discover a variety of fauna. Here's a glimpse of the wildlife experiences you can have in and around Nainital:

1. Nainital Zoo (Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo):

  • Located at an altitude of 2,100 meters, this high-altitude zoo is home to several endangered species of animals and birds native to the Himalayan region.
  • You can see animals like snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, Siberian tigers and various pheasants and pheasant-like birds.

2. Snow View Point:

  • While visiting Snow View Point for its panoramic views of the Himalayas, keep an eye out for the Himalayan monal, a vibrant and beautiful pheasant species.

3. Eco Caves Garden:

  • Explore the Eco Caves Garden in Nainital where you may spot some Himalayan bird species. It's a pleasant spot for birdwatching.

4. Jim Corbett National Park (Day Trip):

  • Although a bit of a drive from Nainital (around 3-4 hours), Jim Corbett National Park offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • You can spot Bengal tigers, leopards, elephants, deer and a wide variety of bird species on a safari. 

5. Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary:

  • Located about 15 kilometers from Nainital, Pangot is a birder's paradise. It's home to over 580 bird species, including several Himalayan and migratory birds.
  • Kilbury, a short distance away, is known for its rich avian diversity and is an excellent spot for birdwatching.

6. Sattal (Seven Lakes):

  • Just a short drive from Nainital, Sattal is a cluster of seven freshwater lakes surrounded by lush forests.
  • It's not only a serene place but also offers chances to spot various bird species, including kingfishers, red-billed blue magpies and more.

7. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary (Day Trip):

  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, about 2.5 to 3 hours from Nainital, is a great place for nature enthusiasts.
  • The sanctuary is known for its birdlife, including the Himalayan griffon and you might also spot leopards, barking deer and other mammals. 

8. Naina Devi Bird Conservation Reserve:

  • Located near the Naina Devi Temple in Nainital, this reserve is dedicated to the conservation of local bird species.
  • Birdwatchers can spot a variety of birds, including the Himalayan vulture and the Eurasian griffon.

Nainital and its surrounding areas offer a blend of natural beauty and wildlife experiences. Whether you're interested in birdwatching, spotting mammals or simply enjoying the serene landscapes, there's something for every nature enthusiast in this region.

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