Possibilities are endless, but here’re some places we highly recommend:
The nearest and located at 4 kms, this quaint ancient town is on the periphery of the gigantic and picturesque Bhimtal lake with a temple island in the center. It is supposed to be older than Nainital and dates back to the Mahabharat era – and that is where the name “Bhim” comes from. Bhimtal was also a part of the ancient silk route. On the banks of the lake, sits the ancient Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple that is said to have been built by Bhim during the exile of the Pandavas. The legendary Baz Bahadur of Chand Dynasty renovated the temple in 17th century. The island in the center now houses an aquarium which formerly ran as a restaurant for many years.
The cluster of seven lakes that are interconnected through underwater springs. It is located on the very picturesque, green, tree laden road from Bhimtal towards Mehragaon, at an altitude of 1370 metres (4,500 feet) above the sea level. Sattal is unique for its biodiversity and ecology. It is the Birders’ Heaven with around 500 resident and migrant birds chirping in the Oak and Pine forests, along with over 20 species of mammals, hundreds of butterflies and thousands of insect varieties. Sattal is extremely popular for camping activities for an outdoor-adventue experience.
This iconic hill town may need a few more volumes of web pages to describe! In simplest words, it is one of the most popular and beautiful hill stations of India, located at a high altitude of 6800 feet. The pear-shaped valley of Nainital is centered by Naini lake with the town around its peripheral mountains. Nainital scores very high on the Hindu mythology, the British Raj history, educational institutions, literary hubs and cultural centers. At Nainital, one must see the Naini Lake (which needs to effort as it can NOT be missed), the Naina Devi Temple, the British inheritance and architectural beauty of the Governor’s House (Raj Bhawan), China Peak, Tiffin Top, St. John’s Church and Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo.
Mukteshwar and Ramgarh
These two little towns are commonly covered in one circuit as a day trip from Firdaus. Both these towns sit at a high altitude of 7500 feet and promise an astounding, unobstructed views of the Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Nandaghunti, Trishul and Panchachuli. While Ramgarh is extremely popular as the “fruit orchard” of Kumaon with expansive orchards of Peach, Apricots, Pears & Apples, Mukteshwar is an extremely popular destination for 180˚ panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas. Mukteshwar gets its name from the 350-years old mountain-top temple “Mukteshwar Dham” where residing deity is Lord Shiva. Other must-see sites at Mukteshwar include Chauli ki Jaali, the Methodist Church, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) that houses a library and a museum and Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow (a PWD run archaeological wonder).
Other close-by places like Jeolikot, Almora, Binsar, Jageshwar, Ranikhet and Corbett National Park
Nearby temples like Ghorhakhaal, Kainchi, Chittai and Hanuman Garhi.