Difference between Haldwani and Nainital

Key Difference: Nainital and Haldwani, both cities are situated in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. Nainital is a hill station that is widely popular for its lake, whereas Haldwani being situated at the last edge of the plains in Uttarakhand is considered to be an important business center.

A little glimpse of history of Haldwani would make it easy to understand the city. It was founded in the year 1834. Between 1897 and 1904, it was administered as a municipality. It was earlier named as ‘Halduvani’ after the Haldu trees (Adina cordifolia), but later during the British rule its name changed to Haldwani. It was officially notified in the year 1904 and later was declared a municipal board. It is also regarded as a gateway to many popular tourist destinations of the Kumaon region.

Haldwani is a big commercial hub, and a massive Kumaon retail market has developed in the city, over the years. It is also known for the biggest market of fruits and vegetables in the state of Uttarakhand. Haldwani has a mix of Kumaon, Garhwal, Punjab, and many other cultures. Due to the various commercial activities, many people had migrated from nearby as well as distant places and settled in Haldwani.

The city is surrounded by thick forests and the Gaula river flows through the town.  Due to the presence of rough terrain in and nearby Haldwani, it attracts trekkers and hikers. One can also try his hands on mountain biking and rock climbing while staying in the city of Haldwani.

Nainital is just 38 kilometers away from Haldwani but still differs in many aspects. It is one of the important hill stations of the India. Nainital is named after its famous lake ‘Naini Lake’.  It is present in the Nainital District of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the valley that comprises of Naini Lake.

A little glimpse of the history of Nainital would help in understanding the charm of this city that had existed since a long time. The hills of the Kumaun region were ruled by the British after the Anglo Nepalese war. However, Nainital was founded in the year 1843 by P.Barron who was a sugar trader from Shahjahanpur. Nainital was named as the health resort due to its clean environment. It was later adopted as the summer residence of the Governor of the United Provinces. Nainital has been able to create the same magical impression as it held before the independence of the country. The famous attractions of Nainital include Naini Lake, Naina Devi temple, Governor’s House, Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, Snow view, Naini peak and many others.

Therefore, we can conclude that Nainital and Haldwani are both important cities of Uttarakhand. Nainital is widely popular as a hill station, whereas Haldwani is popular as a commercial hub. Nainital and Haldwani share the same cultural background however, they both differ in context to weather, main sources of income and many other terms. Apart from the tourist season, Nainital is always rendering a calm and silent environment where people imbibe the nature, whereas Haldwani with its hustle and bustle is a commercially active city. Haldwani provides better medical facilities than Nainital, as numerous hospitals have opened in the city and are equipped with latest medical equipments.

Some of the key differences are listed below in the table:-





6,398 ft or 1,950 m, 29.5333° N and 78.9333° E

1,391 ft or 424 m , 29.22°N and 79.52°E


Hindi, English & Kumaoni, etc.,

Kumaoni, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, etc.,

Local Transport

Rickshaws, Dandies, Ropeway, Ponies and Taxis

Rickshaws and Taxis

How to reach

Nearest railway station is at Kathgodam, 35 km. Nearest Airport is Pantnagar, 71 Kms. Nainital is connected by road to major centers of northern India, Regular and luxury buses ply to Nainital from Delhi.

It has its own railway station. However, another railway station is at Kathgodam, 7 km. Nearest Airport is Pantnagar, 35 Kms. Haldwani is connected by road to major centers of northern India, Regular and luxury buses ply to Haldwani from Delhi.

Places to visit

Governor’s House, Himalaya Darshan, Land’s End, Naina Peak, Naini Lake, Tiffin Top, etc.

Gaula Barrage, Hadekhan Ashram, Sanjay van, etc.,


38,560  (2001)

452,169 (2011)

City Area

11.73 Sq. Kms

8.2 Sq. Kms


Temperate summers and cold winters

Mild in Winter and Hot in Summer


Tourism driven

Commercial driven


Nandadevi Fair in the month of September, Mahotsav in the month of October, etc.

Uttarayani, celebrated on the occasion of Makar Sakranti

Pin Code



Image Courtesy: haldwani.co.in, en.wikipedia.org

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