Delhi Nainital Road Review

Last Saturday (July 15, 2007), I was driving on NH24 as I had some work in Naukuchiatal and thought that I would write a quick Road Review (and about Delhi to Nainital road condition), since there are lots of folks who use this road for going almost anywhere in Kumaon. Though I didn’t go to Nainital, but probably going till Bhimtal is as good as going till Nainital from Road Review perspective ;)

Delhi to Nainital by road. This road can be divided into many sections.

  1. NH 24 – Delhi, Ghazibad, Hapur, Garh Mukteshwar (NHAI)
  2. NH 24 – Simbhavli, Gajraula, Moradabad, Rampur (NHAI)
  3. NH 87 – Rampur, Bilaspur, Rudrapur (mostly UP)
  4. NH 87 – Rudrapur, Haldwani, Nainital/Bhimtal (Uttrakhand)

Section 1 (Delhi to Garh Ganga route) which starts from Nizamuddin Mode in Delhi has lots of small cities/villages en route. Expect a little jam at Ghazipur Crossing (almost all times of day), then one at Ghaziabad Trade Tax (just beyond Vijay Nagar) and usualy slowness as you cross numerous towns. Hapur bypass is lovely and amazingly smooth, you can go beyond 120 easily. I drove at 80-100 KPH (in my Mahindra Scorpio) as it was raining and road was wet, so less traction. Beyond Hapur, the road is mostly single and not too much of traffic till you get closer to Brij Ghat or Garh Mukteshwar where it can take from 15 minute to many hours depending upon whether there is anything big at Ganga. By the way, this is the closest point for Delhi-ites for a Ganga dip. Avoid mornings on major poornimas (full moons) or big festivals.

Section 2 is after Garh. Again single road for some time and then you start to see the NHAI work. There are stretches where the road work has been done and there are two roads, 3 lane each. On these stretches you can easily go beyond 120 and make merry but every 20-30 odd kilomters, you will enter a bottle neck, mostly at the places where they are trying to make a flyover, these bottle necks can actually kill your entire fun if its raining or if there is a break down. But all in all, this stretch is better than Section 1. Once NHAI is done, it would be cream. Moradabad bypass is already a marvel. I don’t know why they stopped accepting money at a single toll for the whole stretch, now you have to stop twice to pay toll. As you pass Moradabad bypass, Rampur City can get a littly stuffy but it’s just a  couple of kilometers, so, not too much of a pain.

Section 3 is when you cross Rampur city and take a left turn to get on NH87. Now the ordeal begins, now you are not with NHAI but on a road maintained (or not maintained) by government of UP. I have been driving this stretch for at least last 8-9 years and I have never found this good. You have to handle this till Rudrapur.

From Rudrapur, you again take a left leaving the road which goes till Lucknow, and now you drive along-side jungle. Infact both sides. Amazing drive. For 20 odd kilo meters you and this long serpentine road amid Tanda (thats the name of the Jungle Reserve), reach Rudrapur and then Haldwani. From there the road to Nainital is very good. For Bhimtal/Saat Tal/Naukuchia Tal or going to Almora/Bhavali/Binsar/Mukteshwar, you need to take a right exit at HMT factory, which is about 6 KM from Kathgodam station, if you don’t take a right and keep going straight you reach Nainital.

Tip – Start early in the day (5 for Summers and 6 for Winters) to avoid traffic and it should not take you more than 7 hours to reach Nainital or other places.

I was back on Sunday, July 16 2007.

248 Comments

  • Rajeev says:

    Hi Nadan,

    I have no experience for driving in Hilly Area. Which route you recommended for me.

    Kaladhungi to Nainital
    OR
    Kathgodham to Nainital?

    Going in June 2014 in Mahindra XUV

    Please guide

    Thanks…..

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hi Rajeev – If it is a first time then you are better off with Rampur-Bilaspur-Haldwani-Kathgodam-Nainital route. All the best.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Nitish – Last I read that Rampur-Bilaspur-Haldwani has been re-tarred so I would recommend that you try the regular route only.

  • swadesh says:

    Hi,
    when was the last time you or any of the readers travelled from Delhi to Nanital ? I’m planning a short trip in November, during Diwali for Noida to Nainital. Just wanted to know the road conditions, these days.

    Can I cover Jim Corbet and Nainital both in 3-4 Days ? or would it be too hectic ?

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Swadesh – I went last in June 2015 and the regular route (Delhi-Moradabad-Rampur-Bilaspur-Rudrapur-Haldwani-Nainital) was pretty good.

    I should be going towards that side in October. I can give you a more recent update closer to your travel date.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    I drove to Bhimtal last weekend. I took the ‘Delhi-Rampur-Swar-Bazpur-Haldwani-Bhimtal’ route on the way up. The Swar-Bazpur connection has gone worse but if you leave this 7 KM portion, everything else is pretty good.

    On return, I tried a new route after someone alerted me to try this. And I am going to recommend this, at least for now. Entire section is very clean.

    Delhi – Moradabad – Kashipur – Ramnagar – Kaladhungi. After Kaladhungi if one is headed for Nainital then one should go to Khurpatal. If one is headed for Bhimtal then one should head towards Haldwani.

  • Abhishek says:

    Hey Nandan, I am leaving tomorrow for Nainital and would be strating early morning from delhi aroud 05:00 so confused between two routes
    1. Via Rampur Bilaspur Rudrapur Haldwani
    Just wanted to check, Is there will be traffic on Bakrid on NH87 in Bilaspur during morning time ? I heard there is Masjid on highway which could be impacted during nawaz time …

    2. Via – Delhi Moradabad Kashipur Ramnagar Kaladhungi. — Howz this route ? I will be travelling with family and infant.

    Thanks a lot-
    Abhishek

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hi Abhishek,

    My recommendation is Delhi – Moradabad – Hardleft towards Corbett – Kashipur – Ramnagar – Kaladhungi – Corbett Museum – Khurpa Tal – Nainital

    Now about the Bakra-id part. There is a mosque in Bilaspur which is not too far from the road but most of the Bakra-id celebration picks up a bit late. I do not think that should lead to any big jams.

    I look forward to see your comment on the road conditions, time it took etc after your return.

    Wishes,
    Nandan

    • Abhishek says:

      Hey All, Came back from Nainital on 27th Sept. While going from Delhi i took the main highway road i.e. Rampur,bilaspur and Haldwani Root, Till Rampur road condition is very good and you wont any difficulty zooming your car @100KMPH, The problem starts on NH87 which is not in good condition and this continues till you hit Haldwani, Avoid this road if you can.
      Start Time 06:00 AM from Delhi. Reached Nainital around 02:30 PM with two breaks of 30 mins.
      Coming back to Delhi from Nainital I selected Kaladhungi,Bazpur,Swar road, Except 7 KMs the stretch the road condition is good. The 7 KM’s stretch is doable if you drive carefully. Also drive carefully in this road as you can find lots of motorcycles in your direction and in opposite direction and they turn suddenly without indicator so be watchful, have witnessed two motorcycles accidents, Overall I would recommend this route for Nainital.
      Thanks
      Abhishek

  • Abhishek says:

    Thanks Nandan for your quick reply, I have booked hotel in Bhowali so i think i need to take Bhimtal road post Kaladhungi. Thanks Again, Appreciate your effort and guidance !!!

  • Vaibhav says:

    Hi All,

    I plan to leave for sattal on Friday, 27th. Please suggest if there are any changes in recommended route

    Delhi Moradabad Kashipur Ramnagar Kaladhungi and then towards Haldwani.

    If there are improvements on the other route(rampur-swaz-bazpur) or (rampur-gadarpur), then i would prefer that since it will be the shortest route as per Gmaps.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Hi Vaibhav – My Father drove back yesterday via Swar. It is same as in past, except that 8 KM stretch before Bazpur, everything else is in place. For other two, I have no latest info. Try first route (Kashipur – Ramnagar) and let us know the latest on it. All the best.

  • Vaibhav says:

    Thanks Nandan,

    I left around 6:30 am from Noida and reached Sattal around 3:30, took the (rampur-swar-bazpur) road while going and the 7 km stretch is quite bad, Infact the road before that stretch is also not in good condition(30-40kmph max). except for that the route is good.

    While coming back I took (Kashipur Ramnagar) road. The route is good all along except for some traffic at Kashipur. It took almost same time while coming back but i left at 11:30 am from sattal due to which i had to face a lot of traffic at kashipur and then vehicles coming in my direction after moradabad after 6-7pm. If one leaves early it should take less time following this route.

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