Are there Any Direct Buses from Delhi to nainital?

Why are there no direct buses between Delhi and Nainital?

Short Answer: While bus ticketing platforms show a lot of buses, there aren’t any direct buses from Delhi to Nainital. All buses from Delhi, both private and UTC, operate till Kathgodam or Haldwani from where they provide vans or Bolero cars to the Nainital bus stand.

Situated about 300 km from Delhi, Nainital has always been the top weekend destination for Delhitie’s. As summers approach, people throng this salubrious hill station for a respite from Delhi’s abrasive heat.

Buses are one of the most preferred modes of transport between Delhi and Nainital. It’s just a seven-hour journey, you board a bus by 9 PM, and by morning you are in the lap of the Himalayas.

However, there is a lot of confusion around direct buses from Delhi to Nainital.

Let’s look at ticket booking sites like RedBus.

You will see that while many bus operators mention Nainital as the destination, reputed operators like Laxmi Holidays mention “Nainital Bus Stand Drop/Pickup By Cab Kathgodam to Nainital (pick up by Van/Bus)“.

So what’s the truth?

The truth is that there are no direct buses from Delhi to Nainital. This includes both private buses and buses owned by the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC).

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How To Reach Nainital from Kathgodam?

Are there Any Direct Buses from Delhi to nainital?

The distance between Kathgodam and Nainital is around 35 km and it takes around one and a half hours by van and minibus.

If you are traveling by private buses, most of them will take you to Kathgodam. They have tie-ups with local taxi and van operators who then take you from there to the Nainital bus stand. Generally, the cost of this is already included in your bus ticket and you do not have to pay extra.

While most private buses travel to Kathgodam, UTC buses travel to Haldwani, and from there, you have to take a UTC minibus or a van/taxi to Nainital. This is not included in your bus fare and you will have to pay for the transfer from Haldwani to Nainital.

There are plenty of options though. From the Haldwani bus stand, you’ll get a bus to Nainital almost every hour.

Also Read: Bus Travel | Long Weekend Travel Trends: Abhibus Insights 2024

Were there Direct Buses From Delhi to Nainital Before?

Yes, there were direct buses from Delhi to Nainital in the past and I have traveled once from Delhi to Nainital in a UTC bus.

Between 2016 and 2017, the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC) had a direct service from Anand Vihar ISBT to the Nainital bus stand. However, this service was discontinued sometime around 2018.

Additionally, IntrCity SartBus initiated a direct AC minibus service from Delhi to Nainital in 2022 but has since been discontinued.

Why Are There No Direct Buses Between Delhi and Nainital?

The Uttarakhand Transport Corporation has no direct buses from Delhi to Nainital.
Even the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation doesn’t have any direct buses from Delhi to Nainital.

The absence of direct buses between Delhi and Nainital can be attributed to several factors.

One of the reasons is that the Uttarakhand Government doesn’t allow buses with more than 28 seating capacities to travel to Nainital.

The UTC also has regulations that prohibit private buses from operating on routes designated exclusively for the UTC.

In April 2024, the Uttarakhand High Court upheld these regulations, following a petition filed by the Uttarakhand Roadways Employees Union. The petition sought to prevent private buses from encroaching upon routes exclusively reserved for the UTC.

It is worth noting that the UTC proposed opening profitable routes to private operators. However, this proposal faced strong opposition from the union, further complicating the matter.

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Best Bus Services Between Delhi and Nanital

Laxmi Holidays Delhi to Manali bus service

Like most popular routes, multiple bus operators provide bus services between Delhi and Nainital. However, not all of them offer the same level of customer experience.

For a smooth, comfortable, and memorable travel experience, you must select only the best bus operators. This might seem like daunting work, especially for first-time travelers.

So we have done the legwork for you and outlined some of the best bus services between Delhi and Nainital. Our assessment is based on reputation, reliability, punctuality, and customer experience from RedBus ratings.

Here are our picks for the best bus services between Delhi and Nainital.

  • Uttarakhand Transport Corporation
  • Laxmi Holidays
  • V Dhanraj Travels
  • Fasttrack Travels
  • International Tourist Centre
  • Regal Cruiser Travels

Given that all these buses hold an average rating of 4.5 on RedBus, it’s reasonable to expect a satisfactory travel experience with any of them.

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