Hatu Peak (narkanda)in Shimla Is A Dream Weekend Getaway
Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a chance to escape from your mundane routine, the state of Himachal Pradesh has got just what you need. It’s disheartening how a quiet escape has become a distant possibility these days, with the increasing number of tourists visiting each year. But this magical state still contains hidden gems and secrets as well as options waiting to be explored by travelers willing to go the extra few hundred miles! We’ve all heard of Shimla, but it would be worth our while to look beyond it as located not very far away is the pristine Hatu Peak. Serene and untouched, the Hatu Peak is a stunning destination that contains many surprises for the avid traveler.
Hatu Peak is located in Narkanda, a quiet little town 60 km away from Shimla. Most people will have passed by Narkanda en route to Kinnaur or Spiti Valley. But to bypass Narkanda is to miss out on some of the most picturesque sights in Himachal Pradesh.
A short and sweet adventure
Narkanda is situated on the historic Hindustan-Tibet road, famous for its sheer drops and sharp bends in the road. And with an impressive altitude of 2708 m, there are spectacular views of the mighty Himalayas and its foothills waiting to be enjoyed. The best part of Hatu Peak is that this view can be enjoyed in peace without jostling for space with several hundred people. Narkanda also offers adventure sports such as skiing and trekking on its snow-covered slopes.
We’ve put together a rough itinerary to demonstrate how easy it is to reach Hatu Peak in Shimla for a dream weekend getaway.
– Take an overnight journey to Shimla from Delhi in a car or the numerous HPTDC or HRTC Volvos. The trip will take you 9 to 12 hours depending on road traffic. You could choose to spend the next day exploring Shimla or catch one of the buses for Narkanda that leave every few hours.
– The stunning drive from Shimla will take you through some of the most scenic parts of Kullu. If you’re in no particular hurry, explore the famous town of Kufri which located en route. Pay particular attention to the road stretch from Theog to Narkanda, where the views will take your breath away! The picturesque town of Narkanda is only 3 hours away from Shimla.
– Once in Narkanda, check into your hotel and explore the wonders of this tiny village. Hatu Peak, Tani Jubbar Lake, and Narkanda Skiing Point are some of the most popular destinations.
– Bid farewell to Narkanda the next day and carry back memories of the picturesque Shivalik ranges and pretty apple orchards. It’s time to head back to everyday life in the city. But, don’t worry, for you will leave with a happy heart and a feeling of absolute rejuvenation.
A walk to remember at Hatu Peak
The best thing to do while visiting Narkanda is an easy trek to Hatu Peak. This enchanting walk to the peak takes you through forests of deodar, cedar, fir, spruce, blue pine, and the famed apple orchards of Himachal Pradesh.
Enveloped by awe-inspiring mountains and dense forests of cedar and fir, the Hatu Peak trek is a day hike with all the makings of a complete Himalayan trek. While it’s possible to drive up, why miss out on the rejuvenating walk and scenery? Walking is the best way to experience the mountains, and this trek shouldn’t take you more than 3 hours.
The trek to Hatu Peak is best attempted during summer as the path is easiest to follow during this time. The views from on top of the peak too are breath-taking as you can see far and wide!
The trail to Hatu Peak is even more beautiful in the winter as it transforms into a magical winter wonderland with snow-covered trees and a carpet of white on the ground. Travelers who are short on time but searching for a beautiful trek will find everything they’re searching for!
Find God in the mountains around Hatu Mata Temple
On top of the majestic Hatu Peak lies the sacred Hatu Mata Temple. The location of the current temple is believed to be the place where the Pandavas cooked their meals during their exile period. One can still spot ‘The Bheem Chulha’ or two hearthstones near the temple.
The mighty Himalayan peaks enclose this serene temple. The temple’s beauty is unparalleled with its wooden bands and Oriental-style carvings. After the long trek to the Hatu Peak, the sight of the temple and its surreal surroundings is a fitting finale. The temple also attracts groups of bikers who ride to the temple for the panoramic views and to seek blessings.
Skiing down the snowy slopes of Narkanda
If you’ve always wanted to ski but couldn’t make it to Gulmarg in Kashmir, we’ve got good news for you. Narkanda’s mountain slopes are far more accessible distance-wise and perfect for the sport! Not many people know this, but Narkanda is one of the oldest ski destinations in the country. Its mountain slopes are a sight to behold in the winter! Narkanda’s popularity as a skiing destination has started to grow over the years. The possibilities are endless today with many enthusiasts for the sport visiting each year. The beautiful Hatu Peak at an altitude 2000 ft is also a popular skiing site!
The slopes of Narkanda are perfect for both beginners and experienced skiers. And for when you get tired of skiing, the Narkanda mountains are an ideal location for relaxation and solitude. So, if winter sports don’t appeal to you, sit back with a steaming cup of tea and enjoy the panoramic views.
Not far away from Hatu Peak:
1. Prayers and devotion at the Mahamaya Temple
The Mahamaya Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali, is located at a distance of 7 km from Narkanda in a place called Kacheri. The temple is popular among the locals who regularly visit to offer prayers or relax amidst the serenity of the temple surroundings.
2. Stokes Farm: The place where Apple farming began
When in Narkanda, make sure to stop by at the famous Stokes Farm, located at Thanedar. Stokes Farm is a reputed apple orchard started by an American called Samuel Stokes in the early 18th century. The delicious apples grown here are recognized and sold globally. The Stokes Farm is often credited with boosting the economy of Narkanda through apple cultivation.
The farm covers a vast area and contains numerous rows of apple trees. April is an excellent time to visit Stokes Farm when the apple trees are in full bloom and delicate white flowers pepper the entire countryside. Walks around the beautiful orchard are guaranteed to rejuvenate your body and mind.
3. Picnics and Peace at the Tannu Jabar Lake
The Tannu Jabar Lake in Narkanda is an ideal place for a picnic with friends or family. Trees surround the lake, and one can spot beautiful mountains in the distance.
4. Old worlds and serene beauty at the village of Kotgarh
Tourists can also visit the ancient village of Kotgarh located 17 km away from Narkanda. Nestled on the banks of the River Sutlej, this scenic village lies in a U-shaped valley. Take in stunning views of the majestic Kullu Valley and the mighty peaks of the Himalayas from Kotgarh.
Shopping in Narkanda
Narkanda is a small town with limited shopping options. Himachali shawls, blankets, pullans, and caps are available at the markets. However, these items are also readily available in Shimla as well. In addition to winter apparel, we would also recommend picking up some of those delicious apples!
Drive Further Away
A road trip to remember at the Jalori Pass
If time isn’t a factor, take a road trip to remember in Narkanda by driving to the renowned Jallori Pass. Jalori Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3120 m located at a distance of 90 km from Narkanda. It is one of the first Indian passes to open every year after winter.
The drive to Jallori Pass will take you through some of the best landscapes in Kullu Valley. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition before the road trip, and do take it slow on the mountain roads with their sharp curves. The way is both beautiful and dangerous, particularly 3 km before the Pass where parts of the road are broken and become increasingly narrower. Once there, enjoy a hearty lunch at one of the many restaurants in Jalori Pass. The Jalori Mata temple is also located nearby for a quick thanksgiving prayer and blessings for a safe ride back.
Bookmark Narkanda and Hatu Peak for a dreamy weekend getaway in Shimla. The next time your soul yearns for a peaceful mountain holiday, remember all this beauty is just a short drive away.
Hey! I'm Gauri. Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice. An engineer turned writer. Loves animals tolerate humans. Has a thing for pizza and old books. Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.
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