View of Cherry orchards (covered) on way to Narkanda
We started from Shimla leisurely as we were aware that Narkanda was only 66 Kms. from Shimla.As it was a Monday (working day), the traffic moving towards the Chota Shimla was diverted through the Bye-pass rather than through the tunnel route.We made a halt at the junction where the Bye-pass meets the main road and here we purchased our supply of bottled water & dry snacks likes chips etc.Thereafter, we ambled through the distance, stopping at all odd places, wherever the views were good coupled with places wherever there was some fresh fruits available for tasting/buying.Traversing at this leisurely pace we finally checked in to Hotel Hatu at around 2.30 P.M. and after depositing out luggage in the room, we rushed to have our lunch in the Restaurant.Thereafter, we went out to explore Narkanda.
Passing by Theog
Narkanda is nestled at an altitude of 2708 meters (8936 feet), Narkanda is a quaint little township in the Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh and lies plumb on the National Highway-22 (or the old Hindustan Tibet Road), about 66 kms. from Shimla.Situated in vicinity of the apple basket of Himachal i.e. Kothkhai, the township offers its visitors a variety of fresh fruits, ranging from Cherries, Apricots, Plums, Peaches etc. of several varieties, during the season (May end to July) and Apples (during August onwards).You will find quite a few villagers selling their farm fruits, freshly plucked, at very reasonable rates.The aroma & taste of these fresh fruits are to be tasted first hand to imbue the feeling.
The Narkanda town centre
Sweetmeat shop in Narkanda
The ambiance of the place and its quite solitude offers solace to the tired soul and is a very good destination to rejuvenate and spend a quiet holiday in the pristine environs.The place changes its hue during the winters and offers breathtaking ski slopes within a range of one Kilometer of the NH-22.Being at a higher altitude than Shimla, it has copious amounts snowfall and thus, becomes a hub for Skiers during the winters.The place also offers some interesting side visits also.
Hatu Peak (3400 meters) -This peak is 8 km from Narkanda, the road leading to it is surrounded by pine and spruce trees but is quite narrow and is also equally treacherous and nerve racking one, it takes ones breath away at many a points, not advisable for ones with a faint heart. The scenic beauty is absolutely breathtaking from the point where the road ends, from where you can see the entire Narkanda valley and town from the top and the surrounding majestic mountains.The peak offers spectacular views of the entire Pir Panjal and Dhauladar ranges alongwith panoramic view of the dense forests with varied alpine fauna, green fields and apple orchards. The Peak also houses the famous ‘HatuMataTemple’ reverend by the locals, who throng the spot in large numbers during May-June & September-October festivities.The old temple is now being replaced with a new temple, built in Kinnauri style with intricate woodwork.
View of the Ski slope from Hatu Peak
Panoramic view from Hatu Peak
View of intricate woodwork of Hatu Mata temple
Inside view of Hatu Mata temple with Priest on foreground
View of Hatu Mata idol inside the temple
Height of Hatu Peak
Thanedar (1830 meters) – It is situated about 16 Kms. from Narkanda, it is the entry point to the ‘Apple basket’ of Himachal i.e. Kothgarh.It is a small quaint village nestled amongst the Apple orchards all around.It houses a famous temple known as the Paramajyotir constructed in old Pahari style and also the St. Mary’s Church constructed in 1872.I did not visit this place, but in case you want to check out the temple photos you can check out this link -http://10yearitch.com/travel/photo-post-paramjyoti-mandir-thanedar-himachal-pradesh/
Kacheri (1810 meters) -This place is situated about 7 Kms. from Narkanda on the National Highway 22 itself.It is famous for the Mayamaya temple dedicated to Goddess Kali.