Every nook of Himachal Pradesh is a playground for tourists and adventure travelers alike. Scenic spots in Himachal, some commercialized while some undiscovered, offer a soothing mix of adventure and relaxation. Whether you want to jump off a cliff and fly over the vast stretches of green and white, or wish to play with electrifying silver waters, or crave for some solace in the snow-clad mountain- Himachal bundles it all.
Everyone loves Shimla and is one of the most preferred weekend getaways for the Delhi people. But with the increased commercialization Shimla has become a very crowded place with concrete structures all around, thus reducing the natural beauty of the place. Maybe it’s time to take a step away from the madding crowd. Somewhere close but not too far. This is where Narkanda steps in the picture. A mere 60 km. drive from Shimla, Narkanda is a white paradise in the winters and a quaint and picturesque spot in the hills in summers. Higher reaches, plentiful sunlight or vibrant white winters in abundant apple orchards – all contribute to make Narkanda ‘the’ place to be. Stunningly beautiful, Narkanda offers superb angling and superb 360-degree views of the valleys and the surrounding mountains.
Narkanda is located at an average elevation of 2621 meters (8599 feet). It connects Shimla with Rampur and a detour also goes to Thanedar, the prime apple belt of Himachal Pradesh. Satyananda Stokes, a Catholic-American who later converted to Hinduism, started apple farming at Thanedar and his success was replicated throughout Himachal Pradesh.
Hatu Peak which is at 11,000 feet is 5 km. from Narkanda. A hike through the varied colors and serenity of fascinating Deodar jungle leads to the famous and reverted Hatu Temple atop Hatu Peak. This small wooden temple is dedicated to ‘Mandodari’ , wife of ‘ Ravana’.
Hatu Peak provides splendid panoramic views of Narkanda on one side and Rohru on the other side.
I went to Narkanda last year in June on a family road trip and we stayed in Hotel Hatu (HPTDC). The hotel is highly recommended to stay as it is a budget hotel and the HPTDC hotels are always at the prime locations and offer stunning views of the mountains.
The absence of Shimla’s tourist crowds and unhindered vistas of the Himalayas gives the much needed solitude. Untouched and unspoiled by tourism, nestled in Himachal Pradesh is the mesmerizing Narkanda !
Till then- KEEP TRAVELLING. KEEP WANDERING.