While most of the popular tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh are becoming crowded with each passing day, the magical state has some less-explored gems that still shine bright in the glory of natural beauty and charisma.
One such place is Hatu Peak in Shimla. Located near Narkanda (around 75 km away from Shimla), Hatu is Shimla’s highest mountain point with a soaring altitude of 3400 meter. Moreover, the untouched and serene destination is loaded with many surprises for tourists.
The Hatu Peak is known for an ancient temple which has significance in Hindu mythology. It is believed that Pandavas stayed in this place during their one-year incognito exile (Agyat Vas). During their stay here, they built a temple dedicated to the goddess Durga. There is also a massive oven, which is said to be built by Bheem.
How to reach Hatu Peak?
A narrow road branching out from the Hindustan-Tibet road at a tiny hamlet of Narkanda takes you to Hatu Peak. The journey takes around 2.5 hours from Shimla. You can hire a cab at Shimla or travel by public transport.
Road beyond Narkanda is narrow and steep but well tarred and surrounded by deodar forests on both sides. Only small vehicles are great for covering this road.
Things to do at or around Hatu Peak
After sightseeing and visit to Hatu Temple, there are other activities you can enjoy at and around the peak:
1. Explore Jau Bagh
A vast open meadow on the right flank of the peak is Jau Bagh. It’s a 20-minute walk from the temple though a dense deodar and oak forests. The meadow is lush green slope of about 1-1.5 kilometre (in length and breadth) on top of the forested hill.
2. Visit Mahamaya Temple
This temple is dedicated to the Indian Goddess Kali. Situated at a distance of 7 km from the main town of Narkanda, this temple in Kacheri is one of the famous spots among locals for prayers.
3. Stokes Apple Farms
Located at a place called Thanedar, Stokes Apple Farms are well-known apple orchards established in the 18th century by an American Satyananda Stokes (born Samuel Evans Stokes, Jr.). This farm is known to be the reason for the growing economy of apple cultivation in Shimla. Usually, April is the best time to visit this far.
4. Picnic at Tanni Jubbar Lake
If you want to enjoy a picnic with your family, you can visit Tanni Jubbar Lake – about 10 km from Narkanda. Surrounded by tall deodar forests on all sides, the lake has a small temple dedicated to the local deity in one corner and a sarai on the other end.
5. Skiing on mountain slopes of Narkanda
Not many people know, Narkanda is India’s one of the oldest ski destinations. If you visit here during winters, don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy skiing on the mountain slopes of Narkanda.
Whether you visit Hatu Peak in summer or winter, this tranquil place has so many interesting things to offer besides the panoramic views of the serene valleys and snow-covered mountains.