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Ideally situated between the valleys of rivers Giri and Sutlej in Himachal Pradesh and about 64 kilometers from Shimla, Narkanda, at 2708 meters, connects to Thanedar the main apple belt of Himachal and is widely known as the ‘Gateway to Apple Country’. Famous for its skiing, angling and other winter sport facilities and its scenic views of snow clad mountains make it a popular tourist destination in winters and a most sought after destination for trekking and adventure destination during summers. This place is completely surrounded by the Shivalik range. Once a small hill station along the old India-Tibet road (NH-22), Narkanda became a significant post on the road when Lord Dalhousie ordered the construction of the road in order to open trade between India and Tibet. With the cultivation of apples, Narkanda developed further since 1916 and attracts thousands of tourists from different parts of the world every year.
Himachal Pradesh is world famous for its apple orchards and you will find plenty of them all along the route (NH-22) and especially in Narkanda during the fruit season i.e., from June to September. Narkanda is a significant horticultural centre.
Narkanda has many other places of tourist attractions which are widely famous among the tourists and adventure lovers.
The Hatu Peak Narkanda (3400 meters)
This is the highest peak at 3400 meters and is just 8 km from Narkanda, the road is surrounded by pine and spruce trees. The scenic beauty is absolutely breathtaking from that point and the road to this point is also equally beautiful to travel on with lots of scenic places where you would like to take pictures in your camera. You could see the complete Narkanda valley and town from the top and the surrounding majestic mountains from here.
The Hatu peak offers spectacular view of the entire Himalayan ranges, snow clad mountains and in deep are the dense forests, green fields and apple orchards. There is also a temple called Hatu Mata Temple at the top.
All around the temple you can see exquisitely carved wooden panels telling you stories of epics Ramayana and Mahabharata like a scene depicting Bharat Milap from Ramayana.
Kacheri (1810 meters)
This place is located about seven kilometers from Narkanda on National Highway. This place is best known for ancient Mahamaya Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali. Set amidst breathtakingly scenic surroundings with a sense of calm and serenity, this temple provides the perfect ambience for meditation and introspection.
Kotgarh is part of famous apple belt of Shimla district is about 16 KM from Narkanda on the same road toward Thanedhar, kotgarh road bifurcate before 2 KM(appx) from Thanedhar, scenic beauty of apple garden and local culture attract tourist to kotgarh. In Kotgarh is the famous Stokes Farm. The man who started it all was an American called Samuel Evans Stokes. He made his home at the top Barobag Hill and called it Harmony Hall. Kotgarh is called land of apples and apricots. Hotels, guest houses and rest houses are available here at Kotgarh for stay.
Thanedhar is a small town on old Hindustan-Tibet Highway about 15 KM from Narkanda and 80 KM from Shimla, at an average height of 2300 meter. Thanedhar is famous of Apple cultivation, uphold a magnificent panorama of mountains and valleys, The view of Satluj river which flows 6000 ft down clearly visible on sunny day, whole area is covered with thick forest and apple orchards. Hotels, guest houses and rest houses are available here for stay.
Jallori Pass (3,550 m)
90 km from Narkanda, passing through the Sutlej Valley and crossing over to Luhri, Ani, Khanag through one of the best scenery in the Kullu Valley takes you to Jallori Pass. A 30 minute level walk from the Pass takes you to Sarolsar Lake among deep forests. See nature at it’s best at the Jallori Pass.
Tani Jhubbar Lake
Tani Jhubbar – the sing-song name excited me even when everyone said this is not the best lake Himachal Pradesh has to offer. On our way back from Hatu Peak, we took a small detour to reach Tani Jhubbar Lake – a small artificial lake standing at the edge of Nag Devta Temple. Temple is just a small room with a simple idol and a slanted stone roof on top. Tani Jhubbar Lake has tall deodar trees all around its oval shape. It is a pleasure to take a leisurely walk around the lake and see the reflection of trees piercing through the non-existent depths of the lake. Tani Jhubbar is a popular picnic spot for the local Himachalis and a perfect place to enjoy Narkanda weather. We could see families coming up with their picnic baskets.
Climate in Narkanda
As Narkanda is situated at a higher altitude than the capital Shimla, this place remains colder than Shimla, especially nights are more colder in Narkanda compared to Shimla. Heavy woolen are recommended in the winter season for tourists visiting the place during winters and light woollens are enough for the summer months if you are visiting here in summers.
Activities to do in Narkanda
Trekking & Hiking
Trekking and hiking is an exciting activity to do in Narkanda as it is surrounded by hills and mountains. Trekking on the Hatu peak can be a good option for capturing a beautiful view of the Himalayas and experience the breathtaking view of the mountains from the top. There are several opportunities for long, short and rigorous trekking in Narkanda. The Jalori Pass trek begins from just beyond Narkanda and goes northwest over the Jalori pass in the Seraj region. One can begin from the Ani village where one can reach by bus or jeep from Luhri in the Sutlej valley below Narkanda. The road from Narkanda follows down the Sutlej valley to enter Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur.
Narkanda is specially famous all across the country for offering options for skiing and winter sports. The mountain slopes come alive with skiers during the winter season. Skiing in Narkanda began in 1980 and ever since then HPDC is conducting skiing courses every year for thousands of tourists visiting Narkanda. One can hire skiing equipments and other required sports gear here for undertaking skiing. The HPDC provides everything from accommodation to transport to the tourists.
The scenic beauty of Narkanda is nothing less than incredible and awe-inspiring. Nature walks in this beautiful backdrop will be ideal for a spectacular view of the sturdy Himalayas. In fact, you will get to see some of the most beautiful sights through these walks, like the one to Hatu Peak. Explore the place in early morning walks and long strolls in the evening. Take care not to disturb nature and make minimum noise while on your walk, so as to absorb the soothing calmness of the natural environs.
Enough reasons to pack your bags this summer and visit Narkanda, don’t wait, book your resort at Narkanda and enjoy the weather, scenic beauty and refresh your mind and body in soothing fresh air.
Check out the best places to stay in Narkanda