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Narkanda: Your New Weekend Destination
Snow Covered Narkanda by Outlook India

A beautiful town in the lap of nature, Narkanda is a small village in Himachal Pradesh, located about 65 kms from Shimla. A place which is mostly skipped by a number of people, it offers a scenic view and a calming experience for anyone who chooses to visit.

In the past few years, towns like Shimla and Manali have been bombarded with tourists, even though we are happy for the people as the business is growing. But sometimes, we all just need some kind of peace and that is not possible when there’s a lot of people around. I mean, haven’t we all dreamt about living in a small, cozy cottage in the lap of nature away from all the hustle- bustle of the city, traffic and people, even if it's just for a weekend.

Narkanda is that cozy place for you. While being a small village, it doesn’t have a lot of tourist destinations but it definitely has some of the most beautiful picturesque views that you’ll fall in love with.

So, read on to find out what to see and what to eat in Narkanda and have a relaxed vacation.

Places to check out:

1. Hatu Peak
Hatu Peak by Holidify

One of the biggest tourist attractions of Narkanda is Hatu Peak which is the highest point

not only in Narkanda but in the entire Shimla district. The Peak is situated at a height of

3400 meters and is surrounded by a dense forest of trees like conifers, oaks and maples.

Even though the forest has a variety of trees, it is mostly known for its apple orchards. The

trek to the top of the Peak stretches for 7km and has been a very popular trekking spot for

many. The trek trail is also a very beautiful trail as the stop overs offer you some

picturesque locations.

The Hatu Peak was of great strategic importance for the rulers of the erstwhile hill states

because of its commanding position and was accepted as a boundary between the states.

In the early 19th century, the Peak was captured by the Gorkhas and a fort was

established at the top of it. The Gorkhas were later dismissed from the Hatu heights.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to go to the top of Hatu Peak is from April to September,

but it is advised to skip the trek during the rainy season due to the slippery path.

2. Hatu Temple
Hatu Mata Temple by The Apple Crest

When you reach the top of Hatu Peak, you see the Hatu Mata Temple. The Temple is

dedicated to Hatu Mata, the Goddess of the Narkanda region, as well as the Narkanda


According to a local belief, the temple is said to be that of Mandodari, wife of Ravna.

Mandodari, apart from being the wife of Ravna, was also one of the Panchakanya. It is

also believed that Draupadi breathed her last after she fell from the mountain while on her

way to heaven.

The picturesque temple is built in the Pagoda style of architecture, which is a very typical

Himachali style with bands of wood and stone. The temple has exquisite wooden carvings

depicting stories from the Hindu scriptures. One can also see the influence of Buddhism

from certain carvings of dragons and other auspicious symbols.

While the temple is open throughout the year, people visit the Haku Mata Temple in large

numbers on the first Sunday of the Jyeshta month, i.e., or during the Gemini period/ mid-

May to mid-June.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to go to the top of the Hatu Mata Temple is from April to

September, but it is advised to skip during the rainy season as the path leading to the

temple can be slippery and dangerous.

3. Bheem Chulha
Bheem Chulha by BCMTouring

Just near the Hatu Mata Temple is Bheem Chulha. It is believed that during the one-year

period of the Agyaat Vaas, the Pandavas arrived at the court of King Virata of Matsyadesh

and lived there in incognito mode, taking up various duties in the King’s court. Arjuna

became a eunuch and tutored dance and music to the King’s daughter, Dharmaraja

became the King’s administration counsellor, Nakul became the caretaker of the horses and

other animals of the King’s army, Sahdev took care of the cattle of the palace, Draupadi

became queen’s maid and Bheem took up the duty of the cook.

It was at this time that Bheem used the place as his chulha or a fireplace where he used to

cook food. Bheem Chulha is a pair of hearthstones that are still found near the Hatu Mata


Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the Bheem Chulha is from April to September, but it

is advised to skip during the rainy season as the path leading to the temple can be slippery

and dangerous.

4. Jor Bagh
Jor Bagh by TripAdvisor

A picture-perfect place, which is also an ideal campsite, Jor Bagh is a beautiful meadow

which also offers a soothing view of the great Himalayas. The Bagh is about an hour’s trek

away from the Hatu Mata Temple and has views of the majestic mountains, trees like

deodar, blue pine, oak and spruce.

The trek to Jor Bagh is through a dense forest, which is a beauty on its own, but one needs

to be very cautious as the trail is quite dense, making it very easy to lose your way. You

can just sit back and relax while watching the beautiful scenery that Jor Bagh offers.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the Jor Bagh is from April to September, but it is

advised to skip during the rainy season as the path leading to the Bagh can be slippery

and dangerous.

5. Sutlej View Point
Sutlej View Point by Vargis Khan

Driving a few kilometres downhill from Narkanda towards Rampur, you will find a stunning

view of the Sutlej River flowing through the valley. This is the Sutlej View Point. While one

can easily drive the river up until it reaches the banks of the river, Sutlej View Point is the

first point from where you can get a nice view of the beautiful river.

About half an hour's drive from Narkanda, View Point is located right in front of a Seema

Suraksha Bal base. Soak into the beauty of the Point and click some pictures before going further.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Sutlej View Point is from April to September.

6. Tani Jubbar Lake
Tani Jubber Lake by TripAdvisor

Tani Jubbar Lake is an oval-shaped shallow artificial lake. It is a fresh water lake and is situated in the midst of a deodar forest. It lies between lush green slopes on one side and

apple orchards on the other. The Lake has a backdrop of snow- covered mountains and is

mainly surrounded by high cedars.

The lake and its surroundings offer a very beautiful view, thus becoming a good place for

having a picnic with friends and family. One can just sit around the lake and see the

beauty around.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Tani Jubbar Lake is from April to September.

7. Mahamaya Temple at Kacheri
Mahamaya Temple by Exotic Miles

Mahamaya Temple is a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali and is tucked away in the ethnic

hamlet of Kacheri. The Temple becomes an idyllic environment for meditation and soul


Located a height of 1677 meters, the Temple is situated amidst the gigantic Himalayas with

a beautiful view of the apple orchards. The green coniferous forests, the red apple orchards

and the pleasant weather make the Temple area a very peaceful and austere environment

to attain peace.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the Mahamaya Temple is from April to September.

8. Kotgarh
Kotagarh by Zostel

The Apple bowl of India, Kotgarh, is located on the old Hindustan-Tibet Road at an altitude

of about 2000 meters. The place is famous for its apples and acres of apple orchards.

The village offers a beautiful view of the Sutlej River and the Himalayas. The village is mostly visited for the Stokes Farm, which is situated in Kotgarh and has a large number of

apple orchards.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the Kotgarh is from April to September.

9. Stokes Farm
Stokes Farm by TripAdvisor

Stokes Farm is a widespread apple orchard. It was started by Samuel Satyanand Stokes in

1916. The Farm also manufactures apple wine, sirka, and jam, which are usually supplied

pan India.

The Farms are named after the original owner of the place, i.e., Samuel Satyanand Stokes.

The farm was started in order to provide more employment for various locals, especially


Best Time to Visit: Visit in April to see the apple trees blossom or July to September to

experience the harvesting season.

10. St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary's Church by Sarson Ke Khet

Located in the middle of the Kotagarh Village, St. Mary’s Church was built in 1872 and is a perfect example of Gothic architecture. The Church offers a magnificent view of the

surroundings and enhances the setting of one of the beautiful historical buildings of early

missionary works.

Alongside the Church is a school called Gorten Mission. The school is named after

Gorten, a distinguished civil servant in Shimla during the British Raj.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit St. Mary’s Church is from April to September.

Cafés to eat at:

1. The New Himalaya Negi Dhaba
The New Himalaya Negi Dhaba by TripAdvisor

A café with a beautiful view of the valley, it offers some of the best tasting Indian cuisines

along with some Chinese cuisines. One can have a good portion of breakfast, lunch and


Timing: 7am- 8:45pm

Address: 7F45+FP4, NH 5, Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh 171213

2. “Shyamjees” Shyam Bhojnalaya
Shyamjee's Shyam Bhojnalaya by Restaurant Guru

A decently priced restaurant with good quality food. One can order from the variety of

vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes on the menu.

Timing: NA

Address: Narkanda (Old Hindustan-Tibet national highway) NH-05, Kumarsain, SHIMLA

HILLS, Himachal Pradesh 171213

3. Romeo Dhaba
Romeo Dhaba by Restaurant Guru

A pocket-friendly place to have a good tasting meal is something that we all want. Head to

Romeo Dhaba and get a yummy soup for as low as ₹10.

Timing: 7am- 10pm

Address: 7F46+835, Narkanda Bus Stop, National Highway 22, Narkanda, Himachal

Pradesh 171213

4. Ensemble Bar and Restaurant
Ensemble Bar and Restaurant by Restaurant Guru

A good place to grab a few drinks and good food with friends at a pretty affordable price.

Timing: 6am- 10pm

Address: Narkanda, Shimla, NH-22, Rampur Road, Kumarsain, Kumarsain, Himachal Pradesh 171203

5. Hotel Mahamaya Palace
Hotel Mahamaya Palace by TripAdvisor

Hotel Mahamaya Palace is a great place to have good quality main course Indian food. One can have a filling meal in less than ₹500/-.

Timing: NA

Address: 7F45+9M Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh

So, the next time when you are bored of going to your usual holiday destination, choose Narkanda and you know that you’ll not get disappointed.

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