Tall trees of cedar and pine, snow capped mountains and deep valleys describes the spirit of Narkanda. The not so famous hill station is located just 70Kms or 2hrs drive from Shimla. Over the years some few tourists tourist spots like Shimla, Nainital, Darjeeling and others have lost their old charm due to the urbanisation and the pouring crowd during the tourist season.
On my recent visit to Shimla. I was introduced to this hill station by our family friend. Using their hill friendly Maruti- Suzuki SUV, we drove on the scenic road leading to Narkanda via Kufri, Mashobra and Theog. It is truly said that sometimes that journey is equally beautiful if compared to the destination and in this case it fits well.
Our stay was at luxurious HPTDC Hatu Narkanda. It offers a spectacular view of snow ranges. It is an ideal retreat for the tourists who seek seclusion in mountains. It commands an unique view of the eternal snow line, the inviting apple orchards and dense forests. Narkanda is famous for Skiing & Winter sports. During winters the slopes come alive with skiers. Skiing at Narkanda was started in 1980 and since then HPTDC is conducting skiing courses every year.
Major Attraction In Narkanda:
1. Jau Baug
A 15 minute walk from Hatu Peak takes you to the stunning meadows of Jau-Baug. From on top of the hill the view is simply breathtaking. Another ancient gem Hatu Temple is located here as well. It has its roots in the Pandavas Vanya-Prastha.
2. Hatu Peak
Another famous tourist point in Narkanda is Hatu. Though there is a narrow road up to the Hatu Peak but trekking to the peak has its own thrills and charms. A trek to Hatu Peak is popular one because many people do it for fun and to test their fitness levels. One can use the road or a mix of road and short cut trails to reach the summit. The trek to the Hatu Peak is through a mixed forest of blue pine, oak and deodar. The views from the peak are spectacular. In addition there is a small temple of Hatu Mata at the peak. There is a newly constructed beautiful wooden temple right next to the old temple. There are hardly any shops along the route, so it is good to carry water and snacks.
Trekking to Hatu Peak, basic info:
Distance: 6 km
Time: 3 hrs
When to go: May – June & Sept.- Nov.
3. Tani Jubbar Lake
Around 15 Kms away from Narkanda is another tourist spot. Tani Jubbar Lake is a really small water body. Yet, the moss-covered lake floor, the verdant and lush grass around the lake and the pine-crested promontory make this a very picturesque spot. Also visit the shrine of Nag Devta near the lake. The drive from Narkanda to Lake was excellent (10 km) and one need to be very careful while driving during snow season as road is slippery and also very narrow.