Whether you want to go on an adventure trip or want to get drenched in the beauty of nature, make a plan to go beyond Shimla to Narkanda in Himachal. It is the oldest skiing destination in India and is situated at an altitude of about nine thousand feet above sea level. October to March is the best time to visit Narkanda. Train from Delhi to Kalka and cab from there. It takes about six hours to reach Narkanda from Kalka. This small hill station is surrounded by hills kissing the sky and deep till Patal. The cool breeze of the tall Rai, Kail and Tosh trees keeps dissolving juices in the calm atmosphere. When I woke up in the morning, it seemed as if small bits of sunlight were peeping through the clouds. There are only apple orchards. It was surprising to see that the apples were scattered on the roads like this.
Must visit Hatu Peak located here. It is the highest place in Narkanda. There is a temple of Hatu Mata. Narkanda is on National Highway 22 and a short distance after crossing Narkanda, a path cuts through, which leads to Hatu Peak. The width of the road is such that even if a bike comes in front of a small car or SUV, it is difficult to pass. A small lake has been made halfway, where tea vendors have made one or two kiosks nearby. In the morning the cold had spread a sheet of fog, but the peaks of the Himalayas were visible from there. This place is far away from Lanka, but it is said that Mandodari was a devotee of Hatu Mata. It was she who built this temple and she used to come here every day for worship. This temple is completely made of wood and the surrounding deodar trees add to the beauty. There are three big rocks at a distance of 500 meters from the Hatu temple. It is said that this is the hearth of Bhima. Pandavas used to come here during their exile and used to cook food on this stove. So it suddenly came to my mind in what quantity the food would have been prepared, how many big utensils would have been there, and how many ingredients would have been used.
Mahamaya Temple is a temple of the goddess Kali, it was built by the king of Sundernagar inside the royal palace and its architectural style is similar to that of a fort. Silver, wood, and aluminum sheets have been used at the entrance of the temple situated at an altitude of 1810 meters above sea level. People also do meditation here. The next day reached Kotgarh and Thanedhar, which are famous for apple orchards. Kotgarh and Thanedhar are situated at a distance of 17 km from Narkanda at an altitude of 1830 meters above sea level. Kotgarh is situated on the left bank of the Sutlej River, an ancient valley famous for its U shape, while Thanedhar is popular for apple orchards. From the Kotgarh Valley, visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of the Kullu Valley and the mighty Himalayan mountains covered with snow. The famous Stokes Farm, located in Thanedhar, was started by Samuel Stokes, an American, who came to India in 1904 deeply influenced by Indian philosophy. When he went to Shimla in the summer, he was overwhelmed by the natural beauty there and then settled in Kotgarh. He planted an apple orchard, which soon became famous for its Red, Golden, and Royal Delicious apples.
The market of Narkanda is only as much as a road. Small shops have been set up, in which cheap pickled chickpeas are available from puri to pesticides, which are bought by the owners of apple orchards. The special thing is that with the permission of the owners of the apple orchards here, you can also taste the apple plucked from the tree. We bought apple boxes from the owner of an apple orchard. Village women dressed in colorful clothes are usually seen waiting for buses to go to their respective destinations around the Kali temple located in the middle of the bus market. Some Tibetan families also live on the small hill just behind the Kali temple and are engaged in shopkeeping and other businesses here. On the way to school, lovely children smile at the tourists. Seeing them, it seems as if a smile is always scattered on their face.