Location: Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh
Climate: Generally pleasant all round the year though chilly in winters.
Places to See: Hatu Peak, Tani Jubbar Lake, Thanedar & more.
Best Time to Visit: December to March (for skiing), April to June (fruit season)
Situated at an altitude of 2,710 meters, Narkanda is a beautiful hill town on the Old Hindustan-Tibet Road (NH22) in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Narkanda is about 65 kms from Shimla, and it connects the state capital with Rampur and a bypass also goes to Thanedar – the prime apple belt of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by the Shivalik Range, Narkanda is a paradise for ski lovers in India. Its pleasant climate and striking locales attract tourists to unwind themselves and enjoy the nature’s bounty.
Climate in Narkanda
Narkanda is visited all round the year, thanks to its lovely weather. Summer generally prevails from April to June, and temperature hovers between 15°C and 30°C. This is the best time to see apple orchards in their full bloom. The months between July and September receive erratic rain showers, making the area a lot greener. Nights are cold throughout the year, though it’s freezing cold during winters. Here, winters which generally remain from October till March are chilly, with temperatures ranging between 10°C and -10°C. Narkanda receives a good amount of snowfall making it an ideal place for skiing and snow games.
The mesmerizing beauty of Narkanda never fails to impress anyone. It’s a place to relax and rejuvenate amidst nature. However, if you wish to explore the region, the first attraction that marks the list is Hatu Peak. Hatu Peak is claimed to be the highest peak in the region, about 5 kms from Narkanda. If you love to trek, then it’s a great trail that offers amazing views of the forests and the Shivaliks. On the hilltop, there is small wooden temple called Hatu Temple which is believed to be dedicated to Mandodari – the wife of Ravana. Hatu Peak and the hills around make the perfect resort for skiing in winters. And people from far and near come here to enjoy the sport.
Excursions from Narkanda
Tani Jubbar Lake is a beautiful picnic spot with a small placid lake encircled by forested mountains. It lies on the way to Kotgarh with a diversion of 1.5 kms. Kotgarh and Thanedar are two quaint towns, just 16 kms from National highway that takes you into the valley through Kumarsain, Rampur and Kinnaur, and towards the Indo-Tibetan border. Known as the apple bowl of India, Kotgarh is the prime region where apple cultivation was introduced by Satyanand Stokes. ‘Barubag’ is the ridge top, where Mr. Spokes preferred to settle down and started cultivation. Since then, the apple farming along with other fruits has grown leaps and bounds, and is a major contributor to the state’s economy. During summers, Kotgarh is speckled with apples all around and the orchards are a delight to observe. Another interesting place is the Mahamaya Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali, about 7 kms from Narkanda, in Kacheri. This temple is a nice place to meditate and views from here are exhilarating.
Accommodation – Hotels/Resorts in Narkanda
Narkanda is still far away from the bustling city life which is often seen in Shimla. People generally come here to seek peace and solace. If you’re also looking for solitude amidst nature’s bounty, Narkanda is the best place to relax. It has many hotels and resorts that cater to their guests with the best of their services and hospitality. Almost all the properties have their in-house restaurants where you can enjoy lip-smacking food while enjoying the picturesque views of Narkanda.
How to Reach Narkanda
The nearest airport to Narkanda is Shimla Airport at Jubarhatti. It is connected to Delhi via flights available on alternate days. It is about 82 kms and one can easily get cabs to reach Narkanda. The second nearest airport is Chandigarh International Airport which has good connectivity with major cities.
Shimla Railway Station is the closest railhead which is connected to Kalka (174km) with the toy train. Though Kalka is a major station and is linked with many big cities. If you have time, then you can take Shimla Toy Train, or else you can directly board buses or take taxis from Kalka to reach Narkanda.
Narkanda is well connected by road. The closest major bus terminal is located at Shimla, about 65 kms from Narkanda. The other major town is Kalka which is connected both by train and bus services at a distance of 145 kms approx. And the major bus terminal is at Chandigarh which is connected to all the major cities through regular bus services. It is approx. 175 kms from Narkanda via NH5. For a comfortable journey, you can hire taxis to reach Narkanda.