Narkanda near Shimla Himachal Pradesh India
Narkanda is situated at an attitude of 2708 meters (Approx. 8100 feet) on the Indian – Tibet road in National Highway 22. Narkanda offers a spectacular view of snow ranges.
It is about 65 km from Shimla and surrounded by the Shivalik Ranges that span a large part of Himachal Pradesh. It is slightly higher than Shimla (7,400 feet) and the road linking the two runs almost near the crest of the mountain with a gradual ascent. One is constantly treated to a bird’s-eye view of the different valleys as the road twists and turns from one spur to another. Especially breathtaking is the view of Narkanda from Fagu, a small village enroute.
Narkanda – The Apple Country
Narkanda connects Shimla with Rampur and a detour also goes to Thanedhar, the prime apple belt of Himachal Pradesh where Satyananda Stokes started the apple culture. Satyanand Stokes brought the apple to this place and helped strengthen the economy of this area. Today Rs 3,000 Crore direct and indirect income is generated through apple production. Presently the Apple growers are shifting to bring their farm under cherry cultivation to fetch fast money in their pocket as holdings are marginalised due to population factor. The grandson of Mr. Stokes is experimenting to develop new variety of apple for better production.
As the altitude of Narkanda is more than that of Shimla this place becomes colder at night and the temperatures are also low during the daytime as compared to Shimla. Heavy woolens are recommended in the winter season and light woolens will do in the summer months.
Tourist Attractions in Narkanda
What gives Narkanda its awe-inspiring view of the snowy peaks is the fact that it is located on the ridge of the last watershed before the Himalayan range. Below Narkanda, to the north is the Sutlej Valley and beyond it is the snowy massif. The ridge on which Narkanda stands is the watershed between the Sutlej on the north and the Giri river.
One of the greatest attractions for tourists at Narkanda is Skiing & Winter sports, and imagine doing it at such an altitude, that too with such close proximity to the backdrop of Mighty Himalayas. During these days the slopes come alive with skiers. The skiing at Narkanda was started in 1980 and since then HPTDC is conducting skiing courses every year. This is a major and highly memorable attraction for tourists.
Places of Interest around Narkanda
Hatu Peak at 3300 Meters
8 km from Narkanda, the road is surrounded by pine and spruce trees. On top of the hill, ancient Hatu Mata temple is located. The peaks offers spectacular view of the entire Himalayan ranges, snow clad mountains and in depths are the dense forests, green fields and apple orchards. Hiking is recommended to reach the peak.
Kacheri at 1810 Meters
This place is located 0.5 km from Oddi, and 7 km from Narkanda on National Highway – 22 and famous for ancient Mahamaya Temple.
Kotgarh and Thanedar at 1830 Meters
17 kilometers. The link road bifurcating from Narkanda takes you to the Himachal’s Horticultural heartland, Kotgarh and Thanedhar, renown for apple orchards. The famous Stokes Farm is located at Thanedhar. Stokes came to India on a trip and while on a summer visit to Shimla, fell in love with its environments, which included the charming hill folk and settled down in Kotgarh. He started the apple farm which soon became renown with its Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Royal Delicious apples.
Jallori Pass at 3550 Meters
90 kilometers 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.
Kotkhai, Hatkoti, Rohru and Jubbal
Hatkoti in the picturesque valley of the river pabbar, about 104 kilometers from Shimla, is noted for its historic temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. Enroute to Hatkoti is the village of Kotkhai, splendidly located among apple orchards- a village with fine traditional architecture. Jubbal, once the capital of a princely state with its impressive palace is also on the way.
Hatkoti in the picturesque valley of the river pabbar, about 104 kilometers from Shimla, is noted for its historic temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. On the way to Hatkoti is the village of Kotkhai, splendidly located among apple orchards- a village with fine traditional architecture. Jubbal, once the capital of a princely state with its impressive palace is also on the way.