A solo trek was always on my mind and this time I got a chance to experience one. Hatu peak, a short 1-day trek begins from Narkanda, a town in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Hatu peak is the highest point in Narkanda region.
I started my journey from Chandigarh on 27.01.2018 at 7.00 AM. I boarded a normal HRTC Bus from sector 43 ISBT for Shimla as there was no HRTC direct bus to Narkanda. I reached Shimla at 11:45 AM. I then boarded a bus from Shimla to Narkanda. The traveling distance is 65 km from Shimla. I would have reached by 3:15 PM but due to huge traffic snarls caused because of a large chunk of tourists visiting Shimla it took me an additional 2 hours to reach Narkanda. If you are coming from Delhi there are regular buses to Shimla from Delhi too.
After reaching Narkanda I went to HPPWD rest house which I had booked earlier. The rest house is just near the point where the bus drops you at Narkanda. As I hadn’t eaten much and was quite peckish I visited the local market, had my dinner and then rested for the day so as to start fresh for the trek the next morning.
I started my trek at 8:00 AM in the morning. The trek has a motorable road till Hatu Temple but as it had snowed a few days back the last 4 km of the road was full of snow. After a walk of about 4 kms, I found the camps on the way along with an eatery which also provides you rubber boots as the trek from here was all snowy. I encountered my first milestone then indicating that Hatu temple is 3 km away. The track had thick snow and it was slippery at some points too which made the walk more thrilling. The views from here were mesmerizing ranging from undulating snow-capped mountain peaks, tall pine spruce forests & beautiful meadows. I encountered the second milestone 1 km before the summit.
I reached Hatu Peak at 10:10 AM. The walk was truly bliss and it was quite easy and beginners can do it in 2 to 3 hours. However, it totally depends upon on your stamina and endurance how much time will you take to reach the peak. The Hatu Temple at the summit is beautiful and you are left awe-struck by the craftsmanship & its magnificence. According to local belief, the Hatu temple is the temple of ‘Mandodari’ wife of ‘Ravana’.
The temple was covered in pure white snow all around. The view at the peak was spectacular. Sights of blue sky, snow-capped mountain peaks, valleys & folds took my breath away.
Peaks visible from here include Dibibokri, Nagtibba, Churdhar etc. It was so peaceful, away from the fast moving life of the city. I spent about 2 hours at the Hatu peak and then started my descent.
It took me 1.5 hours to make the downhill climb. I took some falls too. I reached the town center at about 1:30 PM. I then boarded the bus to Shimla and reach there at about 4:00 PM. After having some snacks at the bus terminus I then boarded the bus to my home, Chandigarh. I reached Chandigarh by 9:00 PM and rested. Looking back, it was a great weekend break. I enjoyed it completely.
The trek cost came out to Rs. 1185. Now that is something you call traveling on a budget !!!