HATU PEAK HIKE – An Offbeat Location Near Shimla

Hatu peak is one of those hikes in the Himalayas which might seem like any other ordinary destination, but it indeed has the potential to turn your weekend into a magical and memorable one.

Hatu peak is the second highest peak in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh and it is only an overnight journey away from Delhi via road.

It is located at an elevation of 3400 m (11,152 ft) above sea level. The peak is surrounded by dense forest of conifers, oaks and maples.

If you are looking for a place that is nearest to you, specially if you stay in and around North Indian cities like Delhi or Chandigarh, and where you can definitely experience snow in the winters, then Hatu peak is the place to be.

How to reach Hatu Peak?

Hatu peak lies in a small hill station called Narkanda, it is on the Shimla-Rampur Highway, around 71km from Shimla and nearly 408 km from Delhi.

To reach Narkanda you can board a bus from Shimla to Rampur for around Rs.40 and it will take you 2-3 hours to reach there.

You can also hire a taxi from Shimla to Narkanda for around Rs.800 – 1000.

However to reach Shimla you can opt for the below option:

How to reach Shimla by Bus

For Shimla you can take an overnight bus from Kashmiri gate bus stand which will drop you at Shimla early in the morning, from there you can book a cab or take a local bus to Narkanda.

There are numerous bus services available from Chandigarh – Shimla, Manali -Shimla on a daily basis too.

How to reach Shimla by Air

Shimla has a small airstrip located on a nearby hill top (in Jubbarhatti, about 23km south of town). This airstrip is too small to support jets, so the only service available is from Jagson Airlines which offers single flight service into Shimla from Delhi on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There is no air service by other regional airlines at this time. The next nearest airport is Chandigarh. Chandigarh is about 4 hours by taxi from Shimla.

How to reach Shimla by Train

A narrow gauge “toy” train service runs from Kalka to Shimla. The train takes about 4 hours to wind up the ridges to the hill station, and has a fantastic scenery along the way. The train service will cost anywhere from 19 rupees to 280 rupees, depending on the train and class of service used.

How to reach Shimla in your own vehicle

You can take your own vehicle to cover this distance between Delhi to Narkanda, the roads are in good condition to drive/ride.

Hatu peak is nearly 8 km away from the Narkanda, from here you can either trek for 8km or go by bike or car.

View from Hatu Peak

When to travel to Hatu Peak ?

Best thing regarding this place is that, it is accessible throughout the year. For a warm and pleasant weather, you should visit this place in summer.

If you want to experience some snow and snowfall, winter is the best time to be here, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Things to carry

As it is a short hike, you just need to carry a few snacks like fruits, chips , chocolates and biscuits and two water bottles per person and you will be all set.

I would advice everyone to carry their own snacks and water as there are no provisions for it on the peak or either on the way.

Proper gears and clothing should be worn according to the weather like woolens and heavy jackets during winter (snow) season , accompanied with woolens caps, thermal inner, sunglasses and hiking shoes. Raincoat and a thin woolen with proper rainproof hiking shoes in monsoon. In summer, carry at least a windcheater as it would be quite windy and mountain air is always a bit chilly, for summers you can wear any kind of sports or hiking shoes.

If you are looking for more options for some really amazing Himalayan Treks, check out these Top 10 Treks in the Himalayas, that should be there on your bucket list.

Also, if you are planning for a trek for the first time, do checkout Five Steps to Plan a Trek in the Himalayas and be fully prepared.

 

Main Attractions

Hatu Mata Temple

At the top of the peak is a small wooden temple called Hatu temple. According to local belief the famous Hatu Mata temple is the temple of Maa Kaali. People come in great number on the first Sunday of Jyestha to pay ritual here. There is an ancient stove like formation of rocks nearby the temple. Locals believe that it was used by the Pandavas brothers to cook their food during their Agyaat Vaas.

Hatu Mata Temple

Scenic views

The peak is surrounded by dense lush forests. From the top you can have a 360 degree view of the whole valley, Shivalik Hills and even some major mountain ranges like Shrikhand Mahadev, Deo Tibba, Kinnaur Kailash, Nandi Devi. All along the trek you won’t have a single moment to blink your eyes or you will miss those majestic views and the view from the top is just breathtaking, an ethereal beauty indeed.

Views on the way to Hatu Peak

My Experience

This is the story of my first snowfall ever. It happened when I was on my way to the Spiti valley, we decided to stay in Narkanda for the night and trek to Hatu peak in the morning.

The road to the peak was thrilling with sharp turns and covered in greenery. Half way through the peak there is a lake which is completely frozen in winters and is used for skiing. 2 kms before the peak we started to see the traces of snow and I was so excited to experience my first natural snow. The view from the top was out of this world, at least for me it was something out of my wildest dreams. I could see snow covered mountain ranges in a distance, I could see the deep green valleys covered with the patches of snow. The Hatu temple was a small and peaceful one and had artfully coloured walls, which in itself was a beauty to behold.

And just as I thought that the day couldn’t get any better, just as we were about to head back, the sky was covered with dark grey clouds and voila, within a few seconds I was in awe of that place. Out of nowhere I felt a snowflake on my cheek and I had the widest smile on my face as I realized that I was experiencing what I had hoped to see since my childhood, I was experiencing my first snowfall. I opened my mouth and tried to catch as many snowflakes as possible.

I was a happy child that day, a child who had dreams, a child who had opened her eyes for the very first time and was having a look at this wonderful world in a completely different way. 

Way to Hatu Peak
Hatu Lake: Located midway to the Hike
View from the top

Where to Stay in Narkanda?

Hatu Peak is uninhabited and therefore few facilities are available at the top. There is a tourist lodge by HPTC 1 km below the peak which can be used for general facilities and accommodation.

Hotel Mount View Narkanda

The best budget friendly place for travelers to live in Narkanda with amazing views and great food is this hotel. It is in the heart of the city, so you won’t have to book another cab or bus to reach here. I always stay at this place, so I can vouch for it.

INR: 1-2k for a room per day excluding food

View from Hotel Mount View

Echor-Narkanda, Sara Hotel, Pines and Peaks Hotel etc. are many other hotels in this area ranging from INR 1-5k.

 

Places to explore near Hatu Peak

Skiing in Narkanda

Perched at an altitude of 8100 ft, the slopes of the hill town are perfect for the skills of beginners as well as
experienced skiers. Hatu Peak near Narkanda towering at 2000 ft is one of the most popular ski slopes in the area. Easy access and fewer people as compared to other ski destinations, Narkanda boasts of safe and the most thrilling ski experience.

Tannu Jubbar Lake

This lake encircled with trees all around is an ideal picnic spot and to spend some relaxed time with the
mountain watching over.

Lavi Mela

The Annual International Fair in Rampur, is held around Oct-Nov every year. Lavi fair is the largest trading event in
the north Himalayas attracting traders from Kashmir, Ladakh, Yarkand, and the Indian mainland.

In a nutshell, Hatu Peak  is a perfect place for a weekend getaway, if you want to enjoy pleasant weather and greenery, and the best time to travel to Hatu Peak is in summer (March-Sept) and if you want to experience snow visit this place in winters (Nov-Feb).

If you wish to stay a little longer and extend your trip, then there are many more amazing places around it to explore.

I have tried to cover all the aspects related to this hike. If you have anything else to ask or share, kindly drop your valuable feedback in the comment section.

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14 Replies to “HATU PEAK HIKE – An Offbeat Location Near Shimla”

  1. Simply explained.loved it.
    And your first snowfall experience remind me my first snowfall when I was child, because the same happens to me also.😊❤️

    1. This is immensely descriptive. Loved the way it’s composed with every minute detailing. No need to have a second thought or refer anything else. It’s a one stop solution for visiting Hatu !!

      Keep writing more such contents !

  2. Beautifully written heartwarming article. It has all the relevant information required for the travel and also has that additional personal magical touchwhich tugs at the heart strings. Would love to more of these articles, please keep them coming!!!

  3. I wasn’t very far from Hatu Peak this year in January and Google did show me this place to visit near Kotgarh where I was staying.
    I hope next time I will take a trek to this beautiful place.

  4. I read a lot about Hatu Peak but this one is the best among them in terms of proper description, highlights, information and good photos. I ll surely check this when ll make a plan for shimla.

  5. These photos have just made me cry! They’re so beautiful and seem to be so distant because of this pandemic! Can’t wait to come back to normal and travel more! And thanks for sharing detailed information on this trek.

  6. Thanks for sharing such a detailed article on Hatu Peak. You captured all the details in such an easy to follow manner. Loved reading about your first snowfall experience. It’s an amazing feeling to see snow fall fresh and the crispiness of the air.

  7. Shivani first of all you are an amazing photographer. Your photos prompted me to travel to this place, moreover, I want to witness the snowfall. And this place feels great for the first experience.

  8. Loved your post! Hadn’t heard of Hatu mountain earlier. Whenever I visit Shimla, I will surely take my kids for this hike. We have done several Uttarakhand treks. This one will be fun, I am sure.

  9. I’ve driven up to the peak, but the hike is yet to be done. On a clear day, one can see mountains as far off as Uttarakhand and I find that just truly spectacular about Hatu! You’ve compiled quite a detailed guide here – thanks so much for the effort, will surely come handy when I decide to make the hike!

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