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Narkanda Tourism And Travel Guide
11.7° C / 53° F
April to June
2 to 3 Days
Jubarhatti Airport (155 kms)
Shimla Railway Station (76 kms)
Set amidst the Shivalik range of the Himalayas, on the Hindustan-Tibet Road is Narkanda, a small hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by coniferous forests and a ton of exotic birds and animals, this spot is a paradise for anyone who wants to be close to nature. Tourism in Narkanda is pretty popular, due to the hilltop overflowing with scenic sites, vibrant apple orchards, beautiful lakes and a lot more.
Narkanda is situated at a high altitude and therefore does not have a direct airport; however, you can take a flight to adjacent cities and drive up to this scenic beauty. Alternatively, you can also travel by train and by road to enjoy the natural charm of the town. The weather in the summers are pleasant and it is the best time to visit, but, monsoons and winters are the off season time, with the climate being quite chilly. Travelers can engage in a number of activities and go to various places for sightseeing. You can trek to the Hatu peak to get a glimpse of the lovely view, visit one of the many famous temples located on high altitudes of Narkanda, or even take a stroll in the vibrant apple farms. Skim through our travel guide to Narkanda to get a glance of this serene hillock.
How to Reach
Jubbarhatti Airport in Shimla is the closest airport to Narkanda, located at a distance of 155 km. Alternatively; you can also fly in from the Chandigarh Airport which has more connectivity to other cities and states in the country than the one in Shimla. Major flight carriers function from both these airports, but flights at Chandigarh airport have more frequency.
Add a different charm to your experience, by going on a road trip. Pass by each city and absorb the culture of each region and be mesmerized by the gorgeous views that the road to Narkanda offers. You can take the Delhi-Chandigarh highway, eventually driving towards Shimla and then Narkanda. You can also take busses from major cities in the north and make your trip budget friendly.
The Shimla Railway station is 76 km from Narkanda and is the closest railway station. You can also buy a ticket to the Kalka Railway Station which is 125 km from Narkanda and then hop on the Kalka-Shimla toy train, which is an amazing experience to have. On the way, you can see lush green meadows, green pine trees and bridges crossing clear valleys.
Local transportation in Narkanda is easy to get. Cabs can be easily hired to go sightseeing or you can take busses that are facilitated by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, to move from one spot to another. Though the cab is more comfortable, bus tickets are cheaper and fit the budget.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summers in Narkanda are warm, but also pleasant at the same time. Temperatures range from 30°C in the daytime to 15°C in the night, making it quite cool. In summers, you can witness and appreciate the beauty of nature in Narkanda, due to the landscapes being filled with colourful flowers and the skies being so clear and blue.
The monsoon season in Narkanda that extends from July to September, starts with a light drizzle and then sees heavy rains. The temperature during this time ranges from 10°C-15°C depending on the amount of rain. Although this season is great for scenic views, there are chances of landslides due to wet grounds and visitors must take extra precaution.
Winters in Narkanda are the longest season and if you are into winter sports, it is one of the best times to visit. Temperatures go to an average high of 8°C-10°C and drastically drop down to -5°C to -10°C in the night time and during the peak winter days. Skiing is the prime sport that is enjoyed by people during this season as the slopes offer a smooth spot filled with snow to ski on.
Things to Do
Visit Old Temples:
Narkanda is famous for its temples and millions of devotees every year visit them to offer their prayers and attain blessings. The Mahamaya Temple at Kacheri, which is 10 km away from Narkanda and is a beautiful temple dedicated to Kali Mata. A visit to The Arya Samaj Mandir and the famous Hatu Temple, located at the Hatu peak will aid to your spiritual journey.
Winters in Narkanda are the most appropriate time for skiers to visit the town. The slopes of this town in winters are quite smooth and act as a great surface for skiing. Trek all the way from Narkanda to the Hatu peak and find skiing spots to practice your skills. You can also find equipment at the base before you start the hike.
Stay at Meena Bagh Ratnari:
Narkanda is most famous for apple orchards and cherry and peach plantations. Visiting an apple orchard while in Narkanda is a must do. Stay at the Meena Bagh Ratnari resort where visitors have the pleasure of staying amidst beautiful orchards and valleys. You can spot these picturesque views right from your wooden cabin; an experience that will always be etched in your memory.
Trek to Hatu Peak:
Gear up for an awesome trek to Hatu Peak, which is located at an altitude of 3400 m. Start your journey from Narkanda, which is the base for this trek and hike all the way up to Hatu Peak to get a view of the most magnificent snow capped mountains, thick green meadows and flowers that have just bloomed. Don’t forget to click pictures of exotic birds on the way and the view from the heighted top.
Narkanda offers its visitors clear skies and fresh air, which is highly rejuvenating. You can go off on a camp to Jor Bagh to gaze at the stars in the night sky, while watching the majestic tall mountains all around. Roast dinner on an open fire, share some stories around a bonfire and get lost in the starry night sky that twinkles from any corner you see.
Local food in Narkanda comprises of North Indian, Chinese and Tibetan food, which is very similar to food sold in other parts of Himachal Pradesh. Local Dhabas sell various food items like chole kulcha, parathas, samosas, shahi paneer and many more delicious dishes. The food here will suit palates of all kinds, therefore making visitors more comfortable and making their stay memorable. Some of the local cuisines here are Aktori, which is a pancake that is made during festivals, Madra made from chickpea and vegetables and Chha Gosht, a spicy lamb preparation that will melt in your mouth as soon as you eat it.
Frequently visited by shopping enthusiasts is the local market of Narkanda. This place not only sells some amazing handmade items, but also offers visitors an opportunity to take a glance at the culture and life of the locals living in the Narkanda. You can buy various items like Pattoo blankets, handmade shawls, caps, woolen footwear, carpets and rugs and other items that you can also take back as souvenirs. These are all handmade items that have their own charm and by buying them, you are supporting the local community.