In this fast running world we rarely get a chance to experience real beauty or discover ourselves. Specially people who reside in Metros like Delhi. We are so engrossed in our jobs that we don’t even have a moment to reflect.
Thank the gods we live a driving distance from the mountains.
In order to detox, us four friends left for a trip to Narkand’s Hatu Peak. Hatu peak is the second highest peak in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is located at an elevation of 3400 m above sea level. The peak is surrounded by dense forest of conifers, oaks and maples. It also has a great view of shiwalik hills from it’s top. It derives it’s name from a temple of godess Hatu mata..
We left Delhi on a Saturday after doing our regular shifts. Driving a 4 wheeler ride. We left Delhi at 7 pm for Chandigarh. I would advice you fill your tanks in Haryana as the fuel is cheaper. We stopped at Amrik Sukhdev for a Paratha Dinner. After having a hearty dinner and tea we were back on the road at 11 pm. Driving on the Grand trunk road through Panipat, Karnal, Kurukshetra and Ambala. We reached Chandigarh the city beautiful at 1.30 am. We took a hotel at Sector 14 and rested for the night. Chandigarh is a calm tier 2 city with lots of greenery and helpful people. We had our lunch at Uncle Jack’s in Sector 35. After having our Ride checked up, We left at 6.30 pm for Shimla.
Late July brings with it lots of rain. Rain brings Fog and landslides in the hills. The road to Shimla was treacherous and bumpy. We stopped at the foothills for a couple for beers and chicken wings at a bar. Alcohol is expensive in the hills, even more than the Mrp. Be prepared. We stopped at a highway hotel to straighten our backs and get freshened up. One of our friends had one too many and we were enjoying his idiosyncrasies.
There was a lot of traffic on the road and we reached Shimla at 2 am in the night. After looking for Hotels on Airbnb we found one at Kachi Ghatti. It was a real cozy one and we retired for the night. We left for Kufri at 12 noon after having tea. We stopped on the outskirts of Shimla to have local momos from a street vendor and clicked some photos of the valley.
At 3 pm we reached at Kufri. Kufri is a small hill station. It is located 20 km from Shimla on the National Highway 22. The name Kufri is derived from the word kufr meaning “lake” in the local language. Kufri was foggy and has a lot of adventure activities. We had our lunch of Rajma Chawal and Tea-Cream Roll. Kufri is really beautiful.
We kept going ahead and reached Narkand at 4.30 pm. We drove into the forest through conifers and alpines till we reached the turning point for Hatu peak. The road to hatu is a single one with no space for mistakes or another vehicle. The gradient is very high. Vehicles roar while climbing it. Shut off your ACs and keep it in low gears.
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We stopped at A Gujjar Dera to answer Nature’s calls and have local tea with jaggery. From here we hiked 3 kms to the top. It took us 1 hour to reach the temple. It was freakish cold and windy. Bring your jackets. We took a lot of photos and hiked back to our ride. It was dark by then and we were probably the only humans on the Hill. It was scary knowing there are predators like Bears in the forest. Upon exchanging salutations with the Gujjar family we left for our Hotel.
We found a small eatery in the Narkanda market and had Thukpas, momos.
In the morning luck didn’t pay heed to us as there was lot of Fog and we couldn’t view the Sunrise.
We left Narkand for Delhi. It took us 12 hours to reach back. It was one of the most memorable trip of our lives.
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