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Hatkoti, a magnificent religious and tourist place

Hatkoti temple          FULL VIEW OF HATKOTI TEMPLE FROM OUTSIDE

Hill stations have their own charm but the beauty of these hill stations is not restricted only to its area but lies way beyond it. We do not venture beyond a point where the true beauty of the hills or the mountains lies. This is the area where nature’s beauty is at its best.

Now we are going to tell you about one such place called Hatkoti, which is very less known outside the state of Himachal. Hatkoti is a small village which lies in Jubbal tehsil. It is located in a valley near the Pabbar River on the Shimla – Rohru National highway somewhat 104 km from Shimla town.

Hatkoti temple                        INSIDE VIEW OF HATKOTI TEMPLE

It has a very beautiful temple of goddess Hateshwari (Ma Durga). The idol of the goddess is 1.2 meters high and is so fascinating that it is difficult to take your eyes off. It is believed that the expressions of the idol changes from serene and smiling to that of anger and rage from time to time.

There is no written evidence as to when and by whom the temple was built but it is assumed that it was build during the Gupta period, as three Rock Edicts of Gupta Age have been found here at three different places.

The temple has a big compound which is rectangular in shape and at the center is the shrine of the goddess Durga. There is also a shrine of Lord Shiva close to the main temple, which has a beautiful Shivlinga all covered with a swarm of bees. These bees do not sting humans as if they are accustomed to human presence in the shrine. The temple is very old but well maintained and impressive. Once you enter this temple it has a very soothing effect on the nerves.

Five Pandavas temples  PANDAVAS’ FIVE SMALL TEMPLES INSIDE THE HATKOTI TEMPLE    

In the periphery of the compound are five small temples of Pandavas, known as ‘Deols’ Which are made of stones and are located in a row in decreasing sizes. These temples look quaint and fascinating due to their unique architecture. There is a Yagya shala, Satsang Bhawan and a Dharamshala inside the temple compound.

The temple compound is surrounded by a twelve feet high wall on three sides and a main entrance towards the east. At the entrance two lions, one on either side are placed, which are considered as goddess Durga’s companion and vehicle. There is one rest house and a hotel nearby where you can stay. The place is very nice and quiet and is perfect for an outing away from the hustle and bustle of cities.

One very interesting thing about the temple is that it has one very big metal pot (Charu) tied to the shrine of goddess Durga and is kept just outside the main shrine. It is said that two metal pots came down the river Pabbar but only one was caught and placed in the temple premises. This has a very interesting story as follows.

Story of metal pots

Long back in the village  temple of Hatkoti, one night the priest had a dream  of Goddess, who told him that soon a big metal pot (Charu) will come flowing down the Pabbar River and asked him to catch hold of this metal pot and place it in the temple premise, as it is a symbol of good luck and would be very auspicious for the whole community.

As told by the goddess, the priest and his colleagues started keeping an eye on the river Pabbar. One day, they saw a big metal pot coming down on the river tides and sensing that this could be the metal pot which the Goddess had asked to catch, they all jumped into the river to grab the metal pot, the only problem was the bad weather which had brought torrential rains and a huge surge in the river water.

They tried to catch the pot which struggled hard to get away from them, but somehow they managed to catch it. And when it was finally caught, it pleaded to let it go. The pot told them that it was not the one which they were supposed to catch, as it would bring only destruction and misery to them. The pot which they were looking for was just about to appear in the river and that they should prepare themselves to catch that pot. It would be very fortunate for all and would bring prosperity. It also warned them that now if they fail to catch that pot, they all would be ruined.

After listening to the metal pot, the priest and his colleagues released the pot and started waiting for the other one to appear. As predicted by the first metal pot, the second one appeared and all the temple folks jumped into the river to get hold of it. This pot too tried to get away and when caught, appealed to get a release, but they did not let it slip away.

They brought the metal pot to the temple and placed it there. But after that whenever there was a surge in the Pabbar River, they found the metal pot drifting away towards the river Pabbar. They started fearing that one day this metal pot will eventually run away into the river.

The priest prayed to the goddess and asked for her direction. The goddess again appeared in his dream and asked him to chain the metal pot and tie it by nailing its chain on the altar of her idol.

Thereafter, to this date the metal pot is kept chained in the temple. The priest was also told not to put anything in the metal pot and to keep it empty for a good fortune.

There is also a mysterious Shivlinga just near the temple close to the river Pabbar. This ling surfaced from the sand and since then has been worshiped by the local people.

So, this interesting lore goes this way, and excites the devotees to have a glimpse of that mysterious pot and the Shivlinga during their visit to the shrine. Hatkoti is a beautiful valley where at present a dam is being constructed on the river Pabbar.

Experiencing Narkanda’s Scenic Beauty

Enchanting view of loghuts, Narkanda                                    LOG HUTS AT NARKANDA

Hills have always been fascinating, a source of inspiration to millions. Shimla is one among them and is well known for its eternal beauty but as we move ahead of Shimla, the view gets more enchanting. The high deodar, spruce, fir and pine trees provide a spectacular view.
So, taking your journey uphill through the valley of Narkanda let us explore this beautiful town. Narkanda is famous for water sports, Skiing and its mesmerizing beauty. It is somewhat 65 km from Shimla, at a height of 2708 m on the Hindustan- Tibet national highway (NH-22).The Bus and taxi service is available from Shimla and the nearest airport is 88 km from Narkanda at Jabbarhati near Shimla.
The stay could be made adventurous if you choose to put-up at the log huts or tents maintained by the Himachal tourism rather than staying in hotels. You can book hotels and arrange for touts to visit local places of interest in Narkanda and around.
The Log huts are situated at a five minutes drive from Narkanda’s main market. These huts are built at the periphery of a dense forest. It provides an amazing view of the Himalayas facing it. These wooden huts are warm and cozy but if you are planning to stay for a few days then don’t forget to carry your coffee maker, some good board games and trekking shoes along with you.
The calm and serene environment with a breeze of freshness is more than enough to get you in the mood to trek through the adjoining forest area. Morning and evenings may be cold, so do carry some light woolens even in summers.

A view of Narkanda Valley which will take your breath away. Watching horizon in mountains always bring peace to the mind.                                          NARKANDA VALLEY

Winters can be spectacularly remarkable with snow clad surroundings but it can be troublesome, if you are not well equipped with heavy woolens and an experienced driver to keep you going on the snowy roads. Keep these things in your mind while starting out for Narkanda.

Beautiful trees and a lush green field in Narkanda Valley.A LUSH GREEN GROUND AND BEAUTIFUL TREES IN NARKANDA

Our stay at the log huts was incredible with just what we were looking for-nature at its best.

Next to our stay at log huts was Hatu peak in our list.

(To be continued)