Located at about 65 km distance from Shimla, is a destination called Hatu Peak, also famous as the highest peak in the Shimla region. The famous Hatu Mata Temple of the Narkanda region is believed to be a temple of Ravana’s wife as per the local belief of the Narkanda Tribe.
Situated at 8 km from Narkanda is the famous Hatu peak. There also resides the famous hill top temple, popularly known as the Hatu Peak temple, which is a steep ascent to reach the heavily abode. And, by heavenly we mean, both the temple and the full display of clear Himalayan range on a beautiful morning.
It is enticing to go trekking here, which would take you few hours, but there are other facilities like a local trained driver available here to reach to the top. Even inside the car, the journey can get tough because the roads are both narrow and steep. Imagine, if there are a car uphill and downhill together. Only the trained local (mountain drivers) can efficiently negotiate the way.
Hatu Peak is at a height of 3400 meters (12000 feet) above the sea level. The height of Narkanda is 2710 meters. After you reach the Narkanda base camp you have around 7 km to trek. It is a journey full of nature and a superb view of pine and spruce trees, the deodar woods, mountain views, and the green vegetation spreads. While trekking, you are on your own to the top. It is a road-less journey in between too. A complete nature trail of 3-4 hours (one way) for adventure seekers. An early morning tour is a thing to do. Since it is one of the highest motorable peaks in the region, you can even take a bike or a car.
The thrilling moment is from the top at Hatu Peak viewpoint when you get a panoramic view of the Shrikhand Mahadev peaks from here.
Once you reach the peak, especially in the early morning, there is only a spectacular view of the complete Himalayan range to greet you. If you look deeper, you will feel the spell of thick forests, green fields, and apple orchards from the top now. There are bare mountains on one side, dawning upon us their majesty, and on the other hand, there are tall deodar trees adding to the picturesque beauty of the whole mountain décor surrounding you all around.
Even when you are driving to reach the hill top, you will instantly notice the variety of landscape and enjoy the experience, as your car wades through the steep ascent and sharp turns. The scenery will leave you spellbound.
Hatu Mata Temple is a lovely wooden temple and very pleasant to look at. It is a place to be for as you seek to bless, there are abundant natural beauty and scenic delights around you. There is a place to sit and soak in fresh air from unspoiled nature.
Hatu Mata is revered as the Devi of Narkanda region and the local tribes belonging to the place, believe it to be the mandir of Mandodari, the wife of Ravana. The locals pay tribute here on the first Sunday of June to fulfill their mano Kamna, so it is also known as Manokamnapurn Mata.
Legend has it the Pandava brothers cooked food here during their agyaat vaas. The architecture is adorned with wood carvings depicting scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata like a scene depicting Bharat Milap from Ramayana.
Another legend is that the stone image inside the temple is that of Draupadi as this is the spot where she died. It was a temple built at a place where Draupadi fell and died after Pandavas decided to trek the hills to end their lives. Draupadi and the Pandavas are said to have meditated at Hatu Peak seeking freedom from the cycle of life and death.