Winters in Himachal Pradesh- Places to visit near Shimla
All my travel stories start with Bollywood imaginations. I have been dreaming of singing and dancing around the tall pine trees, with snow-capped mountains in the background, horse-ride, carpet of pure green grass with dewdrops, an ancient temple with regional music playing in the background. It was just so perfect setting for real. I was looking for places to visit near Shimla, yes! Beyond Shimla and Manali.
Every sip of my cuppa was cherished a little more than usual in those misty mornings, chirping birds, watching sun rays passing through tall pine trees, magnificent Himalayan range and a slow pace life routine of the local people in that 3 degrees temperature. I was in Himachal Pradesh, Naldera, Narkanda and Tattapani to be precise, just a few kilometres away from Shimla.
Shimla has got all the vibes for a perfect holiday in all seasons but winters are exceptionally beautiful. The whole of Shimla is adorned with star-studded Christmas Trees, colourful lighting and tourists from all over the world in their vibrant winter clothing making the whole atmosphere even more effervescent. It was so difficult to take out our hands from layers of clothing but we couldn’t have asked for more.
Little away from Shimla-Narkanda, Naldera and Tattapani
Almost every alternate year we go to Shimla but this year we decided to visit places nearby keeping base as Shimla. The best options were Naldera, Narkanda and Tattapani.
NARKANDA- the land of snow, skiing and apples
Every hill station has its charm in all seasons, but winter is my favourite one. Driving through steep twists and turns, look for a mesmerising view of snow-clad mountains. Step farming with snow all over, villagers in their local attire heading towards or coming back from work, kids in their winter school uniform with literally rosy and chubby cheeks with their backpacks going to school, local Himachali women out for shopping their daily needs has an altogether a different feel. The streets are full of small kiosks of green and red apples, cherries, Jams and juices from the locally grown fruits.
Just about 60 km away and 2 hours’ drive from Shimla, is Narkanda. It is famous for Hatu Peak and is slowly gaining popularity for its winters sports activities more specifically for Skiing. One needs to trek for an hour to reach Hatu peak which unfortunately was closed when we visited due to heavy snowfall in the previous week. But this didn’t deter our spirits as we made the best of winter sports in knee-deep snow. The winter sports activities were introduced by the Himachal Government in 1980 and they conduct Skiing courses too. The equipment like snow boots, ski, waterproof jackets and lowers etc. are available on hire with service providers at a nominal cost.
The temperature here goes from 15 to -10 degrees so it is advisable to carry loads of woollens.