Hatkoti, Shimla Overview

105 Kilometres east of Shimla lies the quaint village of Parhaat. Near this village and on the banks of the babbling river Pabar is the stunning valley of Hatkoti. This valley of stone temples is as preternatural and peculiar as it is ancient. Hatkoti has always been a place that brings together several individuals and tourists due to its unique architecture and religious importance. The valley lies in the Jubbal Tehsil and provides some of the best views as it is set against the colossal Himalayan Ranges. The Hatkoti Valley is mainly visited by the locals as a day trip from Shimla and is a popular pilgrimage spot, religious symbol as well as a sanctuary for those wishing to make themselves one with nature.

Near Hatkoti, the river Pabar is joined by two tributaries called the Bishkuti and Raanvti. This joining of the three rivers and formation of a junction along with the presence of the stone temples themselves makes several individuals visit this place as part of a pilgrimage worshipping the various gods who have temples dedicated here. Furthermore, the locals believe that the river Bishkuti is poisoned due to its pale grey colour, adding to the myth and marvel of the Hatkoti Valley. The mountain ranges along with the lush green grassy slopes and the dense forests that outline the area are vastly appreciated and well worth the travel. 

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Hateshwari Hatkoti Temple

The main temple in the valley of Hatkoti lies at a point that provides a stunning view of the nearby area as well as the other temples that dot the serene valley. The Hateshwari temple is solely dedicated to the Goddess Durga whereas the smaller temple right next to it worships the God Shiva. Aside from the obvious religious reasons and the expanse of land, many individuals also pay a visit to this temple due to its unique architecture that strongly resembles that of the Gupta period (6th and 9th Century AD).

The main idol of Goddess Durga depicts Mahishasuramardini (also called Mata Hateshwari), an aspect of herself. The idol itself stands at a height of 1.2 metres and is made of a fusion of eight metals. This idol emits a warm bronze glow that lights up the dark and gloomy nooks of the rest of the temple while also giving it an eerie atmosphere. On either side of this idol also lies paintings and pictures of the Brahmi Script, which has not been deciphered by anyone to date. Another peculiar aspect of the main temple is the fact that the Shivalinga placed inside the temple seems to be miraculously wider than the doorway itself. Aside from this, the temple is also equipped with a Dharamshala, a Kritan Ghar or Prayer Hall and a rest house.

Hatkoti Temple

Places to Visit in Hatkoti

Besides the temple, there are several attractions one can visit in this valley of wonders called Hatkoti. Although most temples are in the area are weathered and destroyed due to age and natural factors, they seem to just add to the charm of the surroundings in a contrasting yet complementary way. The Hills of Sunpuri are considered sacred by many individuals and sects due to the presence of another temple of Durga as well as the rest of the temples which are believed to be built by the Pandavas. The Pandavas are a legend and a considerable part of Hindu mythology. These temples of stone were said to be made by these very legends as toy houses and are said to have been a pivotal part of the epics of Mahabharata. Other legends say that many of these temples erupted as a result of the fight against gods and demons which took place at Hatkoti itself.

Visiting in the winter can also prove to be a delight as the nearby region of Kharapathar is a famous skiing spot of Shimla. The Giri Ganga located a few kilometres from Khara Patthar is also considered a sacred site that many think of as an important part of pilgrimages.

Fairs and Festivals in Hatkoti

The valley of Hatkoti celebrates two prominent periods during which fairs are put up, and the entire valley seems to come alive with prayers resonating through the temple walls, lights strewn around and a merry atmosphere. These fairs are held during the Chaitra Navratra in April and the Asvin Navratra in October. Devotees from all over the country worship the deities at Hatkoti during this period and offer various goods for blessings. If an individual worships Goddess Durgas form of Shakti, they sacrifice either a goat or sheep whereas Vaishnavi followers offer flowers of the sweet dish called Halwa. Offerings such as Walnuts and Parched Rice are also widely accepted. The entire atmosphere of the valley during the fair is one of complete serenity and devotion and is something that individuals must visit given a chance.

How To Reach Hatkoti

There are two ways to reach the Hatkoti Valley. One can reach the valley through the Dehradun- Hatkoti route which is preferred by many. Another way to reach Hatkoti is through the Shimla- Hatkoti motor road.

Shimla is at a distance of 105 kilometres from Hatkoti Valley.

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