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Exploring Narkanda’s elegance and beauty

Hatu temple in Narkanda                                             HATU TEMPLE

Hatu peak is eight km from Narkanda’s market place. It has a beautiful ‘Hatu Mata Temple ‘on its peak, which is the highest peak in the area. As for the temple, it is awesome with breathtaking view from the mountain top. The view of the entire Himalayan range and the entire Narkanda Valley with apple orchards, green fields and lush green forests s can be seen from here. It is believed that the Pandavas stayed at this place during their fourteen years exile and a big rock which is believed to be “Bheem Ka Chullah” still exists here. The Pandavas used it to prepare their food.

The way to the temple is quiet steep, so avoid going to the temple in the evening as it gets dark very early and the road is very steep and narrow. Driving in the night is not advisable as the road is very narrow and it is very arduous to give pass to the coming vehicle and requires precision driving to maneuver your vehicle.

Coming back to the Hatu temple, it has magnificent carvings in its interior, as well as on the outer walls. It is an exquisite piece of work that has been renovated. The renovation is still in progress and has been so since nearly past ten years. The wood carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses are done with pure devotion and excellence.

Next in our list was “Kacheri” which is an amazing picnic spot. Kacheri (1810 m) is located some 7 Km from Narkanda on NH. 22. The road to Kacheri bifurcates from Oddi and is some 500m drive ahead into the green forest. The place is famous for its ancient Mahamaya Temple and a beautiful Tani Jubar lake.

Tani-Jubbar lake                          TANI-JUBBAR LAKE AT KACHERI

The place is no wonder a heavenly abode- calm and serene. The placid atmosphere and the adjoining forest area make it an ideal place for trekking and family picnics.

 

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)

Corn Khumb Masala

An excellent dish of corn and mushrooms

Maize or corn cobs are excellent in taste. They are roasted on coal or low flame and sprinkled with salt and lemon, people also steam or boil corn cob for eating. There are other ample ways in which the corn is cherished worldwide.

Here, we are going to acquaint you with one more exciting way of preparing a tasty vegetable corn dish of maize with mushrooms. This dish is called ‘Khumb Makki Masala’. The recipe is simple and different, try it.


INGREDIENTS

Boiled Corns and Mushrooms

  • Khumb (Mushrooms)                         300 gm
  • Boiled sweet corn                                  2 cups
  • Coconut (grated)                                   1/2 cup
  • Milk                                                                 1 cup
  • Tomatoes                                                     3-4
  • capsicum                                                      1-2
  • Garlic                                                              3-4 cloves
  • Onion                                                             2
  • Green Chilies                                             2-3
  • Salt                                                                    to taste
  • Cumin seeds                                              1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder                                 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder                                    1/2 tsp
  • Ginger paste                                              1/2 tsp
  • Cooking oil                                                 1 tbsp

METHOD OF PREPARATION

  • Boil the mushrooms and the corns separately and drain away the water. Make a puree of tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger and keep aside. Make a puree if 1/2 cup corns in coconut milk or plain milk .
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and put the capsicum, mushrooms, corns and onion in it. Sauté it well and add salt and turmeric powder.
  •  Now pour the tomato and onion puree in it. Keep stirring and slowly add the corn and milk puree in it. Add a glass of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Simmer the flame and let it cook for another five minutes. Now lastly add the grated coconut and bring a last boil. So that it mixes well with the gravy.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Khumb makki is ready. You may enjoy it with roti, naan, parantha or rice.

It tastes awesome and will definitely increase your appetite.

 

ROTI AND SHAKKAR

SHAKKAR ROTI    CHURI AND SHAKKAR ROLL

Roti, a flatbread is an important staple diet in many states of India and it is made with variety of cereals like wheat, maize, barley, jowar etc. Each cereal’s flatbread is different in taste and texture. It is eaten with pulses, vegetables and also in the form of stuffed paranthas.

One very fine way of eating roti is with jaggery. It is very good in summers as it has an effective cooling effect on our body. This is one of the reasons why farmers in India eat pieces of jaggery with a glass of water to beat the scorching heat of summers.

The powdered form of jaggery is called ‘shakkar’ in local dialect of north India. Jaggery is very fine dry powder of jaggery. This is a preferable form of jaggery and is eaten with roti because pure jaggery is in the form of solid pieces which need to be converted into powder form. So if shakkar is available it would be much better.

There are two ways of using shakkar with roti, let us discuss them in turn.

FIRST METHOD

In this method the first step is to make a roti, then apply clarified butter evenly on it and make sure that no part of roti is left dry, after this, spread the powdered jaggery too in the same way on the roti.

Now roll the roti tightly and fold its bottom part a little upwards. Wrap a tissue paper around the roti so that clarified butter does not seep into your palm, if you want you can use plain butter instead of clarified butter. The roll is ready, enjoy.

SECOND METHOD

Make a big roti and then make very small pieces of it, then pour 2-3 tbsp of clarified butter on it. Churn the two well enough and add shakkar to it. Churn all the ingredients once again with the hand so that they blend well with each other.

This is called churi of jaggery & roti and it tastes fantastic. Eat with a spoon and lavish its taste.

 

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