We planned a one night trip to Hatkoti and adjoining places in the month of September. Our group of college-mates was accompanied two teachers. Hatkoti temple or Hateshwari temple is famous in Himachal Pradesh as the abode of Goddess Mahishasurmardini, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple is at about 1400m above the sea level and located at a distance of about 100 kilometers from Shimla. It stands on the right bank of the river Pabbar.
There is a huge premises; having a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva and Pandavas. There is a bronze vessel on the door of temple of Goddess Durga which is believed to be large enough so as never to get filled with water. About 30 kilometers from Hatkoti, Khara Pathar- a place denoting huge free- standing egg shaped boulder, is situated. It is a perfect leisure destination in the heart of nature’s generous blessings. Just few kilometers from Khara Pathar lies river Giri, involving an enjoyable hike through thick deodar woods. It is the source of the river Giri Ganga which is known as ‘Giri’ due to its opposite flow. It divides the Sirmaur district into equal parts that are known as Cis-Giri and Trans-Giri region and joins Yamuna upstream of Paonta below Mokkampur. The river pours its waters into the mighty Yamuna and there is a temple at the spot.
Above Giri Ganga, a unique spot, Kupar peak stands. It has a temple and it is amazing to know that below Kupar, it is difficult to find any vegetation till Giri Ganga. But as soon as we reach Kupar peak, flowers can easily be seen blossoming on the feet of goddess.
We went as per our plans but after reaching Khara Pathar, rainfall welcomed us. At night, we were rendered without electricity and till next morning even without water. We had to enjoy within four walls of our hotel by playing cards, antakshiri and truth-dare. It was a different experience to have dinner in candle – light consecutively for three nights. The moment we were in a position to start a return journey, it gave an unhappy feeling. We hoped that for one more night we could stay there. On reaching homes, what we missed the most was fresh apples and company of all whether classmates or juniors.
Even if some places could not be explored, we were able to explore each other’s hearts that would help to strengthen our relationships. At the same time, we learnt how to relax in absence of power and water.