When I arrived at Narkanda there was snow everywhere. I was so tired at the end of the journey that I was happy I didn’t had to walk through snow to reach the hotel. The taxi dropped me right at the doorstep of the Hatu which is a Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Development Corporation (HPTDC) hotel. At the check-in was a young boy who could see I was tired and cold. He completed the formalities quickly and assured me that chai and pakoras would arrive soon right in my room. But to my retreating back he did ask, “so are you alone?” To which I simply said yes.
Here is a short clip of the Hatu, Narkanda. The room I stayed in was clean though not fancy. At all times, I felt safe. The staff was courteous. After the initial curiosity even my traveling alone was no longer much of an issue.
Narkanda is a small town. There were a few small shops in the main market where I would sit down and have tea after my strolls. I had all my meals at the hotel. One day I asked for a local dish and I was given Gobhi Palda which was a kind of cauliflower kadhi. It was good. I had parathas for breakfast everyday! I think I paid more for tea than I paid for breakfast!
You can book a ski package with the hotel depending on the snow conditions. I was asked if I would like to ski but I was determined not to do anything on this vacation! I managed to keep my resolve till the end. I had many conversations with the guy I met at the reception, Pankaj Sharma and the ski instructor. I told them about my trekking adventures and they told me about the possible treks in the region.
When I was leaving on the last day, they told me, ma’am fir aiyega (ma’am come back again). I am already planning to take Chhavi and Vasu (my niece) for skiing next year at Narkanda. And if I can get a room I will surely stay at the Hatu again.