Among the lesser known places in Himachal Pradesh is Khara Pathar, a tiny village situated approximately 85 km from Shimla. Lush green forests, fruit-laden orchards, lofty snow capped mountains and the pleasant weather make Khara Pathar a perfect leisure destination that is easily accessible by a short drive from Shimla.
Trekking lovers and mountaineers are attracted by the picturesque beauty of the village. Although the place is not among the top tourist destinations, it still manages to grab the attention of visitors who are on a holiday to rejuvenate themselves.
Famous Places Around Khara Pathar
The most renowned temple Giriganga in Khara Pathar is visited by locals and few tourists, who are seen flocking there during certain festivals. The beautiful temple is nestled in a forest of deodar trees and apple orchards at a height of about 2500m. The 6 km trail begins from the village and leads uphill to the source of the river Giri Ganga. The entire place is covered with snow during the winter season.
Giriganga derived its name following an incident in which a sage toppled his Ganga Jal pot while carrying it from Haridwar. People enjoy trekking while visiting this holy place. Jeeps are available and can be hired by those who are not inclined to walk all the way to the temple.
The temple complex comprises of a traditional, stone-and-wood cottage with a thatched roof and 3 shrines. The main shrine is built in the centre of a large water tank and it is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The other two shrines are placed opposite to the water tank. One of the shrines has idols of Lord Rama, Laxman and Sita, while the other shrine has a large, marble Shiva Lingam. It is believed that a holy dip in the water tank during Baisakhi will wash away all your sins. There are lots of stone stairs that lead you to another temple situated a top a mountain.
The Giriganga is also a perfect spot for picnickers due to its all round scenic appeal. The place is also most ideal for enjoying the natural aura. One can experience the benevolence of Mother Nature at Giriganga. An overwhelmingly peaceful place, Giri Ganga is a must visit for those looking for a break from their mundane routine. Trekking from Khara Pathar to Giri Ganga is an amazing experience.
How to reach: Khara Pathar is connected by regular Bus/Taxi services. Nearest Railway Station and Airport is at Shimla. The distance from Khara Pathar to Giri Ganga is 7 km. HPRTC operated buses can be taken from Shimla up to Khara Pathar. From Khara Pathar you have to hire a taxi as there are no buses up to Giri Ganga.
Hateshwari Temple – Situated approximately 29 km from Khar Pathar is the Hateshwari temple complex. The temple is nestled on the banks of the river Pabbar. The temples of Hatkoti are a major attraction. People visiting the temple pay their obeisance to Devi Durga, whose idol is placed in the temple in the form of Mahishasuramardini, the slayer of the demon Mahisha. The Goddess is locally known as ‘Hateshwari’.
Jubbal – Mesmerizing sceneries and awe-inspiring vistas can be seen in Jubbal, situated approximately 90 km from Shimla and 20 km from Hatkoti. Jubbal is nestled amidst the finest apple orchards and dense deodars. Jubbal unfolds a magical charm before its visitors with its marvelous temples. The Palace which was designed by a French architect in the 1930 is a major attraction.
Rohru – is a bustling town located by the banks of river Pabbar. It is well-known for its temples. The Shikhru Devta is a beautiful temple situated in the heart of the town. An annual fair is held during the month of April every year close to the temple complex. Besides fishing, camping and trekking, the Pabbar area is fast emerging as an important destination for adventure sports. The people are showing keen interest in rafting and canoeing, hang gliding and paragliding.
How to reach: Rohru is situated 115 km from Shimla. It is connected by regular Bus/Taxi services. Nearest Railway Station and Airport is at Shimla (116 km) and (148 km) respectively.