Places to stay in Kotgarh

Seetalvan Orchard

Seetalvan Orchard, nestled in the tiny village-town of Kotgarh-Thanedar,  invites its guests to share a stunning panorama of the majestic western Himalayas.  It offers charming newly-built cottages that are an ideal blend of warmth, rustic appeal and luxury.  It also offers exciting sightseeing and adventure tours.

Contact number :  +91 9805127139+91 9805127139

Apple Tree Cottage

Call Us: +91-9818519382+91-9818519382
Address: Purnima Orchards, Village Bharedhar, Kotgarh, District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Banjara Orchard Retreat


Phone: +91-11-65152334+91-11-65152334/5/6

Location : Thandar ,Kotgarh, Shimla 172030


HPPWD Rest House Kotgarh
Address: Kotgarh Hospital Rd, Kotgarh, Himachal Pradesh 172030


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Kotgarh – A Poem

-A poem by Erica Mehta

Kotgarh is located on the left bank of Satluj river,
The climate here will never make you shiver.
The only lake in kotgarh is Tani Jubber,
Hindus as well as Christians live here.
Britishers built many buildings of gothic architecture,
The St.Mary Church and Gorton Mission School Reflect their culture.
People here believe in many devtas,
But my family worships only king cobra.
Famous for orchards of almonds and apples,
It is also known as the apple heartland of himachal.
From Hatu you can see the whole Kotgarh’s view,
I am sure this place will be able to please you.


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Unexplored Weekend Getaways

Jan 26, 2013

Hatu Peak near Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh

Photos of Hatu Peak, Narkanda

This photo of Hatu Peak is courtesy of TripAdvisor

NARKANDA, situated at an attitude of 2708 meters on the Hindustan Tibet road (NH – 22), Narkanda offers a spectacular view of snow ranges. An ideal retreat for the tourists who seek seclusion in mountains. You see unique view of the eternal snow line, the inviting apple orchards and dense forests. Narkanda is famous for Skiing & Winter sports. During these days the slopes come alive with skiers. The skiing at Narkanda was started in 1980 and since then HPTDC is conducting skiing courses every year. Narkanda is a gateway to apple country of Himachal Pradesh.We were in shimla and planned a weekend getaway to narkanda. It was a 3hr drive with lot of fresh cherries and apples on our way. You get a box of cherries for Rs100 and they taste real yum.

We reached HPTDC, HOTEL HATU NARKANDA, this tourist guest house which is ideally located offering spectacular views of snow clad ranges. The lawn for breakfast and lunch was very enjoyable and food was really good just felt like home made food.According to me this place is the best for stay at narkanda. People are very hospitable and service is excellent.

The area has forests of fir and spruce, with a smattering of maple, aspen and cedar trees. The skiing slopes are close by. A wooded trek route takes you to Hatu Peak unfolding a magnificient vista of undulating meadows, snow peaks and valleys. Ahead lie the Greater Himalaya and a number of peaks – the Kinner Kailash, the Srikhand and the Kullu ranges. Hatu’s flank hold stretches of apple orchards and acres of wild flowers.

Note: Hatu HPTDC Guest House Address
ADDRESS : The Hatu, Narkanda, Dist. Shimla (H.P.) -171213. Tel: (01782) – 242430, 242509

Narkanda is a destination for a quiet holiday in the heart of nature.In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is pleasant and cottons / light woolens are suggested. Narkanda receives heavy snowfall in winters.

Well the hotel manager asked us to explore hatu peak (3300m) : 8 km from Narkanda. And we agreed, we drove through pine and spruce trees. On top of the hill, ancient Hatu Mata temple is located. The peak offers spectacular view of the entire Himalayan ranges, snow clad mountains and in depths are the dense forests, green fields and apple orchards. Hiking is recommended to reach the peak.

This place was just awesome and we really enjoyed our time watching clear blue skies.

If you have time you can also explore KOTGARH AND THANEDHAR.
KOTGARH AND THANEDHAR (1830m) : 17 km link road bifurcating from Narkanda takes you to the Himachal’s Horticultural heartland, Kotgarh and Thanedhar, renown for apple orchards. The famous Stokes Farm is located at Thanedhar. Stokes came to India on a trip and while on a summer visit to Shimla, fell in love with its environments, which included the charming hill folk and settled down in Kotgarh. He started the apple farm which soon became renown with its Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Royal Delicious,apples.

Enjoy this small quiet place and dont forget to eat bhuttas and local shop teas and matris.
Also you can explore local market for hand knit woollen clothes and shoes which are pretty cheap.

Source: Click Here

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Top British Era Schools in Himachal

Read full article here

6. Gorton Mission School, Kotgarh

Gorton Mission School, Kotgarh

Gorton Mission School in Kotgarh is claimed to be the oldest school in Asia. It was set up in 1843 by Christian Missionaries who had also built a church and hospital in Kotagarh. Kotagarh is a small town near Narkanda and is famous for its apples. The school was named after Gorton who was a public servant in Shimla. Gorton Mission School has a long history and continues to provide traditional values to its students.

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Originally called Sandoch and later Gurukot, little is known about its past before the Gurkhas came to world sway over the region during the early 19th century. The Gurkha rule ended in 1815 when British forces defeated Gurkha armies and retained a few pockets of land in the hills. Kotgarh was one of them and it became a British territory wedged between autonomous hill states.

The British government retained it as a military post and over the years it became a trading centre as well, probably the farthest in the north. But soon the cantonment was wound up and the buildings and property handed over to missionaries. The British government encouraged missionary work in Kotgarh to enhance its influence in the area.

St Mary’s Church was built in Kotgarh in 1873 and schools were opened in Kotgarh and the surrounding villages. Murry’s Handbook of Punjab, 1883, described Kotgarh as a “pretty little place with a post office, a pretty church and a missionary station”. Little has changed since then.

Unlike Shimla that grew from a tiny village to become the summer capital of British India, Kotgarh has remained almost frozen in time. The pretty wooden church with its old graveyard, the Gorton Mission School and other buildings that survive today hold lingering images of a bygone era.

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Christianity In Kotgarh

On 22nd February 1910, at the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection in Lahore, Bishop George Alfred Lefroy (1854-1922) inaugurated the Brotherhood of the Imitation of Jesus. Reverend Samuel Stokes (1882-1946), an American missionary, became the provisional Minister-General of this Franciscan Brotherhood. Reverend Frederick Western (1880-1951) of the Cambridge Mission to Delhi and Reverend C. F. Andrews (1871-1940) possessed loose personal associations with the Brotherhood. Its intent embraced service to the sick and education for the young.

The Brotherhood was located at Kotgarh in Punjab. It had ties with the Church Missionary Society and the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. The Brotherhood collapsed in 1912 when Stokes left it to marry an Indian woman; the later phase of Chritistian religious and missionary activities started to take on a dramatic turn their on.

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Samuel Evans Stokes (Satyanand Stokes)

Kotgarh valley is famous for its world class quality apples. The apple cultivation of the place was initiated by Satyanand Stokes who was an American missionary.

Samuel Evans Stokes, an American Missionary landed in Kotgarh in 1904 as a young man of 22 to spread the message of Christ and also with the objective of helping the hill people. He worked at the leper home in the Shimla hills of Himachal Pradesh for two years. Then becoming disillusioned with the missionary way of life, he severed links with missionary organisations and became a sort of a hermit, giving up all material comforts and living for some time in a cave.

Samuel Evans Stokes was involved with the spreading of Christianity however the beauty and the culture of Kotgarh had an effect on him and he converted to Hinduism and took a Hindu name Satyanand Stokes and made Barobag his abode. He found the climate and soil conclusive to apple cultivation (the apple production was at its peak in America) and in 1919 he planted trees on his 200 acres and they began bearing apples in 1925.The natives took to growing apples soon and today it has spread all over the Shimla hills. The Apple boom in Kotgarh improved the economy of the place.

He is the only American to have served in the All-India Congress Committee of the Indian National Congress. He passed away on 14 May 1946, having spent more than 43 years of his life in the country which he had come to change but which changed him instead.

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