After assembling at Chandigarh, the group of 13 left in four cars, two Innovas, a Maruti Brezza with professional drivers and our Maruti Swift driven in turn by Hemant and Akshay on 10th August 2021 at 7.00am.
At Sanwara just before Solan we stopped and had aloo parathas for breakfast. Not quite as good as the ones we had at Murtal the previous day. Traffic at Solan and at Shimla was heavy and slowed us down quite a bit. We stopped for lunch at Siya Ram Siddu for a taste of the traditional Himachali favourite. It is made from wheat flour and eaten with desi ghee and green chutney made from mint. It was an ideal start and taste of things to follow.
We also got a taste of the treacherous roads we would encounter as we drove up a steep and narrow 7-kms path to the Hatu Peak from Narkanda where we spent the night. The drive among dense forests was quite harrowing and on one occasion we had to get off the car as it couldn’t cope with a steep narrow slope. The light drizzle and dampness plus the sharp hairpin bends along a narrow path made it a very dangerous drive. If we had the time a leisure trek to the peak would have been a better option.
Once we got to the peak it was a calming and magical experience. The sacred Hatu Mata temple is located at the peak at a place it is believed the Pandavas resided when in exile.