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|Elevation||3,400 m (11,200 ft)|
|Location||Himachal Pradesh, India.|
Hatu peak is the second highest peak in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is located at an elevation of 3400 m (11,152 ft) above sea level. The peak is surrounded by dense forest of conifers, oaks and maples.
Hatu Peak lies on the Shimla-Rampur Highway nearly 71 km from Shimla. The roads are in good condition until Narkanda which is nearly 8 km from the peak. From here you can either trek for 8 km or go by bike or car. From there the peak can be accessed by bike or car but the road is difficult to use and only one car can climb at a time.
At the top of the peak is a small wooden temple called Hatu temple. According to local belief the famous Hatu Mata temple is the temple of Maa Kaali. People come in great number on the first Sunday of Jyeshtha to pay ritual here. There is an ancient stove like formation of rocks nearby the temple. Locals believe that it was used by the Pandavas brothers to cook their food during their Agyaat Vaas.
A small structure has been created which is used seldom by civil authorities.
Conifer: There are various species of conifers growing in the area which cover the substantial part of the forest. These are:
4. Picea smithiana,
6. Taxus contorta.
Poplar: Populus ciliata is native to the area.
Aesculus: Aesculus indica is native to the area.
Hazelnut: Corylus jacquemontii is native to the area.
Holly: Ilex dipyrena is native to the area.
Apart from these major trees there are various species shrubs like Berberis aristata and flower plants growing in the area. Recently, the forest has been cleared for the apple orchards.
The small hill station of Narkanda (at 2708m) is the start for the journey to the top of Hatu Peak.
Shimla has a small airstrip located on a nearby hill top (in Jubbarhatti, about 23 km south of town). This airstrip is too small to support jets, so the only service available is from Jagson Airlines which offers single flight service into Shimla from Delhi on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
A narrow gauge "toy" train service runs from Kalka to Shimla. This service takes about 4 hours to wind up the ridges to the hill station, and has a plethora of fantastic scenery along the way.
There are numerous bus services to Shimla from Delhi, Manali, and Chandigarh on a daily basis.
Hatu Peak is uninhabited and therefore few facilities are available at the top. There is a tourist lodge by HPTC 1 km below the peak which can be used for general facilities and accommodation.