An ancient church and school, a government hospital, happy people with smiling faces, a small market which caters to the daily requirements, splendid vistas of snow-clad Pir Panjal and Baspa Range, Kotgarh is a small village which overlooks Satluj River. Located at an elevation of around 7,000 feet, Kotgarh is world-renowned for its apple and cherry cultivation. The moment you reach here, you are graced by the elegance of thick vegetation of fir, pine, and spruce trees. Your stay in Kotgarh even for a day will be a revitalizing experience especially if you are looking for an escape from the normal routine life. There are lots of things to do in Kotgarh if you are coming here for a weekend trip. Even if you are planning to stay in Kotgarh for more than a day or two, there are lots of things that you can plan and enjoy the most beautiful moments here.
When it comes to the things to do in Kotgarh, being a small village, there are a bunch of things and activities which you can do. If you are an unplanned traveler like me, I ask you first to sit and make a list of the activities to do in Kotgarh. I ended up in Kotgarh without any planning as a part of my weekend trip which I usually do. So, it’s better that first, you decide how long you are going to stay in Kotgarh and what exactly you would do.
What are the famous things to do in Kotgarh?
Kotgarh is located around 75km away from Shimla and 15km away from Narkanda. The village offers some of the most beautiful views of the mountains covered with snow. From trekking to visiting the apple and cherry orchards which is a wonderful experience to collect, Kotgarh offers fun-filled activities and takes you close to nature. I reached Kotgarh in the morning and booked a hotel, 13 Forest B&B which is located in the village itself near the hospital. Though as usual, I had no idea what I was supposed to do there for two days. But there are a few things you can always do in Himachal Pradesh.
If you are someone who loves nature and trekking, then there are ample of things to do in Kotgarh. I often tend to escape from the routine life to Himachal Pradesh to create a balance. That’s how I reached Kotgarh and rejuvenated myself with the pristine nature of Kotgarh which is in abundance. I am not sure if there are fancy restaurants or hotels, but all you will get are uninterrupted moments for rejoicing nature which is the most beautiful thing for a person who is traveling to explore nature.
Trekking is one of the best things to do in Kotgarh
Are you a trekking enthusiast? If yes, then there is a lot to expect from Kotgarh. Whether you want to trek to Thanadhar from Kotgarh or you want to explore the nearby areas such as Hatu Top and Jaubagh Meadows, there is a lot. All you have to do is pack and leave. Thanadhar is a village which is located around 6km away from Kotgarh and can be reached in 2 to 3 hours trekking. Hatu Top on the other side is a famous spot which has a temple at the top.
Visit Tani Jubbar Lake
It’s an eco-park which has this famous lake. Locals consider it a holy lake and pray a local deity here. The park is enveloped by thick vegetation green lush deodar jungle which with full of tranquil ambiance and peace. One can have panoramic views of the Baspa Range from the top. It is an ideal location for photography. It looks like a romantic movie set.
Visit Gorton Mission Church in Kotgarh
Kotgarh is believed to be a famous destination during the 18th century among the missionaries who would come here. In 1844, the Church Missionary Society from England opened its first center in Kotgarh and the church was established in 1872 near the army base. Along with Kangra, Shimla, and Dharamshala, Kotgarh was also made a mission center. Kotgarh also served as a British station during the Gorkha War 1814-1816. It was named after Gorton who was a servant in Shimla.
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Visit an Old School in Kotgarh
The British also built a school named Gorton Mission School. It was established in 1843. The school comes under the Diocese of Amritsar (CNI). The school had 13 boy students and 2 girl students in 1886. Kotgarh, at present, doesn’t showcase Christian influence though you can experience a glimpse of it when you visit the school and the church. Knowing the history of this institution is one of the most interesting things to do in Kotgarh.
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Spend some time with locals in Kotgarh
Visiting such a place, interacting, and spending some time with the locals is one of the most amazing things to do in Kotgarh. You will get a chance to soak yourself in the true culture and customs of this place when you sit and talk with the locals. People are ready to talk and share stories. Maybe you can even get to sip tea or even lunch with them depending on the situation.
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My two day’s trip to Kotgarh went wonderful and memorable. Kotgarh was my last trip to Himachal Pradesh this year before lockdown. I visited Kotgarh and Thanadhar in January last and I visited Agra in February. After that due to lockdown, I couldn’t get to travel far after that till now, however, I did a small bike trip to a nearby village near my hometown. So, if you are planning a trip to Kotgarh and thinking of the things to do in Kotgarh, you can plan out your trip easily and have fun.