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India >> North >> Himachal Pradesh >> Thanedar
Thanedar Himachal Pradesh, North
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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The pleasant hamlet of Thanedar, lodged at 7,250 ft above sea level, with panoramic view of the mountains amidst rolling slopes studded with apple orchards in Shimla district is peaceful and more of a leisure destination.


In this famed fruit bowl of Himachal Pradesh, apple rules supreme. Come spring the vast acres of apple orchards are a wondrous sight - the boughs draped in delicate, fragrant white blossoms with a tinge of pink, from July through September these green boughs droop with the weight of hundreds of luscious ripe apples. A walk through these well tended orchards is wholly a different experience. The Delicious apples grown at Thanedar besides being packed in crates and sent out in truckloads; are sliced, sun dried and stored for winters, brewed to make wine, processed into jams and pickled.


In the chronicles of Himachal, apple- the Red Delicious dates back nearly 100 years when the first sapling was planted at Thanedar by Samuel Stokes, an American missionary. He happened to set foot in this village in 1904, eventually married a local Himachali girl and stayed on. Subsequently, being deeply influenced by Hindu philosophy; became a Hindu and converted from Samuel Evans to Satyanand.


Stokes introduced both apples and the culture of growing apples as a commercial crop for small farms with the hope of improving the livelihood and strengthening the economy of the Thanedar and its people. He gradually transformed this impoverished hamlet into a flourishing apple belt of Himachal Pradesh. Stokes, is a household name in and around Shimla, now prosperity via the apple is legendary.


From apples juicy red and golden; sweet, crunchy and crisp. These daring delicious picks from the orchards will have you saying yum!


The hills any season will have you inhaling some fresh air or exhaling after a few good deeds. Under the balmy sun, lovely moon and myriad stars, a weekend sojourn in this superb apple country would whet your curiosity and longing to be here in the hills. The meandering Sutlej way down below, the towering pinnacles of the mighty Himalayas at the backdrop of the vast sloping orchards; interspersed by few bucolic fields, a resting spot for the hikers and at times for the grazing cattle are beautiful, serene and refreshing.


For ardent trippers the lure of the mountains is overwhelming. For an enthralling experience, a walk to the Arya Samaj Mandir, is just right, though the last leg is a climb of 1,640 ft. uphill. This stone temple in typical Pahari style was built by Stokes. It stands in the middle of the apple orchard, supposedly a historic spot as the first apple sapling was planted here. The Stokes family set up home here on Barobag Hill and named it Harmony Hall. Still a private property of the Stoke family, tourists aren't welcome here.


The famous St.Marys Church in Kotgarh, is 6 kms from Thanedar, stands witness to presence of other missionaries who had set foot in past. This little stone and wood Anglican Church built in 1872, has beautiful stained glass windows and an array of cedar sculpted pews. It is the only existing monument of the bygone era. This Church is one of the oldest churches in India and definitely worth visiting.


The Tani Jubbar Lake is 4 km drive from Thanedar and 10mins hike uphill. Virtually one of the tiniest mountain lakes is a popular and idyllic picnic spot. This placid lake is famous for the temple of Nag Devta'. It is not open to outsiders. An annual fair is held at the lakeside in June where local artisans and traders display their wares.



Narkanda perched high up in the mountains, offers a spectacular view of snow capped ranges of the Himalayas, stretching from the Srikhand Range in the east to the Kinner Kailash Range of Kinnaur in the north-west.


It is not exactly a happening tourist destination, yet a good place to go on treks and explore the lakes, temples and the apple country. The panoramic view of the snowy peaks, the dense forests and inviting apple orchards of Thanedar makes it an ideal stopover for the summer travellers who seek seclusion in mountains and for some to grab a few winks en-route to Kinnaur.


Narkanda is famous for Skiing. During winters the 500m ski run comes alive with skiers.


Hattu Peak at an elevation of 11000 ft., is a comfortable and enjoyable trek of 7 kms from Narkanda through dense pine and spruce. If one desires to return, can do so on the same day but the more adventurous nature lovers can carry camping gear to camp and spend an exciting night on the Hatu ridge, followed by an even more thrilling morning full of surprises. 


The forests around Hatu are famous for its avifauna/ fauna and flora. The dense canopy here is a mix of high altitude conifers- Silver fir, Birch, Oaks, Himalayan Cedar, Himalayan Yew, Rhododendron, herbs and wild flowers. It is a home to various species of birds and animals.


The ancient Hatu Mata Temple is located atop a long ridge. A small shelter on its northern edge offers a dramatic 360 degrees panoramic view of the beautiful countryside with the entire Himalayan ranges, snow clad mountains, dense forests, green meadows and apple orchards. Hiking is the only means to reach it. The ridge has a camping ground and tea stall too.

 Getting there

Location / Distance


80 km north-east of Shimla.

 Fast Facts
Name Thanedar Best Time To Visit February to June; September to November
Location Himachal Pradesh   North   India   Destination  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Hill Station
Temperature Summar   20-24C      Winter   0-8C      Rainy   16-22C
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