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Introducing Kotgarh

Best time to visit : Throughout the year
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Known as the Apple Valley of India, Kotgarh is situated 82 km. from Shimla and about 6,500 ft. above sea level. This quaint scenic place stands strategically on the old Hindustan-Tibet road. The beautiful terraced fields are evenly dotted with apple trees and bungalows and looks like a freshly painted canvas. The exotic apple orchards and pine forests of Kotgarh are its specialty. Apple cultivation in the region was initiated by Satyanand Stokes and it eventually improved the economic condition of the place. The shining River Sutlej in this ‘U’ shaped valley makes it a perfect retreat for couples. There are also some trekking destinations around the valley. Find necessary tourist information from this travel guide to plan your first trip to Kotgarh.


Kotgarh is one of the North India tourist places with enchanting beauty and tranquil ambiance that allure tourists from all over the country and abroad as well. The major occupation and means of earning livelihood of the residents in Kotgarh is apple cultivation. Kotgarh is only 16 km. from National Highway and leads towards the valley of Kumarsain, Rampur and Kinnaur. The main religion followed here is Hinduism, however the population is mixed and also comprises of Muslims and other native sects. Winters are extremely cold while summers are quite pleasant here.

Locally ‘Pahari’ food is very popular in the Kotgarh region. Primarily influenced by North Indian cuisine, the dishes found in Kotgarh have the taste and flavour of the local spices and seasonings. The small restaurants here serve sumptuous food, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Some regional specialties include manee, chouck, madira, bhagjery, pateer and chutney of Til.

A tourist guide can help you locate retails shops where you can shop for the basic necessities. To buy souvenirs, go to local tourist shops selling traditional handicrafts, metal and wood work, woollen garments, local tweeds, wooden toys, carpets, funky jewellery made of semi-precious stones and basketry items.

Nearby Places:
  • Narkanda (about 16 km.): Situated on the way to Kotgarh, this picturesque town is surrounded by Shivalik Ranges. It is a popular skiing resort during the winters. The Hatu Peak (11,000 ft.) is 5 km. from Narkanda. Jallori Pass and Sarolsar Lake amidst deep forests are some of the nearby attractions worth visiting.
  • Thanedhar (about 7 km.): Very close to Narkanda is this place that features the Stokes Farm. Verdant apple orchards here were introduced by Satyanand. Today, these delicious apples cultivated in Thanedhar have gained international recognition.
  • Shimla (about 75 km.): Shimla was the Summer Capital of the British and presently it is the state capital of Himachal Pradesh and a paradise for honeymooners, nature lovers and adventurers.
  • Naldehra (about 75 km.): The world-famous destination for golfers, Naldehra has been a favourite venue for the Indian filmmakers and is also know for its Naag Devta Temple.
  • Kufri (about 63 km.): One can enjoy pony rides at Kufri, a small hill resort known for its biodiversity and breathtaking views of mountains.

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