Apple orchards stretch over the length and breadth of this small town on NH 22, between Shimla and Narkhanda in Himachal Pradesh. Perpetually pleasant weather, a strong connection with the Goddess Durga and businesses rooted in apple farms, makes this a verdant and relaxed place to visit.
A small town feel and easy pace of life makes Matiana an ideal base for travellers who wish to relax and explore the region away from the tourist crowds. Matiana has a number of things to offer for those who like to walk around and soak in the atmosphere.
Here are our favourite things to do in Matiana.
This small town of Himachal gives a vast opportunity for birding enthusiasts to see plenty of different species. The varieties are distinctly different from that of other parts of India. Birds like Drongo, fly catcher, bar tailed tree creeper, black bulbul and Grosbeak can be spotted here.
2. Walking Trails
The hills are a perfect place to explore and there are plenty of local trails to follow. Small village settlements, old-towering trees and local life are found along some of the most beautiful trails here. A good way to see the destination and get acquainted to the local culture, this is highly recommended.
3. Explore the Apple Farms
You can’t escape the importance of the apple farms in the region. Most people here have small or big farms and the conversations invariable leads to the season’s production and other issues. Visit an apple orchard and enjoy the freshness of apples right off the tree. While most of the harvest is sent to local or larger distributors, many people have diversified into small units of chutneys (Indian condiment) and juices. Perfect souvenirs to take home!
4. Hatu Peak
A little over 15 kms from Matiana, the Hatu peak towers over the Narkhanda town. It takes about an hour from the town to drive up to this serene spot with oak stands and bright green pastures in the middle. From here, you can get a good look at the Himalayas on a clear day. Try not to visit on a weekend – the number of visiting cars and bikes often end up in a jam.
5. Local Temples
Matiana has always been associated with its devotion to the Goddess Durga. Apart from her, the destination is also sprinkled with other smaller temples. You will find temples tucked away in nooks and crannies, below trees, by the road and some elaborate ones. The religious zeal in the people is commendable here.
Where to stay
Homestay amidst apple orchard overlooking vast valley, constructed on the edge of a hill facing a panoramic valley with far-off mountains views is . Situated in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh, this homestay in Matiana is at a height of about 8,000 feet from the sea level. The orchard around the house has benches painted in bright red, yellow and green where you can relax with a book, or spend time on the huge terrace which gives a wide view of the valley around.