“We welcome you to our home in the apple village of Kotgarh, Where one is surrounded by apple orchards, snow laden peaks of Himalayas and breathtaking views. And the peace one can’t quite find anywhere else!”
~ Meenakshi Jhina, Host at the Apple Orchard cottages
This little hamlet is the perfect respite from the city as well as the over crowded hill stations during the summers. Kotgarh is the heart of Himachal’s Apple Orchard Country, it is where the famous Samuel Stokes began the apple boom. It is about 70 Kms ahead of the state capital, Shimla and about 15kms from Narkanda, which is famous for skiing during the winters. The further you move ahead of Shimla, you realize that you have left the vacationers and other travellers far behind and reached a peaceful region with astounding views all around. Surrounded by apple orchards, and the simplicity of village life, the cottages offer all the urban comforts that we city dwellers are accustomed to.
There are 4 tastefully done wooden cottages, each with a shared long balcony overlooking the apple orchards and a breathtaking view of the mountains. One can spend hours just sitting in the balcony and gazing into horizon. There is a Suite with an attic and a room in the old house as well. All rooms have attached washroom with geysers and the basic urban comfort we city dwellers look out for.
A common dining room below one of the wooden cottage rooms serves delicious meals cooked by the homestay helps in the supervision of Meenakshi. Locally produced Jams/Chutneys are also on display for Sale.
Breakfast are typically a hearty affair with a range of Juices, Paranthas, Eggs, Sandwiches, Sausages/Baked Beans. One can also have Puri- Aloo etc on prior request.
Lunches are served on prior intimation as most travellers prefer to explore the region during the day and usually end up eating out.
Dinner is again a lavish affair and one non veg dish is served along with the usual Indian vegetarian food.
Bonfires are also arranged for groups to escape the evening chill.
One can choose to spend his time hiking on short treks around the village or just live the village life. Spend time chatting with your hosts over tea, meet the village folk and learn about their simple yet happy lives. The village of Kotgarh has quite a few heritage sites to visit, like the Oldest Missionary School, Heritage Church Building, Oldest Hospital, Oldest Apple Valley etc.
Single Occupancy: INR 5500 per night
Double Occupancy: INR 6900 per night
Single room in Heritage wing: INR 6500 per night
Suite in Heritage wing (4 adults): INR 11000 per night
Entire Heritage wing (6 adults): INR 16000 per night
Extra adult: INR 2500 per night
Kids (below 12yrs)INR 1000 per night
Rates above are inclusive of :
- Breakfast and Dinner
- Bonfires and guided tours for walks through the forest
- Tani, Jubbar and Hatu Orchard walk
Kotgarh is located a scenic 2.5 hours drive from Shimla. You’ll be greeted with miles of apple orchards on your way to the heart of the apple valley of Himachal. As you move ahead from Shimla, the scenery gets more breathtaking with each mile crossed and the traffic begins to disappear.
Many of us have pre-conceived notions about rural India. Leave them behind, travel with an open mind, and you'll be pleasantly surprised with what you find.
Minimal pesticides and chemicals are used in the apple orchards, vegetables used in meals are sourced from local growers/ neighbors. Rain water harvesting is practiced at the homestay. Garbage and waste is separated into bio degradable and non-biodegradable waste before disposal. Local people are employed at the orchard for the upkeep of the orchards as well as the homestay. Meenakshi, the hostess is also actively involved in promoting local produce like Jams and Pickles, dried apples etc. They are displayed at the dining area and are delicious. Do buy a few and savor the taste of the mountains for a long time after your trip.
Below are some tips to travel responsibly while in Kotgarh: