Lying at an elevation of 1100 m above sea level, Hatkoti is a small valley situated in Jubbal Tehsil on the banks of the River Pabbar. The valley is originally formed by the confluence of River Pabbar and two other mountain streams, namely Bishkulti and Raanvati. Amidst the paddy fields of Hatkoti, surrounded by mountains and peaks, lie a number of temples with carved stone walls and wooden doors. The valley of Hatkoti is thus often referred to as the 'Valley of Stone Temples'.
The architectural design and style of sculpture of the temple complex in Hatkoti depict that the structure dates back to the Gupta period, somewhere between the 6th and 9th century AD. Just like other temples within the complex, the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) is naturally dark, but the bronze idol of Goddess Mahishasurmardini (an incarnation of Durga) glows exquisitely. On either side of the image, there is an undeciphered inscription in a variation of the Brahmini script.
According to Hindu mythology, Hatkoti is considered a pilgrimage place where a fight took place between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Mahabharata epic on the other hand, reveals that the Pandava brothers are believed to have lived here. In recent times, the valley holds the same prominence and is often frequented by pilgrims, who are lured towards the Temple Complex, the Garbhagriha and the Shiva Temple. Sunpuri Hills is another major attraction for travellers.
Besides being a major pilgrimage centre, the place has also become a hot spot for adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering and rafting. Around 105 km east of Shimla, Hatkoti can be easily reached by air via Shimla Airport, and by rail via the railway station at Shimla. By road, tourists can reach Hatkoti via Shimla-Theog-Kotkhai-Khara Pathar-Hatkoti-Rohru motor road. The ideal time to visit Hatkoti is from April to October and from December to January.