A beautiful town between Kullu and Manali is a hidden jewel, a town which is a little away from the chaos of the overcrowded hill station. This town is called as “Naggar”.
I never got a chance to explore this town until one day my friend called me to visit his village. How could I not utilise a chance to visit the mountains, I thought. I convinced my cousin to come along, she happily agreed. Voila!!
The HRTC buses are the best option if you are travelling to Himachal via Delhi. The semi-sleeper seats and foot rest makes you feel comfortable and your long journey is transformed into an enjoyable trip. If you are travelling to Naggar from Delhi by Volvo, get off at Patlikuhal which lies an hour so after Kullu. Patlikuhal is equidistant from Kullu and Manali. People who would like to visit Naggar from Manali side have to proceed Khakhnal. Bus facility is also available from Manali.
Naggar was the home for the Kings and queens of the princely state for over 1400 years. In 17th century Naggar was the capital for Kullu under Raja Jagat Singh. The capital was later shifted to Sultanpur at Kullu in 1860.
On reaching Naggar, right from the beginning we were greeted with beautiful streams, friendly faces and were looked after by mighty mountains. The ancient temples and the canopies of the deodar forests makes it look more beautiful.
While you are there, here are a few places that you can explore.
Naggar Castle – This castle was built by Raja Bhosal and is now run by HPTDC. There is a hotel run in this castle after renovation and you can even rent out a luxurious room here at fairly decent prices. This place is very scenic, and the castle offers panoramic view of the valley. There is a sacred slab of stone called Jagti Patt in the castle. It is believed that this Jagti Patt rescues the local people against all ill effects.
Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery – Situated at a 30-minute walking distance from the Naggar Castle, the Roerich Memorial is famous for Russians who are inspired by the work of the iconic painter, writer and philosopher Nicholas Roerich. He was so mesmerised with the natural beauty of Naggar, that he built a cottage and lived there with his wife for 20 years. His entire property is now converted into an Art gallery showcasing his work and beautiful paintings. Two of his admirers included the two prime ministers of India, Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
Gauri Shankar Temple – This is located on the way to Nicholas Roerich Art gallery and museum. This ancient temple venerates Shiva and Parvati. The temple dates to the 11th century and is considered to be the last architectural structure of the Gurjara- Pratihara traditions.
Tripura Sundari Temple – Situated at a 15-minute walking distance from the Naggar castle, this ancient temple lies between Naggar Castle and Roerich Gallery. The temple is dedicated to the local goddess and the locals living nearby consider it highly auspicious. The temple stands as a massive wooden structure, exhibiting the local architecture and art of carving. This temple is a Pagoda style temple made of deodar wood.
Jana Waterfall – At 12kms from Naggar, Jana falls is a beautiful natural waterfall inside the small village Jana. If you are looking for a day long adventure, then trek to Jana Village. One can also enjoy the local cuisines served by the Dhabas over here.
Dhakpo Shedrupling Monastery/KAIS Monastery – At 12 kms from Naggar, Dhakpo Shedrupling Monastery is located in Kais Village of Kullu district. It is also known as Kais Monastery. This monastery was inaugurated in May 2005, by the great noble laureate and his holiness Dalai Lama. The picturesque view of the valleys surrounding this place makes is an amazing destination. This monastery serves as a boarding school and university for the study of Buddhist Philosophy. This monastery houses several Tibetan Monks. This monastery has a huge prayer hall with a huge Buddha Statue.
How to reach Naggar
The best way to reach Naggar is by road. Delhi is almost 520kms from Naggar. It can take 10-12 hours to reach if you are self-driving. If you take the HRTC bus from Kashmere Gate ISBT, the bus will drop you at Patlikuhal in the same time. From Patlikuhal you can take a local bus or a taxi to Naggar town.
Wish you Happy Travelling!