A visit to the royal Naggar Castle near Manali is a nice daylong affair in your trip to this hill station.The castle figures out in the world heritage village and place was the capital of Kullu Rajas.
Naggar Castle History and Architecture
Naggar Castle was built in the year 1460 by the King of Kullu – Raja Siddh Singh.The Britishers , used this castle until 1947 , for legal purposes.After that , the castle was opened for the travelers as a rest house.The castle was earlier a residence of Kings of Kullu and later on converted to a Himachal government run heritage Hotel in the year 1978.
The clever use of stones and wood is what makes this place a treat to the eyes of the traveler.The palace’s use of earthquake proof techniques helped it to sustain the tremor of 1905.
The Castle is situated on the bank of river Beas.Apart from the castle itself you have visit other attractions in the premises like temples and art gallery.The small historical temple in the castle is a house of all Hindu gods.A small gallery in the castle is the place where you can discover the history of this castle.The gallery also showcases weapons and lifestyle of the past era.
Himachal Tourism Department looks after this castle.The heritage castle has been renovated without altering the core structure.The stones used In the construction of this castle was brought by the workers by passing hand-to-hand lined up in a que (almost 5 kilometer long) from the other side of the Beas river
The length and width of the doors in castle suggest that big deodar trees were used for the purpose.The walls of Naggar Castle is a typical example of Himachal’s Kath–khuni style of layering and inter locking timber and stone.
Site Seeing in and around the Castle
The 500 year old wooden castle is itself the best place to visit .It is located just 21 kilometers from Manali.From the restaurant of this castle you can admire the beauty of snow peaks , flowing Beas river and small hamlets in the vicinity.
The Naggar hamlet has all the amenities that you can thing about a hill station.The beautiful Himalayan hamlet is surrounded by highest snow peaks , thick deodar forests and apple orchards.The Himachal is a religious state and no wonder you see many temples in this place as well.The notable are Jagti Patt Temple , Krishna Temple and Raghunath Temple.
Tripur Sundri Temple
A pagoda style temple , Tripur Sundari , is 200 meters from Naggar Castle.The Hindu Goddess , Tripurasundari , is represented as a sixteen-year-old girl, and is believed to embody sixteen types of desire.
The Roerich Art Gallery
Nicholas Roerich- the famous Russian painter made this place his residence.His paintings are displayed in his bungalow.The painter was the first first to have extensively visited the inaccessible places in the Himalayas and made beautiful paintings of those snow peaks and beautiful valleys.You can visit his bungalow to feel the life in the era of 1930’s.It is also a nice place to see his 1930’s dods car , house stuffs and photographs.It is at a distance of 1 kilometer from the Naggar Castle.
The main bazaar of Naggar town looks more or less like any lively city.There are tourists all over enjoying Irish coffee , pastry or Indian food.
Jab We met Shooting location
The famous Bollywood movie ‘Jab We Met’ had some scenes shot here.The song in the film ‘Ye Ishq Haye’ had the visuals from Naggar Castle and the snow covered Rohtang Pass.The place was also a shooting location for 2013 Indian romantic drama film ‘Ye Jawani Hai Diwani’.
Distance from Manali Town
The distance between Manali and Naggar Castle is 21 kilometers.From Manali you can take a taxi for Naggar.The auto rikshaws are also available for this place and their rates (INR 600-800) are cheaper.
By making Naggar as the base station of your journey you can visit Rohtang Pass and Kullu as well.While Kullu is just 22 kilometers from Naggar , the Rohtang Pass , is 75 kilometers from here.
To Reach Naggar from distant places you will first need to get down in Manali town.Manali is well connected by Taxi and luxurious Tourist Buses from places like Delhi and Chandigarh and Shimla.The journey time between Delhi to Manali takes about 12 hours.The air route to Kullu airport has very less flights so it is not a popular choice among travelers.
Naggar Castle Room Charges and Booking
The Naggar castle also facilitates stay options for the Travelers.The room rent ranges from Rs 1600-4500 for continental plan where room rent and complimentary free breakfast are included in the tariff.The Trout Fish served at the castle’s restaurant is one of the popular specilities of Manali and not advisable to be missed if your are not a veggie !
There are 7 types of rooms in the heritage hotel for booking.They are – Economy ( Rs 1600) , Regular (Rs 2000) , Deluxe (Rs 2300) , Cozy Deluxe (Rs 2800) , Super Deluxe (Rs 3500),Luxury (Rs 3900) , Royal Suite (Rs 4500).You can make further enquiries at 01902-248316 or email – [email protected].
The online booking for a stay in Naggar Castle can be directly done through the HPTDC official website here – http://hptdc.nic.in/ohrs/PublicPages/PubHome.aspx
Best Time to be here
If you want to see the snow laden peaks the best time to visit is December-January-February.In summer the best time to be here is between March to June.