Surrounded by lofty hills and the beautiful Beas River, Naggar Castle is an architectural wonder. Once, it used to be the abode of the rulers of Kullu. Now, it is owned by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. The castle’s elegance and historical significance make it a perfect place to stay while exploring Kullu and Manali.
If you wish to stay at Naggar Castle, make sure to book your rooms in advance. The rooms, furniture, and facilities of this heritage hotel perfectly blend history and modernity. You can book Naggar Castle’s Royal Suite to enjoy the view of the mountains from the luxurious room. Inside Naggar Castle, guests can also get options to have a dining experience.
History of Naggar Castle
More than five centuries ago (1460 AD), Naggar Castle was built by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu. Back then, the castle was his royal residence and administrative headquarters of Himachal Pradesh. Legend has it that to build the castle; Raja Sidh Singh used stones from an abandoned palace called Gardhak in the Baragaon village. With the help of his laborers, he formed a human chain connecting the left and right banks of river Beas to transfer the stones from Gardhak to Naggar. According to legends, the Gardhak palace belonged to Rana Bhonsal.
Later in 1846, when the British took over Kangra and Kullu from Sikhs, Raja Gyan Singh sold the castle to the first Assistant Commissioner of Kullu, Major Hay, in exchange for a rifle. During the British reign, the Naggar Castle used to be a courthouse. In 1947, before the British departure, the castle was sold to the Punjab Government.
In 1978, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) took over the castle and turned it into a rest house or heritage hotel. Recently, the Naggar Castle has been renovated by the HPTDC and is considered an important heritage property.
Architecture of Naggar Castle
The Naggar Castle is a magnificent blend of European and Himalayan architecture. The castle is crafted with stones and woods. The traditional architecture of the castle is known as Kathkooni. The wooden roofs, windows, and doors of the castle are beautifully carved with unique patterns and designs. Almost 42 inches wide walls of this castle are built so strongly that it survived the devastating earthquake of 1905 when the nearby city and houses were ruined completely.
The Naggar Castle is divided into two courtyards. One of them is surrounded by rooms, trees, and stone-paved floors. Another open courtyard houses the famous Jagatipatt Temple. The woodwork of the temple is similar to the architectural brilliance of Naggar Castle.
The interior design of this castle is also graceful. The fireplaces, staircases, woodworks, paintings, and elegant furniture inside the castle are a delight to the eyes. The basement of the castle has a museum that exhibits a part of Himachal's culture like shawls, carpets, nagaras, and many more.
Things to do at Naggar Castle
If you want to feel the royal vibe of India and experience the ambiance of British Raj in one place, Naggar Castle is the place to be. While visiting Kullu and Manali, you can plan your stay at the Naggar Castle. Spend some leisure time at the castle and admire its architectural beauty. Also, make sure to visit the Jagatipatt Temple.
You can explore all the local sightseeing places in Naggar town. Take a visit to the nearby Gauri Shankar temple, Krishna Temple, the Art Gallery of Nicholas Roerich, and Urusvati Himalayan Folk. You can also go on a trek to the Jana waterfall, which is almost 12 km from the castle. Apart from visiting all the temples and monasteries, don’t forget to shop at the local markets of Naggar.
Entry Fee and Timings of Naggar Castle
The entry fee to visit Naggar Castle is INR 30 per person. The opening time for the Castle is from 9 am to 6 pm, all days of the week.
How to Reach Naggar Castle
By Air- The nearest airport is Kullu-Manali airport or Bhinta airport, which is around 32.4 away from Naggar. The best way to reach Naggar Castle from the airport is via a taxi from top car rental companies in Manali. You can also take a bus to Naggar.
By Rail- Naggar isn’t connected to any railway station directly. The nearest railway station, Joginder Nagar is almost 145 km from Naggar town. You have to book a cab or taxi to reach the town from the station.
By Road- The best way to reach Naggar Castle is through the roads. You can take a bus to Manali from Delhi and get off at Patlikuhal, which is located around 17 km before Manali. From Patlikuhal, you can book a taxi to Naggar Castle, which is approximately 5.3 km away. And if you’re planning to visit the castle from Manali, take a bus or taxi to Naggar.
Interesting Facts about Naggar Castle
- The famous “Ye Ishq Haye” song from the Bollywood movie Jab We Met was shot in Naggar Castle.
- It is said that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru spent a few days here to write his book ‘A Bunch of Old Letters’.
- Famous artist Nicholas Roerich lived in this palace and took inspiration from the surrounding nature to create some of his great works.
Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Naggar Castle
- If you want to stay at Naggar Castle, make sure to book the rooms in advance.
- Although the castle represents ancient architecture, it offers modern amenities.
- Some of the amenities you will receive at Naggar Castle are an in-house restaurant, wifi, 24 hours power backup, drive-in, etc.
- If you stay in the castle, the entry fee won’t apply.
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