Naggar in Kullu District
Situated on the left bank of the River Beas at an altitude of 1851m, Naggar was the former capital of the erstwhile Kullu state for nearly 1400 years. Naggar is an ancient hamlet that preserves within itself the noble spiritual values and the rich cultural heritage which Kullu had upheld in the past. It is located at about 300 metres above the river and is situated on a wooden slope that commands breath taking views, especially of the North-west side of the valley. Naggar is 25 kilometres away from the main town of Kullu and this ancient and beautiful place is also considered a popular tourist spot these days.
Naggar followed Nast (Jagatsukh) as the capital of Kullu. It was founded by Raja Visudhpal and it continued as a headquarters of the State until the capital was transferred to Sultanpur (Kullu) by Jagat Singh in 1460 A.D. A huge castle belonging to the Rajas of Kullu still exists here. The castle has been converted into a tourist lodge in the recent times and is built on a steep platform which overlooks the valley and dominates the entire village and the surrounding countryside. The castle was supposed to have been built during the reign of Raja Sidh Singh who commanded the castle to be constructed with the help of stones that were brought from the Baragarh Fort which is on the opposite valley.
There are quite a number of tourist destinations in the charming little village of Naggar such as the Naggar Castle, the Roerich Art Gallery and the Uruswati Himalayan Folk Art Museum. The place is holy and sacred for pilgrims as well because of the number of religious places like the Gauri Shankar Temple, the Muralidhar Temple and the Tripura Sundari Mata Temple and so on which are located here. The more adventurous visitors can also opt for activities like fishing, trekking and white water rafting.
Mode of Transportation to reach NaggarBy Road: Naggar can be easily accessed by road as the distance between Naggar and Kullu is 25 kilometres and between Naggar and Manali is 20 kilometres.
By Air: The nearest airport to Naggar is in Bhuntar in the Kullu Valley which is at a distance of 36 kilometres. The airport at Bhuntar also has regular connections with cities like Chandigarh, Shimla and Delhi.
By Rail: The closest railway station to Naggar is located in Chandigarh. It is connected to various cities like Amritsar, Barmer, Chennai, Kalka, Kochuveli, Lucknow and New Delhi.
Climate in NaggarNaggar has temperate climatic conditions influenced by the presence of the towering peaks of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Summers have pleasant and mild weather conditions, which is also the ideal time for adventure sports, hence light cotton clothes are recommended.
Winters are cool and chilly with the temperatures reaching below 0°C along with a heavy snowfall. Heavy woollen clothes are recommended during the winters that comprise of woollen caps, coats, mufflers, mittens and rubber boots to escape the snow.
Tourist Attractions in Naggar
- NAGGAR CASTLE: The Naggar Castle which was built by Raja Sidh Singh in the 17th century has been converted into a heritage hotel. The hotel is run by the HPDTC and has splendid views of the Kullu Valley.
- GAURI SHANKAR TEMPLE: This temple is located just below the Naggar Castle and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The Gauri Shankar Temple is a great example of architecture and has exquisite carvings which have led this temple to become a protected monument with a heritage status.
- TRIPURA SUNDARI TEMPLE: The Tripura Sundari Temple is situated in the upper part of the village of Naggar and it resembles a pagoda. This beautiful piece of architecture is made up of wood and it houses the stone idols of Ganesha, Vishnu, Brahma, Laxmi Narayan, Shiva and Parvati.
- ROERICH ART GALLERY: The Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery is a prominent tourist attraction in the village of Naggar which exhibits quite a number of rare paintings and other specimens of art which were made by Nicholas Roerich himself as well as some other Indian and Russian artists.
- URUSWATI HIMALAYAN FOLK ART MUSEUM: This folk art museum is situated a little high up the Roerich Art Gallery and is in the same premises. It exhibits a wide collection of local and Russian folk art in which the highlights are the carvings from Ladakh and Kullu along with the idols of gods and goddesses.
- JAGATIPATT TEMPLE: Jagatipatt is a small wooden temple in the upper courtyard of the premises of the Naggar Castle in the village. The most prominent feature of this temple is a stone slab measuring 5’ x 8’ x 6’, which is believed to have been brought here by the Gods from the Bhrigu Tung Peak.
According to the local legend, the Gods and Goddesses decided to construct Naggar as a divine seat. Hence, they changed into honey bees and cut the slab from Drag Dhank of the Bhrigu Tung peak.
The locals also believe that the deities gather at this temple for protecting the people from calamities.
- THE MURALIDHAR TEMPLE: This is the oldest temple in this part of Kullu and is located on a small ridge above Naggar. The Muralidhar Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is the site of the annual Dusshera festival as well.
- THE VISHNU TEMPLES: Naggar has two Vishnu temples. One is on the way to the village on the right side of the road. This is temple is in the shape of a small pyramid. It is also of a great historical and archaeological importance as the festival of 'Ganer' starts from here. The other Vishnu Temple is near the Naggar Castle on the eastern side, a few steps down from the main road towards the village. This temple is also in the shape of a pyramid and it houses an idol of Vishnu made up of ‘asht-dhatu’ (a mixture of eight metals) and is about four feet tall. ). The idol is set on a pedestal (kamalasan) which is a square made up of stone and is about a foot high. The idol is a ‘chaturbhuj’ figure, that is, it has four arms and the pedestal also has lotus petals carved on it.
Things to do in Naggar
- FISHING: The village of Naggar is famous for fishing and visitors can spend quite a number of pleasant days fishing in the river for fresh trout.
- SHOPPING: Naggar has shops in the area where shawls, local tweeds, rugs, footwear (Pullan), baskets, natural oils and special Kullu caps are easily available.
- Tourists can also absorb the cultural ambience of Naggar during the fairs and festivals which are organised in the village and which speak of a rich cultural heritage. One of the prominent fairs of the village is the Naggar Fair that is organised in the month of April every year.