A perfect mountain resort for all seasons
Located at a driving distance of 520 kilometers from Delhi, Naggar in Himachal Pradesh is a lesser-known mountain destination. Situated just 18 kilometers before reaching the hugely popular and commercial hill station of Manali, Naggar is a relaxed and almost sleepy little town perched on a hill (1800m) along the fast flowing Beas River.
Wherever it snows, which happens every year and has happened recently, Naggar is especially beautiful. During the summers, it offers a very comfortable climate.
This is not a place for those taking a selfie or looking for an adrenaline rush. It is a place for easy contemplation, long, leisurely walks amidst beautiful nature, and a close look at traditional Himachal.
Naggar is an ideal family destination, with its small collection of family-run guest houses, small restaurants, nature trails, apple and apricot farms, heritage temples and villages with traditional architecture of wood and Himachali rock (Kath Kuni).
Naggar has two major tourist attractions which attract many day trippers from Manali. These are the famous 500-year-old Naggar Castle and the Roerich Art Gallery. Naggar was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Kullu and the local king ruled from a small castle built in the traditional Kath-Kuni style. Part of the castle, which offers stunning views of the Kullu Valley, is now an HPTDC hotel.
Nicholas Roerich was a famous Russian artist, explorer and philosopher who fell in love with Naggar and decided to stay there. Her home is now an art gallery set amidst a beautiful, lush garden.
Naggar offers, for those who decide to linger longer, many lovely walks to nearby villages like Rumsu. Some of these villages are declared heritage villages with very rich and particular local traditions.
These abound in temples dedicated to the highly revered local deity ‘Jamlu Devta’. The temples of Naggar, built on three different architectural styles are one of the main attractions. The Gauri Shankar temple and the hilltop Krishna temple, both built over 1000 years ago, are the most impressive.
Eva Veyrard, who runs Alliance Guest House in Naggar, says Naggar has retained its cozy vibe in the face of rampant commercialization in the Kullu Valley and Manali.
She says, “Most of the guesthouses here are family places where guests feel like they are living in a home. That’s why we get a lot of regular and long-time guests. Naggar is surely a good place to visit throughout the year.”