Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

In the serene embrace of the Himalayas, where nature weaves its tapestry of tranquility and majesty, there lies a hidden gem: Naggar. Nestled amidst the awe-inspiring mountains of Himachal Pradesh, Naggar is a destination like no other, offering a retreat from the digital cacophony of our modern lives. Join us on a journey as we explore Naggar, a place where you can unplug, rejuvenate, and bask in the lap of Himalayan luxury.Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

Discovering Naggar’s Serenity

Naggar may not be as well-known as some of its neighboring destinations, but that’s precisely what makes it so special. Located in the Kullu Valley, this picturesque village is an oasis of peace, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s a place where you can disconnect from the virtual world and reconnect with yourself.

The Arrival of British Explorers and Hunters in Kullu ValleyNaggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

After the death of Sher-e Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh on June 27, 1839, the foundations of his vast Sikh empire began to crumble. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the British waged a fierce war against the Sikhs in 1845 and conquered their provinces one by one. The Kullu valley of Himachal, which was part of the Sikh Empire for years, came under the East India Company in 1846, and with it, the first British traffic started there. Some nature-loving Englishmen came here to enjoy the natural beauty, while others came to fulfill their hunting passion in the forests here.

British Pioneers and the Transformation of Kullu ValleyNaggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

Within a decade or so, the British established their estates in Bajura, Raison, Bandrol, Dobhi, Naggar, Jagatsukh and Manali. There was no unpaved or paved road to reach Kullu village. One had to reach Kullu on foot or on a mule. There was a vast scope for abundant growth in this region due to the pleasant climate. An English Assistant Commissioner of Kulloo named Major Hey planted tea in the town for the first time in the name of development and established the Kulloo Tea Company within a few years, but the climate of Kulloo was not suitable for tea plants. Hence, the British turned to apple cultivation. Today, apple farming is a major source of income for countless farmers in Himachal Pradesh. Villages like Kulloo were ruled by the British for almost a hundred years; after independence, most of the British left their properties and returned home.

Naggar Fort: A Timeless Witness to HistoryNaggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

A silent witness exists that has seen the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh as well as British rule today at Naggar village on the banks of the river Beas in Kullu district. Naggar Fort is the witness that has seen a period of 500 years. The fort was built around 1460 AD by King Siddha Singh of Kullu. Naggar village was once the capital of Kullu. A king named Vishuddha Pal is said to have founded the city. In the mid-fifteenth century, the enthroned king of Kullu, Siddh Singh, built the Naggar fort.Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

It did not look like the grand forts found in Rajasthan. Several buildings were built inside the slightly elevated wall. The stones needed for this had to be brought from far away, so the workers formed a human chain from one end of the river Beas to the other and brought the stones to Naggar. Stone is the main material of the town fort, while another material is wood. Wood from 2,000 Cedar Trees in Uttarakhand was used in the construction of this fort.

The fort consists of two large courtyards, surrounded by a series of rooms in twenty-storied buildings. Until the 19th century, this princely structure was divided into two parts: one for the royal family and the other for the locals, both with kitchens, offices, and out-houses for visiting guests.Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

The construction of the fort is very strong, with 42-inch-thick massive walls made of stones and wooden rails. In the devastating earthquake in Himachal Pradesh in 1905, many structures in Kullu district were destroyed, but the town fort remained intact. This incident drew the attention of construction experts and archaeologists to Naggar Fort.

Artistic wood carvings of the fort

Small towns in the Himalayas have a special style of house construction called ‘Kath Khuni’. Centuries ago, hill people used limited materials to build shelters in the cold Himalayan climate. Kath is an example of corner-style construction. Stones and wood are used in this type of building.Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

In some areas of Himachal Pradesh this style is known by various names, like Kath Kona, Kath-Ki-Kanni, and Koti Banel. Any wooden corner construction can be easily recognized by the fact that stone and wood are joined together by building one layer on top of the other. Thick walls, beautiful courtyards, and entrances decorated with beautiful wood carvings are the specialties of almost every Kath Khooni house.

All these aspects are found in Naggar Fort. The wooden carvings here are so beautiful that they cannot remain without attracting the attention of tourists. The wooden pillars, balconies, supports erected on its edges, artistic facades of the sloping roofs, etc., have various carvings. The real charm of Naggar Fort is the combination of gray and red wood, which gives a distinct identity to the entire building.Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

All the villages located in the Himalayan range have the characteristic that if you look out from any window of the house, you can see beautiful views. As beautiful as the structures here are, the surrounding natural scenery is equally beautiful. The windows of the fort’s rooms, corridors, and courtyards offer a picturesque view, like towering snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Sometimes the distant places are covered with clouds, and sometimes the snowy peaks are lost in the clouds.

Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

The Naggar Fort was converted into a hotel in 1978 by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. Today, the property is a valuable heritage property. There are 16 rooms and one dormitory for tourists to stay in. There is also a museum in the basement showcasing Himachal industries and handicrafts such as Patu, Shawl, Gudma, Nagar carpet, etc., mainly featuring images of gods and goddesses in traditional attire.

Jagatipatta Temple: A Divine Masterpiece in NaggarNaggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

The local people have immense faith in the Jagatipatta temple located here. It is said that the Gods and Goddesses of Heaven attained the form of bees and went to the peak called Dev Tibba and brought carved stones of 2.5 meters by 1.5 meters by 3 meters from there. He arranged these stones in the town and built the temple. This seems to be a matter of faith and belief, but architecturally, the Jagatipatta temple is a beautiful example of art. The details of the temple, decorated with slate stones arranged on the sloping roof and wooden carvings on the facade and entrance, are a sight to behold.

Gourishankar Temple and Tripura Sundari Mata Temple in Naggar

Tripura Sundari Mata Temple in Naggar

Gourishankar temple, located next to the fort, was built in the 11th century. The Temple of Goddess Tripura Sundari, built entirely of cedar wood, is also a unique place. The goddess is considered to be the personification of Shakti (power). The surprising feature here is that every year in the month of Vaishakh (the fifth month of the Hindu calendar), the goddess dresses in the form of a shroud of dead bodies. The religious faith of the people of Himachal Pradesh beats in such temples.

Nicholas Roerich’s Legacy:

Tripura Sundari Mata Temple in Naggar

One of the hidden gems of Naggar is the Roerich Art Gallery, dedicated to the renowned Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. The gallery houses an extensive collection of his paintings that depict the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayas. It’s a place where art and nature converge, leaving visitors mesmerized by the profound beauty of the region.

A Russian painter and philosopher named Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947) traveled and lived in many places all over the world, but he spent the last days of his life in Naggar. Today, an international art gallery has been built in his memory at his residence in Naggar.Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

The name of which is International Roerich Memorial Trust. Here is an exhibition of various paintings by him as well as some of the most renowned painters in the world. Besides, Nicholas Roerich’s house and his car are also kept for tourists to see.

Situated on the banks of the river Beas at an altitude of 5,600 feet above sea level, Naggar is an ideal destination for nature lovers and peaceful tourists. The real Himachal Pradesh lies in such small villages, not in the streets of shopping markets!

Jana WaterfallNaggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

For nature enthusiasts, a trip to the Jana Waterfall is a must. This stunning cascade is a bit off the beaten path, but the journey is as rewarding as the destination. The trek through lush forests and meandering streams leads to the majestic waterfall, where you can immerse yourself in the invigorating spray of pure mountain water.

Naggar Castle Road

Taking a leisurely stroll along the Naggar Castle Road is an experience in itself. Lined with quaint shops selling local handicrafts, this road provides a glimpse into the vibrant culture of the region. You can pick up souvenirs, interact with friendly locals, and soak in the artistic and cultural vibe of Naggar.

The Digital Detox Experience

Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

In a world where our lives are increasingly intertwined with screens and notifications, Naggar offers a much-needed break. As you step into this Himalayan haven, you’ll notice something unusual: the absence of the incessant digital noise. Here, mobile networks are scarce, and Wi-Fi is a rarity. But fear not; this is not a limitation but a liberating feature.

Embracing a digital detox in Naggar means immersing yourself in a lifestyle where you can truly be present in the moment. You’ll find yourself marveling at the beauty of the mountains, breathing in the crisp, clean air, and listening to the melodious songs of the birds. It’s a world where Instagram posts and email notifications take a back seat, allowing you to focus on the beauty of the real world.

Accommodations Fit for Royalty

Naggar Unplugged: A Digital Detox in the Lap of Himalayan Luxury

Now, let’s talk about luxury. Naggar doesn’t just offer serenity; it provides an opulent retreat experience as well. Among the many options for accommodations, the Naggar Castle stands out as a regal choice. This heritage hotel was once the residence of Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu and now welcomes guests with its majestic charm.

Imagine waking up to panoramic views of snow-capped peaks with the Beas River glistening in the distance. The Naggar Castle offers not only luxurious rooms but also a glimpse into the rich history of the region. Each corner of the castle echoes with stories of a bygone era.

Culinary Delights

A digital detox is not just about disconnecting from screens; it’s also an opportunity to savor the flavors of local cuisine. Naggar boasts an array of eateries where you can relish Himachali dishes prepared with love and care.

Chana Madra, a delectable Chickpea Curry, and Dham, a traditional Himachali platter, are just a few of the culinary delights you can savor here. These dishes are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Here are some key points to keep in mind while visiting Ayodhya:

Perfect time of year to visit: The town is a perennial village, one can enjoy snowfall in winter, then one can enjoy coolness here in summer. In monsoons, the greenery on the hills is to be enjoyed.

Transportation:

Private taxis and buses are available from Manali. There are many buses plying running from Delhi, Chandigarh to Manali. One can reach Manali by road from there by experiencing the delightful journey of Kalka-Shimla by rail. The nearest airport to Manali is Bhunttar of Kullu and the nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar.

Accommodation:

There are plenty of hotels and guest houses in Manali, if you want to experience a stay at Naggar Fort, this is it. Himachal Tourism Hotel Address: The Castle, Naggar, Distt. Kullu (H.P.) Email-Id: naggar@hptdc.in. Phone: 01902 248316, Tourism website for online booking  www.himachaltourism.nic.in

Mobile Network and Wi-Fi Availability:

Be prepared for limited mobile network coverage and sporadic Wi-Fi access in Naggar. Consider this as an opportunity to disconnect from digital distractions.

Cash and ATMs:

Carry sufficient cash with you, as ATMs may be scarce in the area. It’s advisable to have cash on hand for local transactions.

Weather Considerations:

Naggar experiences varying weather conditions, so pack accordingly. Summers are pleasant, but winters can be quite cold with snowfall. Check the weather forecast before your trip.

Local Cuisine:

Don’t miss the chance to savor Himachali cuisine, including Chana Madra and Dham. Most restaurants in Naggar offer authentic dishes that are a treat for the taste buds.

Cultural Sensitivity:

Respect the local culture and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and interacting with the locals.

Exploring Remote Areas:

If you plan to explore remote areas or go on treks, inform someone at your accommodation about your plans and expected return time for safety reasons.

Roerich Art Gallery:

Take some time to visit the Roerich Art Gallery, where you can appreciate the stunning artwork inspired by the Himalayas. It’s a unique cultural experience.

Hiking Essentials:

If you’re an avid hiker, bring appropriate gear like sturdy shoes, a backpack, and water bottles for your outdoor adventures.

Language:

While Hindi is commonly spoken, knowing a few basic local phrases in Himachali can enhance your interactions with the locals.

Travel Insurance:

Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover unexpected situations like medical emergencies or trip cancellations.

Remember that Naggar is a place to unwind and immerse yourself in nature and culture. By keeping these points in mind, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to this Himalayan gem.

+ Jana Waterfall, 15 km from Naggar, is a fun place to visit. Near the falls there are several huts of villagers, where traditional Garhwali cuisine of Himachal is served.

॥ If staying in Manali, a visit to Old Manali Town for food and drink is a must, there are plenty of cafeterias here. The area is particularly popular for pizza and pasta.

Conclusion

Naggar, with its blend of serenity, luxury, and cultural richness, is a destination that deserves recognition. It’s a place where you can unplug from the digital world, immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, and indulge in the lap of Himalayan luxury. So, the next time you seek a retreat from the digital noise, consider Naggar, where tranquility and majesty converge.


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