Castles in the Himalayas? Timber castles? Belonging to a long, lost dynasty? Yes; it’s all true; it’s all here, in Naggar, in the Indian Himalayas.
Naggar, in the Kullu Valley – also known as the Valley of the Gods – sits halfway between the towns of Kullu and Manali.
Naggar was the capital of the Kullu Rajas for a millennia, before they moved to their new capital, which they confusingly called Kullu, in the 17th Century.
Before they did that though, there was… Naggar Castle.
The structure was built circa 1460 CE for Raja Sidh Singh.
It’s built in Kathkuni style, a Himalayan architectural style that utilises interwoven layers of stone and timber. This unique form of construction is both attractive and earthquake-resistant.
The exposed timber surfaces in the castle are a feast of intricately carved timber, reminding me of Punakha Dzong in Bhutan.
The castle was purchased by the British assistant commissioner in 1846, and later became a hotel, which it remains to this day.
Tourists, you’ll be glad to hear, are able to visit and explore the castle grounds.
Practical information and how to reach Naggar Castle:
Naggar Castle is 22km from traveler hub, Manali, and easily accessed by public bus. Manali is 532 km from Delhi.
More transport info here.