Naggar, India – Castles in the Himalayas? Kathkuni architecture? 2


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 Castle

Naggar Castle, India

Photo credit: Benjamin White

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.

Naggar Castle, India

Photo credit: Benjamin White

Before they did that though, there was… Naggar Castle.

The structure was built circa 1460 CE for Raja Sidh Singh.

Naggar Castle, India

Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

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.

Gauri Shankar Temple, Naggar, India

Gauri Shankar Temple. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

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.


More on Himachal Pradesh:

Hadimba Temple, Manali – former demoness, now guardian of travellers


More on India:

Daulatabad Fort – the Mad King’s impregnable ‘Hill of the Gods’

Kailasa Temple, Ellora Caves – largest monolithic building in the world

The Taj Mahal, Agra – temple? no! palace? no! mausoleum for Mumtaz?

Udaipur – home of all-round evil dude, Octopussy

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur – inescapable prison of Batman villain Bane

Bibi Ka Maqbara – the poor man’s Taj Mahal

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 thoughts on “Naggar, India – Castles in the Himalayas? Kathkuni architecture?

  • Karen White

    What a beautiful and unexpected castle in the Himalayas. What a wonderful hotel it must be as well, I think I would love to stay there as it looks peaceful as well
    Kazzieandkitty