Naggar’s novelty is charmingly unmatchable

Naggar’s novelty is charmingly unmatchable

Naggar picturesque environs draws tourists looking to revel in green surroundings, go trekking or be a little more adventurous and camp out, writes Shiv Sethi

Naggar Castle

When it comes to the selection of a hill station to unwind strained nerves far from the deafening din and clitter clatter of the modern day, fast-paced city life, people often tend to make an error of judgement and consequently find themselves embroiled amidst the same suffocating environs. The popular mountainous destinations witness a mind-boggling footfall throughout the year and are, therefore, shorn of their pristine natural glory. If one hankers to have one’s rendezvous with the dense trees, lush green meadows and verdant valleys, one must take a trip to the quaint Himalayan village of Naggar which is nestled in Kulu Valley.

Situated 24 kilometres away from the city of Kullu, on the  bank of the mighty river of Beas, this place of picturesque  beauty has its own gravitational pull and irresistible charms. It is not only the salubrious surroundings which make it a worth visiting spot. The place retains its historical significance also due to a very famous  castle and  the Roerich Art Gallery. Known by the name of Naggar Castle, this marvel of classy architecture rests on the edge of a cliff-like formation which was built in the 16th century. 

Craftsmen have used only wood and stone in its construction, giving one a sneak peek into the popular  kathkhooni technique of the area.

Tripura Sundari Temple
Tripura Sundari Temple

This monument of cultural import has grabbed the attention of many a movie maker due to its breathtaking splendour and the spectacular view it offers. While leisurely strolling in its wooden corridors,  one can certainly experience a strong  spurt of energy in one’s every vital pore as one beholds the scintillating view of the snow-capped gigantic mountain summits of Chandraghani, Deotiba and Gyenghang. One can also book a queen’s or king’s suite and stay put there as the medieval castle has now been taken over by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) and converted into a heritage hotel. But while giving it a new facelift, its traditional glory and antiquated structure have been meticulously kept intact. 

The track from the Naggar Castle, leading to the Roerich Art Gallery reminds the apostles of nature of Robert Frost’s much famed poem Stopping by Woods On A Snowy Evening. The path ahead is bedecked with tall deodar trees, dense green foliage and lovely woods.

Unburdened with any call of mundane duties, one must enjoy the woods and first stop by the ancient Tripura Sundari Temple on the left side.

Like the heritage edifice of the castle, this mesmerising temple is also carved  in the finest wood and stone with a conical shikhara atop the double slanted roofs. Another sublime structure embellished with the finest filigree work.  

 As one steps ahead to the Roerich’s Art Gallery, one is spontaneously transported into the sylvan space of well-manicured gardens and thereon a profound sense of serenity seeps into the soul.

Roerich Art Gallery
Roerich Art Gallery

Nicolas Roerich, a renowned Russian painter was so smitten with the bewitching beauty of this paradise of nature that he chose to make Naggar his permanent abode during  the concluding years of his life. In order to pay the most befitting tribute to the artist extraordinaire,  the authorities have converted the ground floor of his home into the Roerich Museum.

A  small glimpse of his exquisitely emotive paintings leaves the gazer wonderstruck. One can sit here for hours and hours and reinvigorate one’s fatigued body and mind by simply immersing into the meditation of silence. The mellifluous music by the crooners from the avian world acts as a perfect accompaniment and intensifies the feeling of bliss.

The one kilometre serpentine stretch from the Naggar Castle to the Roerich Estate draws one back to the bygone era of pre-civilisation. But while taking stock of the other parts the village, one can observe that the serpent of urbanisation is all set to rear its nasty head here as well.

With the burgeoning number of tourists, many haphazard constructions are coming up.

However, in comparison with other terribly over--crowded hill stations like Shimla, Kullu, Manali and so on, this, yet not fully invaded place, has a lot to gratify real nature lovers. Wordsworth rightly says,” Nature never betrays the heart that loves her.”

So go and grab a share of your soul’s delight before man fully betrays nature in Naggar too.