Situated on the left bank of river Beas at an altitude of 1851m, Naggar - an ancient town commands extensive views, especially to the North West of the valley. Naggar was the former capital of Kullu. It was founded by Raja Visudhpal and continued as a headquarters of the State until the capital was transferred to Sultanpur (Kullu) by Jagat Singh in 1460 A.D. Today this ancient and beautiful Palace is a popular tourist spot.
Access : By road Kullu is 26 km and Manali is 21 km. The airport is at Bhunter (Kullu) 36 km.
Climate : In winter heavy woolens are recommended and in summers the temperature is pleasant and cottons are suggested.
Places of Interest
- Jagatipatt Temple : In the upper courtyard of the castle there is a small temple - a small square structure which contains "Jagtipatt" a slab of stone measuring 5'x8'x6" which is said to have been brought from a place near Vashisht by honey bee. This is also place for meeting of local deities of Kullu.
- Tripura Sundri Temple : This pagoda shaped wooden temple is situated in the upper part of the village. This is also a rare examples of architecture.
- Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery : Prof. Late Nicholas Roerich, a reputed artist had chosen Naggar as his residence when he came to India in 1929. The house has now been converted in an art gallery which houses numbers of rare paintings and other specimen of art. The gallery is open for visitors.
- Gauri Shankar Temple : At the foot of small bazaar below the Castle is the Gauri Shankar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is a charming example of architecture and carving of its particular period. Now a protected monument with heritage status.
- Fishing and Adventure : The Kullu Valley has numerous places for trout fishing. These includes Katrain, Raison, Kasol and Naggar, along the river Tirthan near Larji, in the Sainj valley.
Treks : The valley is a nucleus to several trek routes. Some major ones are over the Chanderkhani Pass to Malana village, over the Jalori Pass to Shimla, and over the Pin Parvati Pass to Sarahan. The river Beas offers excellent opportunities for white water rafting.
- Shopping : Shawls, Local Tweeds, Rugs, Foot Wear (Pullan), Baskets, Natural oil (almond and olive), special Kullu Caps.
The historic town of Mandi (800m) is situated along the banks of river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre, and the sage Mandava is said to have meditated here. Mandi is renowned for its 81 temples and their enormous range of fine carving. Mandi is known as the 'Kashi of the Hills'. The town also has remains of old palaces and notable examples of colonial architecture. Mandi is the gateway to the Kullu valley and acts as a base for several exciting excursions.
The nearest airport at Bhunter is 59 km. The broad-gauge railhead is at Pathankot at a distance of 210 km. From Pathankot the narrow gauge railway connects Joginder Nagar, 56 km from Mandi. From Chandigarh one can drive directly to Mandi via Ropar and Bilaspur, the distance is 203 km The drive takes around 5 hours. Luxury / Volvo coaches from Delhi and Shimla bound for Kullu - Manali travel via Mandi.
In winter, temperatures can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is hot and cottons are recommended.
Places of Interest
- Bhootnath Temple : Practically synonymous with Mandi and located in its very heart, this is as old as the town itself and dates back to the 1520s. In March, the festival of Shivratri is a major event and the Bhootnath temple is its focus. For an entire week the town celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on elaborately decorated palanquins.
- Syamakali Temple : Also called the temple of Tarna Devi, this is high on Tarna Hill which rises above the town. Built In the 17th century by Raja Syama Sen after particularly trying times when the goddess gave him success.
- Other Temples In Mandi Town : Within the town is a variable roll call of shrines. Apart from the emotions they evoke, they are also a wealth of classical architecture and ornate sculpture. Many of these are devoted to Lord Shiva, at the Triloknath Temple He is depicted as the lord of the three worlds, at the Panchvaktra He has five faces, expressing His five aspects. At the Ardhanarisvara Temple, Lord Shiva appears in a composite form with right half as a male and the left half as a female symbolizing the male and female principles of cosmic evolution. There are several exquisite temples along the College road, and the bank of the Beas is lined with many more. At the Gyarah Rudra Temple, the day the famous Amarnath darshan takes place, the temple is decorated to resemble as Amarnath Cave. The other places of interest within Mandi are the Rani Amrit Kaur Park, the District Library Building and Vijay Kesari Bridge.
- Pandoh : 16 km from Mandi, an earth and rock fill dam is located here.
- Sundernagar (1175m) : 24 km from Mandi is this attractive town where the balancing reservoir of the Beas - Sutlej link canal is located. The road has the canal on one side and lush green field on the other which makes driving along it a real pleasure. The Mahamaya Temple is on top of the hill.
- Prashar Lake (92730m) : 40 km north of Mandi is this beautiful lake, with a three storied pagoda style Temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.
- Janjheli (2200m) : 67 km from Mandi this is a scenic place with thick forests and springs. It is also the base of some excellent treks.
- Shikari Devi (2850m) : 15 Km from Janjheli there is an ancient temple here and some marvelous landscapes.
- Shopping : A variety of traditional handcrafts including silver jewelry and stone carvings can be purchased at Mandi.