Not often do you visit a place and immediately fall in love with it! Probably it is the culture or the surroundings of the place that make it feel like a home away from home. I found this comfort in the arms of Kullu Valley, a small hamlet away from the commercialised hill stations of Himachal.
It had been more than a year of working from my home desk; the thought of a wokation in the hills was too enticing. So when a group of friends from across the country got on a Zoom call, there were only two concerns –
- Where will we find high speed internet?
- Which is that one place far away from tourists?
That’s when a friend suggested Naggar, a small village about 20 km from Manali. Some more Zoom calls later, we decided to meet up in Delhi. As our bus entered the Himachal valleys, passing through rustic towns and villages – we knew we had some beautiful days lined up.
On reaching our homestay in Naggar, my friends and I were welcomed with warm smiles by our homestay owner and their friendly dog, Bruno. “We have an apple orchard right behind the house, freshen up and we will take you there”, the homestay owner chimed. The next thing we know, we were relishing apples by picking them directly from the trees – a feat very rare for a city dweller.
Over the next few days, we got a peek into the local lifestyle of this beautiful village. Almost everyone knows each other in the village. The friendly locals are way too hospitable and will go out of their way to help tourists. It is probably the charm of this place that every traveller we met told us how they initially planned to stay here for a few days but ended up staying for a long time.
The internet connectivity is good in Naggar. Most of the homestays and hostels have installed Wi-Fi. The food and stay options are economical, making it an ideal location for young solo travellers. Some of the cafes and hostels here also host networking events and are a great way to meet industry leaders, and working professionals travelling to the hills.
Here is all that you need to know before you pack your bags and head to the mountains of Naggar.
[Also Read: Kasol: A Paradise for Adventurers]
Things to Do – Places to Visit In and Around Naggar
Naggar Castle was built by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu in around 1460 A.D. Today, the reflections on the castle’s walls retell a story of its glorious past. Walk around the castle premises admiring its rustic beauty. The views of Kullu valley from Naggar Castle are enchanting.
There is also a restaurant inside the castle. With a wide range of cuisines available, you can enjoy a fulfilling meal with a picturesque view.
Krishna Temple is located at the top of a hill, about 1 km from Naggar Castle. The trek to the temple is steep and passes through the woods. Reconnect with wildlife on this exploration. You will find many solo travellers on the way.
On reaching the top, you will find an ancient Krishna Temple surrounded by gorgeous apple orchards. The view from this place is out of the world and cannot be missed! The serenity of the environment paired with the freshness of nature will bring your heart to peace.
About 4 km from Naggar, the Jana waterfall is a hidden paradise! This fall is a charming picnic spot surrounded by deodar trees, pine trees, apple orchards, and spectacular snow-covered mountain peaks. The first sight of the falls is quite hidden and will be a surprise for its visitors as the water unexpectedly rushes from a cluster of rocks overlooking a wooden bridge.
You can also enjoy a refreshing bath at these falls or you can even leisurely swim in the small pool of these falls. One can also trek up the hill to reach the top of the hill which provides a better view of the waterfall and its surroundings.
Where to Eat – Cafes in Naggar
Wool’s Cafe is one of the most aesthetic cafes in Naggar. With a scenic setting, the cafe interiors are perfect for a focused work session. Nibble on small treats or try their delicious high-quality coffee while you are at it. The rooftop seating area enhances the experience. You can witness the snow-capped mountains playing hide and seek with clouds. The sound of the river Beas flowing from between the mountains makes it feel like heaven!
The food here is extremely delicious. Margherita and Pepperoni pizzas are highly recommended. Strike a conversation with fellow travellers as this is one of the most popular hangout spots of Naggar.
Naggar Delight Cafe
This cute little cafe is located on the other side of Naggar Castle. On our arrival here, we were told that Naggar Delight Cafe is known to have the best cheesecake in town. And boy, they were right! The cheesecake literally melts in your mouth making your day as delightful as they claim to be.
Stop here for a quick bite or your dessert cravings. The owner of the cafe is very humble and has been living in Naggar since his childhood. A conversation with him will familiarise you with the rich culture of the place.
Ragini Rooftop Cafe
This cafe serves the most delicious food without burning a hole in your pocket. The rooftop setting makes the experience of dining even better.
With a wide range of options available in their menus, head to this place for an economical lunch or dinner. They also have a range of Israeli cuisine available. However, their pizzas and sandwiches are a must-try.
[Also Read: Mcleodganj: A Great Centre of Meditation]
Where to Stay – Homestays and Hostels in Naggar
GoStops Hostels – They have different kinds of accommodations available which will cost anywhere in the range of Rs 600-1000 per night.
Pahadi Robinhood – This place has both bunk beds and private rooms available. It can cost from Rs 500-2000 per night depending on your requirements and length of stay.
North – North is the most popular hostel in Naggar. You will meet many solo travellers here. Stays can cost anywhere between Rs 500-1000 per night depending on your requirements.
Amar Homestay – About 2 km downhill from Naggar Castle, Amar homestay is a quaint, economical homestay option.
How to Reach Naggar
The nearest airport is in Bhuntar which is just 32 km from Naggar. The nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar railway station which is 132 km from Naggar. However, most of the tourists take a cab or a bus from Delhi or Chandigarh. To ensure that you reach your destination safely and quickly, you can book a Savaari from Delhi or Chandigarh. By booking a cab you can travel at your own comfort, you can stop and explore many places that come along the way!