Naggar, 13km south of Manali, is a peaceful little village that is a nice place to stay for a while. Naggar was the capital of the Kullu valley for around 1400 years.
The Naggar Castle is an interesting place built around a nice courtyard, which has been converted into a hotel. It was built around 500 years ago. There are good views of the valley from the balconies. There is a small, interesting museum.
Within the castle is the Jagti Patt Temple. Inside the temple there is a stone slab 1.5m by 2.5m. The story written on the side of this temple says that it was decided to make Naggar the celestial seat of all the gods. Therefore the gods were transformed into honey-bees with Herculean power. They cut a stone from Deotiba and carried it through the air to what is now the Naggar Castle.
In Naggar there are some interesting temples. To reach the Murlidhar (Krishna) Temple you have to make a hard twenty-minute climb. There are good views from this temple of the mountains and valley. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter. It is open in the morning and later in the afternoon.
The Chaturbhuj Vishnu Temple is right off the main road. There is a beautiful 1m (3 ft) Deity of Lord Vishnu in this temple. The Gauri Shankar Siva Temple (12th century) has deities of Siva and Parvati.
The Tripura Sundri Temple is a pagoda-style Durga temple made of wood. It has a three-tiered roof. There is a festival here in May, during which, deities from the local villages are brought here.
T he Roerich Gallery, 1½ km from the castle contains paintings done by Professor Nicholas Roerich, who died in 1947 in Naggar, and his son, Svetoslav Roerich. There are good views from this place. Open daily 9 am to 1 pm and 2 to 5 pm.
The castle and the places to stay are up a steep hill, two km from the main road where the bus lets you off. You can take an auto-rickshaw up the hill or walk up. There are regular buses from Manali (2 hr) and Kullu (1½ hr) to Naggar. You can also take a bus to Patlikuhl, on the other side of the river and then get a taxi or walk the remaining 6km to Naggar.
This village is on the west side of the Beas River, across from Naggar. You can change most types of travelers cheques at the State Bank of Potalia. It is one of the few places in the valley where you can do this.