Naggar and Kullu Dussehra: A match in heaven
I had done my complete research of Naggar online. I was planning to cover Kullu Dussehra and wanted to stay in the valley, but not necessarily Kullu. In India Dussehra is celebrated with much pomp. However, Dussehra of Mysore, Dussehra of Kota and Dussehra of Kullu are celebrated quite uniquely. While the former two are quite a spectacle, in Dussehra of Kullu villagers from nearby areas and valley descend to Kullu Mela Grounds carrying local god on their backs amidst procession. It seems like all the people from valley descend to Kullu today to celebrate Dussehra. The festival marks the victory of good over evil when Lord Rama defeated Ravana, the demon king of Lanka.
Naggar looked quite charming and a small town nestled next to the river Beas River.
Here’s a secret: Where to stay in Naggar? Instead of staying in Hotels in Naggar (which have caught the air of commercialization), stay at Chanderlok Guest House. Its beautifully located overlooked by the mountains. Run by a loving family It has a big central space where rests an ancient temple and springs marigolds, pansies and many other varieties of flowers. Plus it is not expensive to stay at Chanderlok Guest House. However, it is quite basic and the rooms are stripped of TV (which is nice).
So the days usually spent in Naggar were hobnobbing with locals or climbing high up to get a better view of the entire valley. The town is famous for Naggar Castle which is now a decorated heritage hotel, and the house of celebrated Russian anthropologist and explorer Nicholas Roerich. Both offers excellent views, though we preferred the house over hotel as it seemed more connected with nature. It was also the season of apples and hardworking villagers were busy with their produce. However, we did n’t venture into orchards and on hindsight now I feel we should have experienced the same. I also missed out on taking a dip in Beas. And photographing Naggar extensively. Perhaps another trip.
Naggar was once capital of Kullu Kingdom. It is located in Himachal Pradesh. I travelled to Naggar with my friends and Jasraman (my wife) a few years ago. Currently I am based in New Delhi and work as a documentary photographer in India.