Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (HPTDC) run Hotel Castle in Naggar in district Kullu has been accorded with Heritage status by Union ministry of Tourism.
Speaking to the media today, S Roy, Chief Secretary Himachal Pradesh said The Castle was built by Raja Sidhi Singh in early 16th century. He said it was believed that stones for construction were brought from Gharhdhek of Baragarh across the river Beas. Another belief is that stones were passed on to the site by a human chain from the ruins of the fortified palace of Rana Bhosal called Gharhdhek situated below the present Baragaon village.
Roy said no metal or iron was used in the fixing of two main doors of the Castle. The wooden beams used in the walls here prepared from whole trees. The Castle was used as a royal residence and state headquarter until the middle of the 17th century, when Raja Jagat Singh transferred the capital to Sultanpur in Kullu.
However, Castle continued to be used as a summer palace by subsequent rulers until the British took over the whole of Kangra and Kullu from Sikh’s in 1846, when Raja Gyan Signh sold it to the first Assistant Commissioner, Major Hay, for a gun.
The latter converted the northern wing to the European way of living by putting in staircase, fireplace and chimneys. He later sold it to the government when it was used as a Court House.
In 1947, with the departure of the British, the court activity ceased but it’s door remained open for visitors and travellers as it was converted into a civil rest house and later converted into a hotel in 1978.
The Hotel has tastefully done rooms and was extensively re-furbished in 2003-05 by HPTDC.