Photos courtesy of Garima Raghuvanshy
Photos courtesy of Garima Raghuvanshy

The story of Kath Kuni

Preserving vernacular architecture in the Himalaya.

Despite everything, Naggar is still beautiful. For now.

Located more or less in the middle of Kullu Valley, Naggar is an old, regionally important village in Himachal Pradesh. Once the capital of the Kullu kings, Naggar's ancient stone temples and exquisite kath kuni (traditional Himachali wood and stone) houses are set against an emerald forest topped by rugged, snow-capped peaks. Interrupting this idyllic scene, a line of multi-storey hotels jostles for space along the village's arterial road. Everywhere, steel rods stick out of flat-roofed houses – promises for the future. Conspicuous in this rapidly transforming, increasingly incongruous rural fabric, Naggar's older structures are besieged, beleaguered bastions of beauty in a place that is losing it fast.

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Himal Southasian