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Home >> India >> Himachal >> Kullu Back







 ۞ Kulu
At an altitude of 1200 metres Kulu is the district headquarters but it is not the main tourist centre, that honour goes to Manali. Nevertheless there are a number of interesting things to see around Kulu and some fine walks to be made. The town, which sprawls on the western bank of the Beas, is dominated by the grassy maidans at the southern side of town. They're the site for Kulu's fairs and festivals, in particular the colourful Dussehra festival from which the Kulu Valley has gained the name 'valley of the gods'.
 ۞ Information about Kulu's Festival
Dussehra Festival
The Dussehra Festival, in October after the monsoons, is celebrated all over India but most particularly in Kulu. The festival starts on the 10th day of the rising moon, known as 'Vijay Dashmi' and continues for seven days. Dussehra celebrates Rama's victory over the demon king Ravana but in Kulu the festival does not include the burning of Ravana and his brothers, as in other places around India.
Kulu's festival is a great gathering of the gods from temples all around the valley. Approximately 200 gods are brought from their temples down to Kulu to pay homage to Raghunathji from the temple in Raghunathpura in Kulu.

The festival cannot commence until the powerful goddess Hadimba, patron deity of the Kulu rajas, arrives from Manali. Like the other gods she is pulled in her own temple car or 'rath' and Hadimba likes speed and has to be pulled as fast as possible. She not only arrives before all the other gods but also leaves before them. Another curiousity is that the Jamlu god from Manali comes to the festival but does not take part this god stays on the opposite side of the river from the Dhalpur maidan.

The Raghunathji chariot is brought down, decked with garlands and surrounded by the other important gods. Priests and the descendants of Kulu's rajas circle the 'rath' before the car is pulled to the other side of the maidan. There is great competition to aid in pulling the car since this is a very auspicious thing to do. The procession with the cars and bands takes place on the evening of the first day of the festival. During the following days and nights of the festival there are dances, music, a market and festivities far into the night. On the penultimate day the gods assemble for the 'Devta darbar' with Raghunathji and on the final day the temple car is taken to the riverbank where a small heap of grass is burnt to symbolise Ravana's destruction. Raghunathji is carried back to his main temple in a wooden palanquin.
 ۞ Temple & Places:
Some of the main temples in and around Kulu include:

Raghunathji Temple
About a km from Dhalpur in Raghunathpura (or Sultanpur) the temple of the principal god is actually not very interesting. It is only open from 5 pm.

Jagannathi Devi Temple
In the village of Bhekhli, three km from Kulu, it's a stiff climb but from the temple there are fine views over the town. Take the path off the main road to Akhara bazaar after crossing the Sarwari bridge.

Vaishno Devi Temple

This small cave has an image of the goddess Vaishno and is four km along the Kulu-Manali road.

On the main road 15 km south of Kulu, the famous temple of Basheshar Mahadev has fine stone carvings and sculptures. Then are large image slabs facing north, west and south. There is a PWD Rest House in Bajaura.

Bijli Mahadev Temple

A jeepable road links Kulu with Bijli Mahadev, eight km away. Situated across the river, high on a projecting bluff, the temple is surmounted by a 20 metre high rod which is said to attract blessings in the form of lightning. At least once a year the image of Shiva in the temple is supposed to be shattered by lightning, then miraculously repaired by the lemple pujari

Shri Basheshwar Mahadeb Temple: 15 kms from from kullu (Bajaura on the main Road). The Pyramidical tangle (9th century A.D.) is embellished with wonderful carvings in Stone and Sculptural decorations. The three large image slaps on the exterior area are all of a high order of sculpture in the Indian classical (shikara) style.

Manikaran: 45 km from Kullu. Manikaran jewel of the Parvati Valley. Parvati, the legend goes was bathing in the River when the serpent god Nagamade off with her earrings. When Shiva threatened Naga, the latter snorted angrily and the jewels were blown back through the earth.
            Manikaran is famous for its hot springs. Thousands of people take a dip in its hot waters. The is so hot that dal, rice and vegetables etc can be boiled in it. It is also a well known piligrimate place both Hindus and Sikhs.

Largi: 34 kms South of Kullu at an elevation of 957 meters this is a small hamlet providing excellent trout fishing at an angle between the foaming torrents of the rivers. Sainj and Trithan before they join the beas a few hundred meters below.

Shri Ramachandra Ji and Shiva Ji Temples: Manikaran.
Sikh Gurudwara: At Manikaran.
Banjar: 58 kms from kullu. The famous temple of Shringa Rishi and with a group of temple building on the breast of the hill above the village.

Shri Gauri Shankar Temple: At Naggar most famous.

Shri Devi Tripura Sundari Temple: At Naggar.
Shri Temple: At Naggar.
Kasol: 42 kms from Kullu situated on the Banks of Parvati River.
Shoja: 13 kms from the Banjar.
Raison: 16 kms on the way to Manali.
Malana: 28 kms from Naggar. A beautiful Chandrakhani Pass.

Naggar: 28 kms from Kullu on the left bank of te beas River. Naggar was the capital of the Kullu Rajas for about 1400 years. There are a large number of famous temples in and around nagger.











 ۞ Orientation
The Tourist Information Office is by the maidan at the southern side of town. There's a bus halt area: here and all the HPTDC accommodation units and several of the hotels are around the maidan but the main bus station is in the northern area of the town.
 ۞ Places to Eat
The Tourist Bungalow has the usual sort of dining hall. By the Tourist Office there's the Tourist Department Cafe with good snacks and light meals but painfully slow service. Fine if you have plenty of time. In the main street close to the bus halt there's the Monika Restaurant and just downhill from the main street is the Prem Dhaba.




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