The town of Kullu, positioned in the charming Kullu valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh and nestled amid lower Himalayas, is primarily famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, sprawling spans of lush valleys and mountains. It is also renowned for its apple orchards, temples, and the yearly Dussehra festival. All of these draw thousands of tourists from various parts of the country.
The chief tourist interest of Kullu is the Raghunath Temple that worships Lord Ram, who is believed as one of the most important deities in the Hindu mythology and is the patron deity amongst the residents of Kullu valley. It was erected in the year 1660 by Raja Jagat Singh, the one-time ruler of Kullu, basically to make amends for his sins. He got an idol of Lord Ram from Ayodhya and founded it in this temple.
Jagannathi Devi Temple:
At a distance of 3 km from Kullu is located the Jagannathi Devi Temple or the Bekhli temple in the village of Bekhli. Although it is a precipitous 1˝ hour gradient leading to the temple, it provides an amazing view of Kullu which is worth the ascent.
Bijli Mahadev Temple:
The Bijli Mahadev Temple is placed on a spur at an elevation of 2460 meters. As the name suggests, the temple is frequently struck by lightning (bijli, lightning).
Excursions from Kullu:
There are several shrines around Kullu. The Basheshwar Mahadev Temple at Bajura (15 km) from Kullu is renowned for its fine sculptures. The Vaishno Devi Temple (4 km) and the Vishnu Temple at Dayar (12 km) are some of the other significant shrines worth visiting. There are a number of excellent tourist spots as well. Located at an altitude of 1737 meters in the Parvati River valley, the tiny town of Manikaran (45 km) is celebrated for its hot sulphur springs. These hot springs are famously believed to have strong healing powers. This place is revered both by the Hindus and the Sikhs. Tourists can visit the Shri Ramchandra Temple and the Shri Guru Nanak Devji Gurdwara in Manikaran. Manikaran has hiking and trekking facilities to the travelers. Situated amidst pine forest, Kaisdhar (15 km) and Kasol (42 km) are other important picnic spots. Shoja (69 km), at an altitude of 2692 m, offers the traveler a breathtaking view of the entire Kullu valley.
Raisom (13 km), along the banks of river Beas, is a fine site for trekking. The town of Naggar (23 km) was the former capital of the Kullu state for more than 1,400 years. There are number of historic monuments and temples in this town.
Kullu draws the adventure-loving tourist by offering trekking and hiking trails in and around the valley. River Beas is also used for white-water rafting.
Fairs and Festivals:
The festival of Dussehra, which alludes to the triumph of good over evil, is observed all over India in the month of October or November. But Dussehra in Kullu valley is out of the ordinary. It commences when Dussehra festivities in other parts of India are over. The key event of this festival is carrying Lord Raghunath’s (local version of Lord Ram) idol on a palanquin through the streets in procession by pilgrims.
Log on to www.touristplacesinindia.com which gives online information on Tourist Attractions on your Kullu tour to India.