July 2008
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Kullu in Himachal Pradesh

Location: 240-km from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Altitude: 1,220m
Best Time to Visit: Mid-May To Mid-October.
Climate: 8°-30°C; winters- 10° to -10°C
Main Highways: NH21

Kullu is the capital town of the Kullu District, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is located on the banks of the Beas River in the Kullu Valley about ten kilometres north of the airport at Bhuntar. Kullu is more famous when twinned along with Manali to form the Kullu-Manali tourist destination.

Historical information: Kullu was once known as Kulanthpitha – `the end of the habitable world`. The earliest recorded information of this area goes back to 1st century AD, when this valley began to be inhabited. In the medieval period, Kullu and the area around it was ruled by a number of local rulers. The Kullu valley was isolated from other parts of the country for many centuries until it came under British rule. Kullu got its first motorable access only after Independence. The long centuries of seclusion have however allowed the area to retain a considerable measure of its traditional charm.

The town of Kullu has been a centre of faith. Raja Jagat Singh in 17th century installed here an idol of Lord Raghunathji brought from Ayodhya. He positioned the idol on his throne as a mark of his penance, which became the presiding deity of the Kullu valley. Kullu is known for the multihued Dussehra festival. To pay homage to the reigning deity, Raghunathji, decorated palanquins and processions convey Gods and Goddesses from temples all over the valley to Kullu.

A nature’s paradise on earth, Kullu is often described as the ‘Silver valley’ of Himachal Pradesh, which is located at a distance of 40 km from Manali and 570 km from state capital of India, Delhi. Located in between Dhauladhar Ranges and Pir Pamjal Ranges of Indian Himalaya, Kullu is one of the famous holiday destinations of Himachal Pradesh. Kullu attracts huge number of tourists every year as a beautiful vacation and tour. As a part of this, the Travel & Tourism Department of Himachal Pradesh offers various kinds of tour & travel packages to the tourist that covers major attractions of Kullu like Bijli Mahadev temple, Raghunath Temple, wild life sanctuary and hot springs. Further, over a period of time, Kullu has become the center of many adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering and river-rafting that can be performed in the vicinity of Kullu valley.

The weather in Kullu is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters are cold (November – February). It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in July-September. In winter, the temperature gets quite low and heavy woolens are required. Summer is much more pleasant, and cottons are recommended.

Places to see near Kullu:

Raghunath Temple: In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh of Kullu wanted to atone for a sin committed by him, and for this purpose, he sent a senior courtier to Ayodhya for a statue of Lord Raghunath – Lord Rama. This temple was built by Raja Jagat Singh to house the image and is now very famous, attracting many many devotees.

Bijli Mahadev Temple: This temple is much known for its 20-meter high rod that occasionally draws lightning, which shatters the ‘Shivalinga’ and lit the building. Using only butter as bonding agent, the ‘linga’ is then carefully pieced together by the temple authority. Mythological explanation of the myth about lightning and the lingam (link)

Shoja: At 2692 m, this is a vantage point for a complete panorama of the Kullu area – snow peaks and valleys, meadows and forests, rivers and streams.

Basheshwar Mahadev Temple, Bajaura: This temple is renowned for its intricate stone carvings.

Deo Tibba: As per mythology, Arjuna performed Tapa at this temple under the guidance of Maharashi Vyas to get the powerful Pasupata Astra from Indra. Also known as Indralika, Deo Tibba is 2,953 metres (9,687 ft.) high.

Jagatsukh: Situated on the left bank, between Nagar and Manali, Jagatsukh is the most ancient Kullu capital. The small shrine of Gaurishankar and the larger chalet-roofed temple to the goddess Sandhya Devi is there.

Naggar: For 1400 years this was the capital of Kullu. Its 16th century stone and wood castle is now a hotel run by Himachal Tourism. Here, a gallery houses the paintings of the Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich. Naggar also has other old shrines.

Other Attractions

Kullu Dussehra: When Dussehra celebrations come to an end in the rest of the country, they begin at Kullu. Over 600 local deities come to pay homage to Lord Raghunath. This is a time when the valley is at its colourful best.

The river Beas offers excellent opportunities for white water rafting.

Fishing and Adventure: The Kullu valley has numerous places for trout fishing. These include Katrain, Raison, Kasol and Naggar, then along the river Tirthan near Larji, in the Sainj Valley and in the Hurla khud. Angling & Fishing in Kullu:

Raison – This place by the banks of the Beas-and on the Kullu-Manali Highway is the ideal spot for adventure and holiday. Himachal Tourism runs a camping site here.

Kasol: Kasol is an idyllic holiday destination. Kasol comprise a glade by the banks of the river Parvati. This place is famous for trout fishing.

Bathad: Bathad lies at a distance of 67-kilometer. Bathad is a charming location, approachable by road from Kullu. It is famous for pastimes such as trout fishing, hunting, and beautiful sites.

Katrain: Katrain falls on the midpoint of Kullu-Manali road. Katrain is very famous for bee keeping and trout fishing.

Banjar: At an altitude of 1,534m (5,000 ft.) Banjar is famous for its panoramic beauty and trout fishing in river Tirtham. It is about 58-km from Kullu.

Largi: 34-km south of Kulu via Aut, Largi is a small hamlet. Largi offers the best trout fishing and scenic beauty in the valley.

More adventure

Kullu Valley is known all over the World for Heliskiing.This sport has been conveniently arranged near Bhrigu peaks in the Hamta pass and Solang Nala too is another convenient place for the furtherance of this high on-adrenaline-sport. River Beas and its thunderous gushes are also perfect places for river rafting in certain stretches.

Trekking in Kullu

The valley is the nucleus of several trek routes. Some major ones are over the Chanderkhani Pass to Malana and Pin Parbati Pass to Sarahan. The Jalora Pass lies 5-km beyond Shoja and gives access to the outer Seraj region of the Kullu Valley. From Chamba to Udaipur (Lahaul) over Sach Pass, can be completed by trekkers within a day span of nine or ten days.

How to reach Kullu:

By Air: The airport at Bhuntar is 10 km from Kullu, where taxis and buses are available.

By Road: By road, the distance from Delhi via Mandi is 530 km and from Shimla this is 240 km. From Delhi and Shimla, luxury buses ply to Kullu. The main bus stand is by river in the northern area of the town.

By Rail: The closest narrow guage railhead is at Jogindemagar, 95 km from Kullu.

Places to stay:
Snowcrest Manor
Hotel Sangam
Hotel Vaishali
Whispering Rocks Resort
Chevron Valley View
Apple Valley Resort
Adventure Resort Raison
Poornima Guest House
Sheetal Hotel
Nest Hotel
Silvermoon Hotel
Snow Princess Hotel
Sunbeam Hotel
Shobla International
Evergreen Hotel
Kullu Valley Hotel
Forest Rest House
Classic Hotel
Hotel Kanishka
Span Resort

Other articles:
Beautiful photo (link)
More photos (link)
Interesting article on the Kullu shawl (link)

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