once known as Kulanthpitha, which means the end of the habitable
world. Beyond rose the forbidding heights of the Greater Himalayas,
and by the banks of the shining river Beas, lay the fabled 'Silver
Here is the core of an intricate web of numerous valleys - each of
which is a visual delight and seems more beautiful than the other. The
mountain scapes remain spectacular whether in brilliant sunshine or in
the haze of the mist. The 'Silver Valley' has nature's treasures that
lie carelessly scattered as flowers on the high meadows.
The town of Kullu has long been a centre of faith. In the 17th
century, Raja Jagat Singh installed here an idol of Lord Raghunathji,
which he brought from Ayodhya. As a mark of his penance, he placed the
idol on his throne and it became the presiding deity of the valley.
Raghunathji Temple: In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh of Kullu
committed a great wrong. To atone for the sin he sent a senior
courtier to Ayodhya for a statue of Lord Raghunath - Lord Ram. This
temple was built by Raja Jagat Singh to house the image and even
today, is greatly revered. The shrine houses an image of Shri
Raghunath in his chariot.
Bijli Mahadev Temple: Set on a spur that offers some
spectacular views, this temple is famous for its 20m high rod that
periodically draws lightning, which shatters the 'Shivalinga' and
scorches the building. Using only butter as adhesive, the 'linga' is
then carefully pieced together by the temple pundit.
Basheshwar Mahadev Temple, Bajaura: This 9th century Shiva
Temple is renowned for its intricate stone carvings.
The Vaishno Devi Temple: 4-km along the Kullu to Manali road is
this temple with a small cave having an image of goddess Vaishno or
Jagannathi Devi Temple: This temple is in Bhekhli village, 3-km
from Kullu. It's a stiff climb but from the temple one can catch fine
views of the town.
Akhara Bazar: Known as one of the main bazaar, where Kullu
caps, shawls, 'pattoos', gudmas, 'puhlas' and 'namdas' or rugs are
sold in plenty.
Sultanpur Palace: It contains some fine examples of the Kullu
style of miniature painting, characterised by simple rural scenes and
the lack of human subjects.
Naggar: For 1400 years Naggar remained 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 three other old shrines.
Bajaura Temple: On the banks of the river Beas, about 200 m off
the Kullu Mandi road at Hat or Hatta, is situated a massive pyramidal
structure temple, decorated with images of Durga, Vishnu and Ganesh in
the outer 3-sided shrines. Floriated scrollwork can be seen on the
exterior walls. Inside this Shiva temple is a large yoni-lingam. It is
15-km from Kullu.
Parvati Valley/Manikaran: At 1737 m, here am hot sulphur springs
that bubble next to the by waters of the Penal river. The place is
revered by both Hindus and Sikhs Treks from here lead to Pulga,
Khirganga and Mantalai' a stretch of considerable natural beauty. The
route finally reaches the Pin Parvati Pass (4802 m), which opens into
the Sutlej valley.
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.
Malana: 30-km from Khatrain, near the beautiful Chandrakhani
Pass, which offers striking views of Deo Tibba is the mysterious
village of Malana. The village is basically famous for its temple of
Jamlu and its distinct and fully reserved social and cultural set up.
WATER & ADVENTURE SPORTS
The Kullu valley has numerous places for trout fishing. These include
Katrain, Raison, Kasol and Naggar, then along the river Tirthan near
Lad, in the Sainj Valley and in the Hurla kund. The river Beas offers
excellent opportunities for white water rafting.
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
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The airport at Bhuntar is 10-km from Kullu, where taxis and
buses are available.
Rail: The closest narrow gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar, 95-km
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. There's a bus and taxi stand on the opposite side of maidan.
The main bus stand is by river in the northern area of the town.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
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
Raghunathji. Enthusiasm marks the festival, with every road leading to
Dhaulpur Maidan thronged by gaily-dressed, good-humoured crowds, folk
dances, exhibitions, cultural programs are held to mark the
At the end of April, a colourful 3-day Cattle fair attracts villagers
from the surrounding areas. During the Hill Fruit Show, sponsored by
Department of Horticulture, Himachal Pradesh, best Kullu fruits are on