Location : 240-km From Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Altitude : 1,220m
Main Attractions : Kullu Dusshera, Bijli Mahadev Temple
Best Time To Visit : Mid-May To Mid-October.
The Silver Valley
Kullu was 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 Valley' of Kulu. 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 Himalayan mountain scapes remain spectacular whether in brilliant sunshine or in the haze of the mist.
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 Kullu valley.
The town of Kulu is famous for its colourful Dussehra festival. Decorated palanquins and processions convey Gods and Goddesses from temples all over the valley to Kullu, to pay homage to the reigning deity, Raghunathji. A Fair springs up during the festival which is celebrated with a great deal of singing, dancing and festivity.
Places Of Interest In Kullu
In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh of Kulu 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.
For 1,400 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.
Parvati Valley & Manikarna:
At 1,737 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.
Raghunath Temple Jagatsukh :
Jagatsukh is the most ancient Kullu capital, situated on the left bank, between Nagar and Manali. Around the Jagatsukh secondary school playground there are two ancient temples - the small shrine of Gaurishankar and the larger chalet-roofed temple to the goddess Sandhya Devi, the stone base of which is much more ancient than the 19th-century wooden verandah and roof.
Also known as Indralika, this 2,953 metres (9,687 ft.) high snow dove Jagatsukh, has a legend around it, with Arjuna. He started performing 'tapa' at this mountain, under the advice of Maharishi Vyas, in order to obtain the powerful Pasupata Astra from Indra.
Adventure Sports in Kullu
Angling & Fishing in Kullu:
An open glade by the banks of the river Parvati, Kasol makes a good holiday destination. Clean white sand separates the lush green grass from the stone, this place is well known for trout fishing.
By the banks of the Beas-and on the Kullu-Manali Highway- Himachal Tourism runs a camping site here. This place is ideal for a taste of adventure and for spending a quiet holiday in solitary splendour.
At about midpoint on Kullu-Manali road, this is the home of lush orchards and famous for bee-keeping and trout fishing. Khatrain is the widest point in Kullu Valley and is overlooked by the 3,325 m Baragarh peak.
Largi is a small hamlet, 34-km south of Kulu via Aut, offers the best trout fishing and scenic beauty in the valley. The resthouse there is in a stunning location where two Himalayan torrents, the Sainj and Tirthan, meet. Fishing permits can be obtained from Kullu and Largi itself.
It is about 58-km from Kulu at an altitude of 1,534m (5,000 ft.). Banjar is famous for its panoramic beauty and trout fishing in river Tirtham.
A beautiful spot at a distance of 67-km can be approached by road from Kullu. It is recognized for adventurous games such as hunting, trout fishing and breathtakingly beautiful sites.
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 Get There
The airport at Bhuntar is 10-km from Kullu, where taxis and buses are available.
The closest narrow gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar, 95-km from Kullu.
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 Kulu. 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.
DISTANCE FROM MAJOR CITIES
» Kasol: 42-km
» Manikaran: 45-km
» Shoja: 69-km
» Raison: 13-km
» Naggar: 23-km
» Manali: 40-km
Manali Tourism :
Location : 40-kms From Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Altitude : 2,050m
Main Attractions : Vashisth Hot Sulphur Spring, Rohtang Pass, Hadimba Temple
Best Time To Visit : April To June & September To October
Situated at the northern end of the kullu valley, Manali has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. Manali literally means the 'Home of Manu'. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage.
Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm length, Manali's major asset is its proximity to the snowline. It is a flourishing orchard industry, a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers.
Manali, with its mountaineering institute, is a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter. Interesting routes into the surrounding valleys, over the high passes, are provided with tourist huts and rest houses for trekkign enthusiasts.
Hadimba Temple Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in the region. This four-story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. Winding paths through forests and glades of whispering Deodars form the setting for the majestic wooden temple of Hidimba Devi in Manali. The motorable road is shaded by Chestnuts, Chinars and tall deciduous Deodars. This forested backdrop enthral one’s spirit and refresh one’s mind all along the uphill path.
Vashist Springs (1,982m):
At about half an hour’s brisk walking distance from town, there are sulphur springs-gush, hot and medicinal - emerging out of the mountains at Vashisht. Here, in a bath complex with a restaurant and a beautiful view, couples can soak in the privacy of their own sunken bath, warming all kinds of ailments out of their systems.
It is one of the biggest villages in Kullu district. About 6-km from Manali, Jagatsukh is famous for its Shiva temple that is built in "shikhara" style and nearby is the old and interesting Devi Sharvati temple.
Arjun Gufa (5-kms):
On the left bank of the Beas, 5-km from Manali near the village of Prini, is the 'Arjun Gufa' or the cave of Arjuna. In here Arjuna practised austerities to get Pashupata Ashtra or weapon from Lord Indra.
Further ahead is the Beas Kund. The tiny roundish igloo like stone hut shelters the Beas Kund, the very source of the holy river Beas. Water flows at the source of the river likfe a spring, so clear and icy cold that it almost numbs the fingers. All around is the rocky terrain with very little vegetation. A few mules graze around while all and sundry try to brave the wind on a clear sunny day.
Rohtang Pass (13-kms):
Situated about 50-km from Manali town, at an altitude of 4,111m on the highway to Keylong, is the Rohtang Pass. There is a beautiful Dasohar Lake left of the Pass. The Pass, which provides the only access to the Lahaul Valley, is open from June to November each year. Snowfall is, however, unpredictable and blizzards can close the Pass even during this period. Here one sees the majesty of the mountains at its height and splendour. A few km away from the pass is the Sonapani glacier and, slightly to the left are the twin peaks of Gaypan-jagged pyramid of rock, snow streaked and snow crowned.
Adventure Sports in Manali
Manali Mountaineering Institute:
The Mountaineering Institute located at Manali provides training facilities for basic and advance climbing both for Indian nationals and foreigners. This institute also conducts other adventurous sports activities like high altitude trekking, minor mountaineering, rock-climbing, skiing, and high altitude rescue and relief courses. The institute has sufficient lodging and boarding arrangements and equipment can be hired for trekking purposes.
Rafting in Manali:
White Water Rafting The Beas river flowing through Kullu valley is suitable for not only white water rafting but is ideal for canoeing and kayaking too. The Beas River from the Manaki to Jhiri near Bajaura in Kullu district has become very popular among the lovers of river rafting and many competitions have been organised in the same. The trip starts from Mohal and covers a total distance 10-kms. The season normally starts from May to mid-June and rest depends on the arrival of monsoon. The various clubs provide the basic equipment required for the water sports.
Skiing in Manali:
Near Manali there are some slopes, which have been rated the best for skiing in the world. The Solang Nullah, Patalsu, Kothi, Marhi and Rohtang slopes are very good for skiing in the winters as well as in summers. In fact Patalsu and Rohtang slopes are the only places where one can do summer skiing. The slopes are being further developed to accommodate more trainees and tourists.
The national level skiing competition is held on the slopes of Solang Nullah and the winter carnival is organised at Manali. The place has immense potential to offer some world-class ski slopes and they are being developed on the same lines. There are private organisations that provide training as well as equipment for skiing. The Mountaineering Institute has put up a small ski lift at Solang Nullah.
Paragliding in Manali:
Paragliding is a combination of hang gliding and parachuting. In parachuting one has to jump from an aircraft whereas in paragliding one has to run down hill. The slopes of Solang Nullah provide just the right kind of slopes for paragliding during summers. There are organisations, which offer packages for paragliding. One can hire equipment from the private organisations in Manali and around.
How To Get There
The nearest airport to Manali is that of Bhuntar, which is 52-km from Manali. From Bhuntar one can take a taxi or a bus to Manali.
The nearest railhead is that of and this narrow gauze railway station is 95-km from Kullu. The scenic beauty of Kullu while going to Manali can best be enjoyed on a bus or a taxi. It is better to take a taxi, which one can stop and enjoy the nature at will.
The road to Manali passes through the picturesque valley of Kullu. The motorable roads to Manali connect the town with other major tourist places in Himachal as well as in the nearby states. At the Manali bus stand there are two booths, which do computerised reservation for buses. The reservations can be made one month in advance. Both private and state government buses are in service over here.
DISTANCE FROM MAJOR CITIES
» KasoRohtang Pass: 50-km
» Kothi: 12-km
» Solang Nullah: 14-km
» Bhuntar: 52-km
» Kullu: 40-km
» Jogindernagar: 135-km
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