Kullu is an ancient town of Himachal Pradesh, which finds a mention in the religious texts, such as Vishnu Purana, Ramayana and Mahabharata, as ‘Kulantpitha’. The town also served as the home of Rishi Shringi, who performed the yajna for Raja Dashrath that led to the birth of Lord Rama and his brothers. In Mahabharata too, it is mentioned that Pandavas visited the place thrice. ‘Kulantpitha’ means ‘the end of the habitable world’, which seems appropriate as beyond Kullu, there are only the high Himalayas.
The hill station boasts of a number of splendid valleys and breathtaking views of the mountains, making it a visual delight. It is said that in the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh brought an idol of Lord Raghunathji to Kullu, from Ayodhya. He placed it on the throne, as the King of Kullu, and ruled the state only as His Prime Minister. The royal family of Kullu kept on following this tradition till Independence. Today, Lord Raghunathji is revered as the presiding deity of the Kullu valley of India
How To Reach
Kullu has an airport of its own, known as Bhunter airport, which is siatuted at a distance of approximately 10 kilometers distance from the main town. Indian Airlines and Jagson Airlines operate flights to places like Delhi and Shimla, round the year. It takes hardly 90 minutes to reach Kullu from Delhi, by air. From the airport, one can easily get taxis fo reaching the main town.
Joginder Nagar is the closest railhead from Kullu, situated at the distance of 125 km. Other than this, Pathankot at 285 km, Simla at 270 km, Chandigarh at 267 km, and Kalka are other major railheads near the place that offer excellent traveling facilities. There are regular buses from these places, making it very easy travelers to reach Kullu.
Kullu is well connected with major cities of the state, along with the nearby ones, like Delhi and Chandigarh. The distance from Delhi is 522 km approximately, with Ambala, Chandigarh, Ropar, Kiratpur, Bilaspur and Mandi as the main stations on the way. Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) provides excellent transportation facility for travelers, along with some private transporters.
Kullu valley is located in Himachal Pradesh, near the beautiful hill station of Shimla. With the mighty Himalayas forming as its backdrop, the valley looks like a picture straight out of a fairytale. Comprising the major tourist attractions of Kullu are its exquisite temples, which attract tourists from various parts of India as well as abroad. The best time to visit the valley is in the summer season i.e. from April to June. In this article, we have provided a list of all the tourist attractions that you should cover on Kullu sightseeing tours.
Sultanpur Palace is one of the major attractions of the Kullu valley. It houses some beautiful miniature paintings done in Kullu style, with simple themes such as rural backgrounds, without human figures in them.
Housing the idol of Lord Raghunathji in His chariot, this temple is highly revered by the people of India. It was built in the 17th century by Raja Jagat Singh of Kullu, to atone for his sin of bringing the idol from Ayodhya. Raghunathji is the presiding deity of Kullu. The erstwhile rulers Kullu used to rule over their kingdom, as his regents and not as the king themselves.
Bijli Mahadev Temple
Situated at Sultanpur, the temple holds great religious significance. However, the temple is much more famous because a 20 m high rod, which serves as a flagstaff. It is like a ritual to use the flagstaff for drawingh lightning that completely damages the temple, along with the ‘Shiva Linga’ enshrined there. The idol is again set together carefully by the temple priest, using only pure butter made of cow milk.
Basheshwar Mahadev Temple
Located at a distance of 15 km from Kullu, Basheshwar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It dates back to the 9th century and is situated on the banks of the River Beas. The massive temple has been built in pyramidal shape and houses a large ‘Yoni-Lingam’ idol, representing Lord Shiva and His consort Goddess Parvati. The floriated scrollwork on its exteriors and intricate stone carvings definitely make it worth a visit. The idols of Goddess Durga, Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesha are housed in the three-sided shrines outside.
Jagannathi Devi Temple
Jagannathi Devi Temple is situated at a distance of almost 4 km from the Kullu valley. One has to hike up the cliff to reach the temple, which comes under the Bhekhli village. It offers beautiful views of the city from above.
Popular as one of the main bazaars and shopping areas of Kullu, Akhara Bazaar has a number of shops, selling Kullu caps and woolen apparels such as shawls, pattoos, gudmas, puhlas and namdas or rugs.
You have to cross a steep hill to reach the charming picnic spot of Kaisdhar. It has abundant natural beauty and several opportunities for bewitching nature walks. Kaisdhar is just the perfect place to forget all your sorrows and get completely rejuvenated.
Situated on the banks of River Parvati, Kasol is an open glade with clean white sand, grass meadows and rocky terrain. It is an idyllic holiday destination and a hotspot for trout fishing.
Shoja is a beautiful place, perched at an altitude of 2692 m above sea level. It offers beautiful views of Kullu, its snow-capped peaks, valleys, rivers and streams, thick-wooded forests and grass meadows.
Raison is a camping site, run by Himachal Tourism, on the banks of River Beas. It is situated on the Kullu-Manali highway and is one of the very few places in Himachal Pradesh that offer solitude and adventure at the same time.
Katrain is the widest point in the entire Kullu Valley. It has Baragarh Peak on its one side, which is situated at an altitude of 3325 m above sea level. Katrain is also famous for its orchards, bee-keeping and trout fishing.
34 km from Kullu lies Largi, a tiny hamlet known for its scenic views and an excellent site for trout fishing. You will need a permit is to visit this enchanting hamlet. It is situated at the meeting point of two Himalayan torrents, known as Sainj and Tirthan.
The ancient village of Jagatsukh was the first capital of the erstwhile state of Kullu. The two ancient temples worth visiting here include the small Gaurishankar shrine and the temple of Goddess Sandhya Devi. The latter had a chalet roof and wooden verandah added to it in the 19th century
Deo Tibba is situated at an altitude of 2,953 m above sea level. The place has been found to have a mention in the great epic of Mahabharata, in which it has been identified as Indralika. It is said that Arjuna performed penance here, on the advice of Maharishi Vyas, to obtain the Pashupati Astra from Indra.
Situated at an altitude of 1,737 m above sea level, Manikaran is famous for its hot sulphur springs, which are situated near the River Penal. The water lof these springs is believed to have medicinal properties. Manikaran is a popular pilgrimage place of both Hindus and Sikhs.
Tabo Monastery is situated in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. The great teacher and translator Rinchen Zangpo founded the monastery in 996 AD and till today, it holds the distinction of being the largest monastic complex in the Spiti region.
Situated in the Hamirpur district, Sujanpur Fort stands tall on the banks of River Beas. This fort, being perched on top of a hill, is popularly known as ‘Tira’ and was built by Raja Abhaya Chand in 1758.