Nevertheless, it would be a folly to mistake the place for just another hill station. The history of the place dates back to the Vedic period. You can find references to the Kullu valley even in the Indian epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. Both the Hindu and Buddhist religions consider the place a pilgrim center because of the myths associated with the land.
Formed by the Beas river between Manali and Largi, Kullu is one of the most visited hill stations in India. With slopes replete with deodar and pine forest unparalleled beauty of the place throughout all seasons is indeed heartwarming. Apart from the great number of places to visit in Kulu, many adventure activities like skiing, parachuting, paragliding, and trekking are arranged here to attract tourists. You can have a fun time enjoying all these. The land is also well known since the Vedic ages and was later ruled by many empires making it a curious destination for history lovers.
Many myths associated with Kulu make it a pilgrim destination for both the Hindu and Buddhist religions. It is believed that King Manu visited this place and stayed here after the great flood. Buddhists claim that Kullu was home to almost twenty Buddhist monasteries and a Stupa erected by the great emperor Asoka. The relic was later moved to Delhi by the Mughal rulers. There are some shrines of both religions in the place to this day. Many pilgrims consider the bath in the hot springs of one such temple in Manikaran a holy ritual that will cleanse their soul and body.
Top attractions in Kullu
Located at an altitude of 3980 meters on the eastern range of the Himalayas, Rohtang Pass is one of the highest mountain passes in India. The spectacular location connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys. Photographers love to visit the place because there is no other destination in India with such breathtaking scenery. River Chenab adorns the northern side of the pass whereas river Baes adds to the beauty of the place on the southern side. You would miss out on the adventure of a lifetime if you do not visit the place. Nevertheless, you have to take care as it is biting cold in the place. Make sure to wear thick winter clothes while on the trek.
Great Himalayan National Park
Tucked between the snow-clad Himalayan peaks, the Great Himalayan National Park is one of a kind place in India. You will be amazed at the grandeur of the mountains, splendor of the rivers, and magnificence of the thick forest. The likes of the spectacular view can be seen only in the scenery from the European continent. This romantic place is a must-visit for those who come to spent their honeymoon in Kullu. The area is home to rare alpine flora and fauna. The relatively new national park, only declared thus in 1999, is spread over an area of 754 square kilometers. Considering its importance UNESCO proclaimed the area as a World Heritage site.
Bijli Mahadev Temple
Bijli Mahadev temple is a sacred shrine near Kullu. Located at an altitude of 2460 meters above mean sea level, the spot provides an enthralling view of the mountain peaks and green valleys. Another attraction in the religious place is the wooden staff placed in front of it. The 60 feet high staff glistening in the sun is one of a kind wonder. It is said to attract the blessings of lightning to this ‘temple of lightning’. Because of the height and the location of the staff, it can be seen from a long distance in a clear atmosphere. You can also enjoy trekking for 3 kilometers to reach the location.
On the road to the Rohtang pass, there is a quaint hamlet of Gulaba which catches the essence of a Himalayan village. It acts as a pit stop for the tourists riding to the pass. With snow-clad mountains and green meadows, the place captures the imagination of those who care to take a break here. During winter, the place sleeps under the thick cover of snow. The glistening whiteness all around gives a different look to the place. Visitors rush to see the beautiful sight, thus making the place a hot tourist destination during the cold winter. Many a time, when the Rohtang pass is closed due to extreme weather, travelers stay in the village and satisfy themselves with the attractive sights here.
A beautiful hamlet in the banks of river Parvathy, Kasol attracts a great many tourists to it. This romantic place in Kullu is filled with exquisite scenery of pristine rapid, green riverside, and the sunlight creating changing colors in the valley. Everyone throngs to the location to enjoy the spectacular view of Himalayas. It is sure to fill you with awe. The place also offers opportunities for adventure lovers like trekking and camping. It is ideal for such activities because of the comfortable cool climate.
In the valley of the river, Parvati thrives the small village of Malana. The ancient village stood cut off from the rest of the world and developed their own unique culture. The villagers claim that they are one of the oldest democracies in the world with a well organized parliamentary system. Some tribals also believe that they are the direct descendants of the Greek soldiers of Alexander’s army. Kanashi their local language is not identifiable with any other dialects spoken in the valley. Ancient Jamlu temple built in Kathkuni style with intricate wood carvings and dear heads and Rukmini temple is the famous religious center of the place. For those who are interested in the tribal tradition, this is a must-visit place in Kullu.
If you are an adventure lover who is not satisfied with great sights and long for some action in your Kullu tour, Solang valley is the best place for you. Located at an elevation of 2560 meters above sea level, the destination with its great slopes is suitable for skiing. Some agencies will teach you the skill and give you the required equipment too. In summer the ice melts and skiing give way to zorbing – an adventure activity of rolling downhill in a giant transparent ball. Trekking, horse riding, paragliding, and parachuting are some other adventures the place can offer. A ropeway ride is a new addition to the list.
Also known as Raja Rupi Palace or Kullu Palace, the building is a tourist attraction of Kullu. Constructed in the Pahari and colonial style, the castle has many miniature paintings. They feature simple rural backgrounds and common people of the land. Though the palace was damaged in an earthquake it was restored to its old form with great effort. The mansion still serves as the residence of the King’s descendants.
Built by Raja Jagat Singh in the seventeenth century, the temple is a famous pilgrim center dedicated to Lord Rama. The king constructed this high-rise structure to atone for a grave sin he committed. The interesting myths and stories associated with the Raghunath Temple make the visit to the shrine all the more exciting. The architecture of the structure and the ancient idol – which is believed to be used by Lord Rama himself for Ashwamedha Yaga – arouse interest. Hence very few leave Kullu without paying a visit to the holy place.
The hot springs of Manikaran are a wonderful place to be on your trip to Kullu. The geothermal activity makes the streams in the place hot. Unlike many other hot springs, there is no amount of sulfur in the water. Located in the Parvati Valley on the river Parvati, 4 kilometers from Kasol, the place is also a pilgrim center. There are many myths associated with the place that makes it a holy place for both the Hindu and Sikh religions. Lord Rama Chandra temple, Shiva temple, and Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara are located here.
Best Time To Visit Kullu
Kullu and its sister Manali, are two destinations that witness the rush of tourists year-round because of their comfortable weather. Each season has something to offer to visitors. During winter, the snowfall which fills Kullu valley with glistening white is a beautiful sight. There are many adventure activities like skiing associated with the season. Summer brings with it abundant greenery which fills the destination. The place then assumes the bright colors of beautiful scenery. You cannot help but feel like you have reached paradise on Earth.
Because of this year-round tourism possibilities, it is up to you to decide which season to choose to visit Kulu.
How To Reach Kullu
You won’t face difficulty accessing the tourist destination as it is well connected to the other parts of the country.
- By Air: The nearest airport from the hill station is the Kullu-Manali airport also named Bhunter airport located at a distance of 10 kilometers. There are regular flights to and from this point. You can take a cab or enjoy a bus ride to reach Kullu valley.
- By Rail: Located almost 100 kilometers from Kullu is the Joginder Nagar railway station. There is no need to worry about the long distance as there is a regular bus service from the station to the destination.
- By Road: Maybe the easiest way to get to the beautiful place is through the road. Public transport vehicles and tourist taxis operate from Pathankot, Ambala and Delhi to the tourist station. You may also enjoy a rejuvenating drive through the winding roads if you are a driving enthusiast.