Nestled in the majestic Himalayas, and amidst the serene ambience of the unpolluted River Beas, Kullu is in the state of Himachal Pradesh also known as the "Valley of Gods".
Formerly renowned as Kulanthpitha, translating to 'the ending point of inhabitable world', this fabulous valley has its mention in epics like Ramayana, Mahabarata and Vishnu Purana. A cluster of beautiful valleys, Kullu presents a highly enjoyable and delightful tourist spot where one can feel the rejuvenating warmth of Mother Nature.
Bestowed with abundant natural resources, Kullu valley offers everything that inspires the tourist’s imagination. The awe-inspiring landscapes, friendly people with varied culture and traditions makes Kullu a favourite picnic spot. Challenging trekking, river rafting and mountaineering are activities one can enjoy in this serene valley. Words would not suffice to explain the downright excitement of descending from the sky, paragliding over subterranean mountain, rafting in the deafening crystalline water, or hiking the glaciers and mountain acmes of Himalayas.
At an altitude of 1230 meter, this valley of gods commands the beauty of nature at its zenith. Its picturesque views dotted with snow clad mountain peaks, verdant grassy fields, soaring deodar jungles, gurgling rivers and the apple orchards are awe inspiring spectacles.
With the awesome views of lush evergreen grazing pastures, engulfed by the gushing streams and twisty rivulets, tossing all around, Kullu offers a rather broad area which is ideal for everyone who wishes to get away from the trappings of the hectic and stress induced environment. The beauty of Kullu stands unruffled amidst the seemingly engulfing urbanization of modern life.
CONNECTIVITY TO KULLU:
By Train: Jogindernagar is the nearest railhead to Kullu, which is at a distance of 125 km. This railway station is connected to all Indian cities via Chandigarh which is 270 km away from Kullu.
By Air: Nearest airport to Kullu is Bhuntar airport, which is at a distance of 10 km from the city center of Kullu but has low connectivity. Paid taxi service from airport to Kullu costs about Rs 250.
By Road: State owned bus services of Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation are available from Kullu connecting with the nearest cities. Kullu is connected to Delhi (570 km), Chandigarh (267 km), Pathankot (285 km) and Shimla (270 km) by tourist deluxe buses of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.
ATTRACTIONS IN KULLU:
1. cHANDRAKHANI PASS: Chandrakhani Pass is located in the Parbati valley that joins Malana Valley to Kullu Valley. An ideal base for trekking, the pass is known for its scenic beauty. Chandrakhani is 3600m above sea level and offers scenic trekking trails.
2. PANDOH DAM: Around 10 kms from Manali lies this vast expanse of man-made beauty. Pandoh dam is a power generator hydro-electric dam, built on river Beas. The lake is the reservoir of the dam and has five bays that regulate the water.
3. GREAT HIMALAYAN NATIONAL PARK: Great Himalayan National Park, also known as Jawahar Lal Nehru Great Himalayan National Park, is an ideal place for wildlife buffs. Located amidst the spectacular natural flora and fauna, the park is home to some of the most elusive and endangered species of animals.
Sprawling on an expanse of 50 sqkm, there are around 180 species of bird and mammals that tourists can sight here. Some of the most popular animals tourist can look forward to sights include musk deer, brown bears, Himalayan Tahr, Ibex, black bears and rare species of snow leopard.
4. BIJLI MAHADEV TEMPLE: Situated atop of a majestic hill, Bijli Mahadev Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple houses the pictorial view of the luxuriant valley below. The Pahari style temple architecture offers an eye-catching scenario to visitors.
Placed at a height of 2450 meters, this temple holds an amazing but true story of its own. It says that Shivlinga in the temple had broken into pieces due to lightning and the temple priest adheres it with butter. It is quite unbelievable that this strange phenomenon recurs every year.
5. HANOGI MATA TEMPLE: Located on the Mandi-Manali National Highway, Hanogi Mata Temple is a popular temple attraction. Dedicated to Hango Mata, this Hindu temple is visited by devotees all the year round. Located atop a small peak, green mountains serve as a backdrop for the temple and a gleaming stream flowing below makes this temple a stunning attraction.
6. JAGANNATH DEVI TEMPLE: The sacred abode of Jagannathi devi, this temple is believed to have been constructed 1500 years ago. The deity in the temple is also known as Bhuweneshawari, who is considered as the sister of Lord Vishnu. The walls of the temple are carved with the images of Durga and the temple as such reflects the local architecture.
7. RAGHUNATH TEMPLE: This famous Rahgunath temple is renowned for its seven day long Dussehra festivals. This temple is dedicated to Raghunath Ji. The idol in the temple is taken from Tretnath temple and the popular belief goes that it is the same idol that was used by Lord Rama.
Kullu is one of the most popular destinations for rafting. River Beas, located close to Kullu is the place where rafters can enjoy this sport. The season from end of April to June and again from mid-September to mid-October is the apt time for rafting in Kullu. Charges for enjoying this sport is around Rs 1000 to 1500 per person (negotiable).
Kullu features among the main trekking areas in Himachal Pradesh. There are several famous treks around the Kullu Valley, but most of the trails are situated beyond the Rohtang Pass in the valleys of Spiti, Lahaul, Zanskar and Ladakh. Expeditions for upto 10-12 days are organized in this area from Pin-Pass to Spiti and Manikaran to Chhota Dhara.
The best period to enjoy trekking in this region is from April to mid-June and mid-September to mid-October. The excitement of high altitude trekking is the utmost when done in the months from June to September.