Amidst the panoramic view of majestic mountains, Kullu is famous among nature lovers as nature’s paradise. Covered with lush greenery, pine and deodar trees, Kullu in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most visited tourist places in India. It is located at an altitude of 1230 meters and is also known as the sister town to Manali, another popular tourist destination in Himachal.
Be it a honeymoon or family tour in summers, Kullu can serve a plethora of travelling needs. From river rafting to trekking and mountaineering, Kullu can be a heaven for adventure sports lovers as well. Apart from all such activities, Kullu is also famous for having an abundance of tourist attractions.
Located between two rivers, River Beas and River Parvati at an altitude of 1760 metres above sea level, Manikaran is well known for its hot water springs, Gurudwara, and Ramchandra Temple. It is situated at a distance of 42 kilometres from Kullu and is considered to be one of the top religious places to see in Kullu. According to Hindu Mythology, Manikaran is related to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Once both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were roaming near Manikaran and somehow they decided to stay there for a while. During the time of stay, Goddess Parvati lost some of her precious gemstones (Mani) over here. After the loss, she asked Lord Shiva to get the stones back. Lord Shiva commanded his attendants to get them back. However, they failed and this made Lord Shiva angry over them and he opened his third eye. The serpent God, Sheshnag was then asked to pacify the Lord. Sheshnag hissed and that gave rise to boiling water and finally, the stones were found. This caused the emergence of hot water springs over there. The best time to visit over here is between the months of April and October.
Built-in 1460 AD by Raja Sidhi Singh, Naggar Castle is set at a distance of 22 kilometres from Kullu. This historic castle has a spectacular architecture that provides you with an outlook of the splendid Kullu Valley, Beas River, apple orchards, and far off snow-covered peaks. The structure has traditional architecture that is known as Kath Khuni, which is a combination of both stones and wooden beams. The castle was previously used as a royal residence for the royal family of Kullu until the Britishers took over the control. In 1978, the castle was then converted into a rest house and now it serves as a heritage hotel that is maintained by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC). The premises also has three Hindu shrines. Also, it has a gallery of paintings made by a Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich.
Situated in Sultanpur, Raghunathji Temple is at a distance of 0.5 kilometres from Kullu. The temple is set at an altitude of 2050 metres. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Raghunathji who is also the presiding deity of the entire Kullu region. The temple was built by Raja Jagat Singh in the 17-century. The temple reflects the style of Pahari architecture, which is beautiful and magnificently built. The entire temple is made from white marbles and has a beautiful vimana. The biggest attraction of the temple is the idol of Lord Rama in his chariot. According to myths, Raja Jagat Singh was responsible for the death of an entire Brahmin family who lived in the village of Tipri. The king then asked of advice and help from a famous saint residing in the Nagger village. As per the advice of the saint, the king opted Vaishnavism and then built a temple of Lord Rama. The main idol of Lord Rama was derived from Ayodhya itself. The best time to visit the temple is during the time of Dussehra when millions of people visit the place.
A small cluster of villages set at a distance of 13.5 kilometres from Kullu, Raison is considered to be one of the top adventure tourist attractions to visit in Kullu. It is located at the banks of River Beas and is maintained by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism. Some of the major adventure sports played here are white-water river rafting, mountain climbing, camping, trekking, and hiking. A number of apple orchards and fruit gardens act as an add on to the natural beauty of the place. The best time to visit the place is at the end of the winter season when more and more flowers start to blossom and the entire area gets covered with lush greenery. For those who wish to camp over there, around 14 camping huts are available that needs be booked before reaching over there through Kullu Tourist Centre.
Another name in the list of top places to visit in Kullu, Dhakpo Shedeupling Monastery is located at a distance of 10 kilometres from Kullu. The monastery is located in Kais village and is also known as Kais Monastery. The monastery was built and inaugurated in 2005 by the great Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama and is significantly dedicated to him. The panoramic view of the valley of Kullu around the monastery adds to the spiritual vibe of the monastery. It is set at the left of River Beas. The monastery also serves as a boarding school as well as a university for the study of Buddhist philosophy. Several monks also live in the monastery. The monastery has a huge Buddha statue that is set in a huge hall for prayer. Every year in the month of August, His Highness Dhakpa Rinpoche makes a visit to the monastery and shares his valuable blessings to all the people present over there.
Spread across the Parvati Valley, the Great Himalayan National Park is located at a distance of 75 kilometres from Kullu. The park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 2014. From being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kullu the national park is also considered to be one of the most popular National Parks in the country. Established in 1984, the park encompasses an area of 754 square kilometres. The park incorporates a variety of species of both flora and fauna. More than 375 species of fauna along with 31 species of mammals and 181 species of bird are available. However, no direct roads lead to the park but access by foot is only possible. The park has four entry gates namely, Gushaini, Neuli, Siund Village, and Barshaini. One needs to trek in order to reach the park and explore it. Accommodation is also available over there with over 14 guest houses inside the park. Prior permissions are required to enter the park.
Located in Malana village of Parvati Valley, Jamula Temple is at a distance of 48 kilometres from Kullu. The temple is believed to be built by the descendants of Alexander the Great’s Army. The presiding deity of the temple is Rishi Jamula. According to the myths, a rishi named Jamula used to live over there. The rules and beliefs of the rishi are still being followed by his devotees belonging to the Gaddi tribe. The people visiting the temple aren’t allowed to touch the walls as the local people believe that it makes the temple impure. The temple is also used as a place where the issues of local people are resolved. All the issues are resolved by eleven people who are treated as the delegates of Rishi Jamula. Because of the historical and religious importance and mesmerising location, the temple is counted as one of the most important places to see in Kullu.
Stationed at an altitude of 2,460 metres above sea level, Bijli Mahadev Temple is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage in the Kullu region. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located on Mathan Hills and is surrounded by Parvati, Bhuntar, Garsa, and Kullu Hills. To reach the temple, one needs to trek a little. The temple is famous because of a sparkling silver coloured 60-feet high flagpole. The flagpole has its own importance, it is said that with every flash of thunder, it draws divine blessings. And it is also said that with every lightning, the Shiva Linga gets broken into many pieces that are then fixed by the priest using butter and sattu. It is built in Pahari style and has a great architecture that draws the attention of all the visitors. The doors of the temple are magnificently carved with sculptures. Also, a carved image of Nandi is present at the entrance of the temple.
Set at an altitude of 3050 metres, Kheer Ganga is a tiny village located on the Parvati Hills in Kullu. Kheer Ganga is a famous holy shrine with a water spring. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati as well. As per the myths, the elder son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Kartikeya used to mediate over here for more than a thousand year. The place is named Kheerganga because of the milky water of River Parvati, flowing through the area. The place can be reached just through trekking that starts from the village Barsheni that can be reached from Manikaran. From Barsheni, you will have to trek 11 kilometers to reach the tiny village. The Kheerganga trek is very pleasing and offers a picturesque view of the entire Kullu Valley. The best time to visit the place is between the months of May and November. The place remains covered under the snow during the winters.
Considered as one of the most beautiful places to see in Kullu as well as Himachal Pradesh, Tirthan Valley is located at a distance of 70 kilometres from Kullu. The valley comes under the Great Himalayan National Park and can be reached through trekking. The valley has derived its name from the Tirthan River, which originated from the glaciers of Himalayas. The valley is stretched from Banjar to Bathad. The valley also serves as a base camp for trekkers who need to start their trekking into the National Park. It also offers a variety of adventure sports and activities.
Among the significant number of hills stations in India, the Kullu Valley stands out with its diverse tourist attractions and landmarks. From monasteries to holy shrines to adventure sports, Kullu can easily be a great spot to visit in the summer vacations. Pack your bags get ready to jump in the lap of Kullu Valley and enjoy your exotic vacation.
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