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Fast Facts
Location : Himachal Pradesh
Attractions : Raghunathji Temple, Jagannathi Devi Temple, Vaishno Devi Temple, Bijli Mahadev Temple, Wildlife Sanctuaries etc.
Best Time To Visit : October to April

Introducing Kullu
Vaishno Devi TempleKullu, the district headquarters of the Kullu Valley is a beautiful hill station of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at an altitude of 1,200 mts above sea, Kullu is one of the most popular tourist destination of India. Kullu is bestowed with enlivening waterfalls, hot springs concealing healing power, shimmering lakes, amazing passes and beautiful apple orchards which attract tourists from all over the country and foreign countries as well. Some visit the town of Kullu in search of peace, far from the hustle and bustle of big cities, while some come here for thrilling adventure sports and some just for a break from their busy schedule. Apart from these, Kullu is home to several temples which present the fine examples of Kullu temple architecture. While you visit the town the music of the temple bells that spread over the dense woods of the valley will fill your mind and soul with the pleasant feeling of spirituality. So, visit the charming destination of Kullu to enjoy a pleasant vacation in the lap of mother nature and to pass some peaceful moment in the temples of the town.

How to Reach Kullu
By Air : Nearest airport is Bhuntar airport located at a distance of 9 kms from Kullu. Indian Airlines and Jagson Airlines operate flights for Kullu from Delhi, Shimla and Chandigarh. During rainy season the flights are uncertain due to bad weather condition. Extra flights ply during the main summer season. From Delhi it takes around 90 minutes to reach Kullu. From the airport hire a taxi or ride a bus to reach the town or other places in the valley.
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By Train : Some of the nearest railheads from Kullu are Jogindernagar (125 kms), Pathankot (285 kms), Shimla (270 kms) and Chandigarh (267 kms). Chandigarh is the most convenient railway station from Kullu, as buses are available at regular interval from Chandigarh to Kullu.

By Road : National Highway 21 connects Kullu with Chandigarh and Delhi. The highway continues beyond Kullu Valley to Keylong (Lahaul) and Leh (Ladakh). Regular bus services are available from Kullu to Delhi (570 kms) and Chandigarh (267 kms). You have the option of travelling in a deluxe bus or an ordinary bus. Deluxe bus services are operated by Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC), Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corp. (HRTC) and private agencies operate deluxe bus services to and fro from Kullu to other neighbouring states.

Local Transport : Tourist taxis and auto-rickshaws are available as local modes of transport in Kullu.

Places Where You Can Stay
Accommodatipn options in Kullu is plentiful and inexpansive, all the hotels in the town provides a comfortable stay to guests. Some of the popular hotels of the town are Span Resorts, Apple Valley Resort, Hotel Sarvari, Hotel Silver Moon, Hotel Cottage River View, Hotel Parvati, Hotel Shivalik etc.

Tourist Attractions in Kullu
Raghunathji Temple : Kullu's most famous temple, the Raghunathji Temple is about a km from Dhalpur in Raghunathpura or Sultanpur. To reach the temple, cross the main road outside the bus stand and follow the lane up the hill opposite the Kailash cinema. Raghunathji temple, a long low building tucked away behing the Kullu raja's Rupi Palace. The temple is dedicated to Lord Raghunathji, a manifestation of Rama, brought to Kullu from Ayodhya by Raja Jagat Singh in the mid-17th century.

Jagannathi Devi Temple : Jagannathi Devi Temple is situated at a distance of 3 km from Kullu in the Bekhali village. There is a stiff climb to reach the temple, but from the temple you will find the spectacular views of the town.

Vaishno Devi Temple : Vaishno Devi Temple is four km away along the Kullu - Manali road. This is a cave-temple and houses an image of the goddess Kali (Durga).
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Bijli Mahadev Temple : A motorable road connects Kullu with Bijli Mahadev Temple, just 8 kms away. Standing across the river, high on a projecting bluff, the Bijli Mahadev Temple is flanked by a 20 mtr high rod. According to a legend, the flagpole atop the temple draws blessings in the form of lightning which could shatter the shivalingam. It is said if a paste of butter and barley-gram is applied to the broken shivalingam, it will fully mend and return to its original form. At least once a year the idol of Shiva in the temple is supposed to be shattered by lightning, then miraculously repaired by the temple pujari (priest).
Leopard in Great Himalayan National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries : Kullu Valley is home to five wildlife sanctuaries namely - Great Himalayan National Park, Kais Sanctuary, Manali Sanctuary, Khokan Sanctuary and Kanawar Sanctuary. In these wildlife sanctuaries you can see animal species like the endangered Musk Deer, Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Goral, Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Civet, Barking Deer, Red Fox, Himalayan Yellow Throated Marten, Blue Sheep etc. You can spot pheasants like Western Tragopan, Monal, Cheer (Catreus Wallichi), Koklass, Kaliz and Himalayan snow cock in these wildlife sanctuaries.

Aventure Sports : For adventure enthusiasts, Kullu is a perfect place and offers a variety of adventure options. Some of the popular adventure sports which you can enjoy at Kully valley include trekking, white water rafting, skiing, mountaineering, paragliding and jeep safari. Other leisure options available at Kullu are angling, golf and indoor activities such as pool, squash, billiards, carom and table tennis.

Tourist Attractions Around Kullu
Raison : Raison is located just 8 kms away on the Kullu - Manali Highway on the bank of the river Beas. Himachal Tourism Department runs a camping site here and it is a perfect place for adventure activities.

Bajaura : Bajaura lies 15 km south of Kullu on the main road. Here you will see the famous temple of Basheshar Mahadev which has fine stone carvings and sculptures. There are huge image slabs facing north, west and south.

Naggar : Naggar is 23 kms away from Kullu. Himachal Tourism Department has converted the 16th century castle at Naggar into a hotel in 1978. The fortress was constructed 504 years ago during the Raja Sidha Singh's reign. During the British period some changes were made in the structure of the castle and it was converted into a rest house 100 years ago.

Roerich Art Gallery (Naggar) : Roerich Art Gallery is another attraction of Naggar and is situated 2 km uphill from bus stop. You can reach the Roerich art gallery by hiring a taxi or an auto-rickshaw. Roerich art gallery houses the original works of Russian artist Nicholas Roerich including paintings and quotations. and it is worth a visit. Roerich Art Gallery remains open from 10 am to 5 pm daily, except Mondays.

Urusvati Himalayan Folk Art Museum (Naggar) : Located 100 m uphill Roerich Art Gallery, Urusvati Himalayan Folk Art Museum was established by Professor and Madame Nicholas Roerich in 1928. Earlier it was known as a Research Institute, the traditional Indian and Tibetan medicines were studied here. In the year 1993 it was renamed as Urusvati Himalayan Folk Art Museum. Here you will see the paintings made by Roerich and other made by Indian and Russian artists. The Folk Art Museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm all weekdays except Mondays.

Manikaran : Situated at a distance of 45 kms from Kullu, Manikaran is known for its hot springs and its gurudwara. Manikaran also make an ideal base for trekking expeditions, glacier crossings, Pin Pass to Spiti, Manikaran to Saraumga Pass to Chhota Dhara, Manikaran to Malana Valley via the Animal Pass and Manikaran or Kasol or Jari to Naggar through Malana and Chandrakhani Pass.

Katrain : Located at about the mid-point on the Kullu- Manali road, Katrain is the widest point in the Kullu Valley and is overlooked by 3,325 mtr high Baragarh peak. Further two km up the road on the left side there is a trout hatchery.

Chehni Kothi : Chehni Kothi is located near Banjar, at a distance of 53 kms from Kullu by road and followed by 3 km uphill walk. A 1,500 years old building, Chehni Kothi was the fortified residence of Rana Dhadhia. Originally the Chehni Kothi was 15 storeys high but after the earthquake in 1905 only 10 storeys were left. Now a 20 ft high structure, the Chenhi Kothi has a cone like appearance.

Other Attractions
Dussehra Festival : Kullu is famous for its Dussehra festival, which is a week-long celebration. Usually the festival of Dussehra is celebrated all over India in October for 10 day of the rising moon. However in Kullu the festival starts on the 10th day of the rising moon, known as 'Vijay Dashmi' and continues for seven days. Dussehra commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana, but in Kullu the festival does not include the burning of Ravana, as in other places around India. On Dussehra day, the raths (chariots) of Raghunathji, presiding deity of the valley, and other deities are taken out in a procession through the town to Dhalpur Maidan, where they reside for the next seven days. During the festival, nicely dressed, cheerful good-humoured crowds throng every road leading to Dhalpur Maidan, and folk dances, exhibitions and cultural events are also held.

Kullu Valley : The Kullu Valley tilts northward from Mandi (760 mts) to the Rohtang Pass (3,915 mts), the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti. A spectacular Kullu Valley is surrounded by the Pir Panjal range to the north, the Parvati range to the east and the Barabhangal range to the west. Himachal's most picturesque valley, the Kullu Valley is bestowed with shimmering rivers, lovely mountain hamlets, beautiful orchards and terraced fields rising in fastidious steps to thick green pine forests and high snow-capped ridges. Towns of Kullu and Manali are situated in the fertile section of the Kullu valley. The tranquil valley of Kullu is a perfect destination for the travellers. While you visit the Kullu you will surely admire its natural grandeur, rich and varied culture, arts, cheerful lifestyle and the simple friendly people.

Shopping in Kullu
For shopper's Kullu offers a variety of items including the woollen items. You can check out designed pullas, patti, mufflers, pattoos, woolen carpets, complex driftwood articles and artistic metal crafts of Kullu. Some of the best places to shop in Kullu are outlets of Bhuttico, Bodh Shawls and Himbunkar. Besides the local art and craft, Kullu also promotes Kashmir handicrafts which you can buy at Kashmir Craft Emporium. The Tibetan market at Kullu is famous for imported goods, especially the gift items. Visit the Sultanpur market where the local goldsmiths deal in traditional jewellery which is a fine example of the native art.

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