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This is one of the biggest and grandest Dussehra celebrations in the world. The celebrations happen in the hill town of Kullu which is a sight of admiration and disbelief. The legends associated with this festival and the large gathering of devotees that it witnesses are both, purely astonishing. Do you know that Kullu Dussehra is attended by approximately 4-5 lakh people on an annual basis? 

The festivities are celebrated in the Dhaulpur Maidan. Everything starts on the tenth day of the rising moon and then continues for a period of seven days. The history of this festival dates back to sometime around the 16th-17th century when a king established the deity of Raghunath in one of the temples as a mark of his penance. 

History of Kullu Dusshera

As per the legends, after returning from one of his pilgrimages Maharishi Jamdagni straightaway went to his hermitage which was in Malana. It is said, that during this time he was carrying a basket on his head in which there were about 15 images of different Gods and Goddesses. And while heading to Malana, he had to cross Chanderkhani pass where he encountered a storm. 

And while dealing with the storm, he lost his balance and all the images along with the basket fell from his head. He could see the images flying away and scattering in the sky. After this, the hill people saw these images and started worshipping them. And legend has it that the place where the first worshipping began was Kullu, hence Kullu Dusshera came into being. 

Another Legend of Kullu Dusshera

There is another legend about this festival. It was around the 16th century when Raja Jagat Singh ruled the kingdom of Kullu. Once on a beautiful day, he came to know that there lived a man in his kingdom, a mere peasant by the name of Durgadatta who was known for possessing some of the most beautiful pearls in the entire world. Hearing this the king thought that he should be the one possessing such beautiful pearls, after all, he was the king. 

Also Read: This festival is celebrated in the month of May in a place also known as the 'Valley of the Gods'

In his greed, he summoned and ordered the peasant to hand over the pearls or otherwise be hanged. Now, knowing his inevitable fate, the peasant ended his life by jumping in the fire and cursed the king. 'Whenever you eat, your rice would appear like worms and the water will appear as blood to you.'  

Fearing the curse, the King went to a revered Brahmin seeking his advice. The Brahmin told him that in order to eradicate the curse he will have to get diety of Raghunath from Ram’s kingdom, Ayodhya. The king was successful in this act of stealing as he had sent a Brahim over there for getting the deity. Now the people of Ayodhya, seeing the missing deity went in search for the thief who was the Brahmin from Kullu. After much looking, they found him on the banks of Sarayu river. On being asked the reason to steal the deity, the Brahmin told them the story of their king.  However, to their surprise, they found that while they tried to lift the deity and took it to Ayodhya’s direction the idol became very heavy and while taking in the direction of the King’s kingdom it became immensely light. Thus, it was decided that the idol would be taken to the king’s kingdom.

Once the idol was installed in the temple. The king drank the Charan-Amrit from the deity’s feet and as soon as he drank the holy water, the curse was lifted. During Dusshera, this deity is taken to the celebrations in a Ratha with great fervour.  

Major Attractions of Kullu Dusshera

The first day of the celebrations sees great pomp and show. On this day, the statue of Lord Raghunath is taken out on procession and is pulled using the ropes by the locals from different sites that are across the maidan. And on the last day of this festival, the chariot is brought near the banks of river Beas. It is here that a mass of wood grass is burnt which signifies symbolically, the burning of Lanka. On the sixth day of this festival, a procession of village devtas takes place and on the last day, many sacrifices are made namely a fish, crab, rooster, buffalo and a lamb. 

Apart from this, the festival has many other attractions such as the stalls, fairs, performances, dance, and music to mark the celebration of such a popping festival in India. It is celebrated seven days after Navratri and is one of the biggest crowd-puller events. 

How to Reach Kullu

By Air. Kullu is a great place to explore. However, for traveling to Kullu one of the best options would be to take a flight. The Kullu Manali airport which is also known as Bhunter airport is well-connected to major and nearby cities. You can travel from cities like Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, etc. in a hassle-free manner. 

By Road. Kullu can be traveled in a very convenient way via road. You can easily travel from nearby and major cities like Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore. ]Furthermore, there are many taxis and buses available from Delhi, Pathankot and Palampur. Thus, you have a lot of options available with you. 

By Train. The Joginder Nagar station is the nearest rail station. It has very good connectivity from nearby and major cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, etc. After deboarding, you will need to further travel about 100km. For this, you can hire a cab or take a bus. 

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here


  • 7 Days

  • Religious

  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Festival Date

    22 October 2019 - 28 October 2019

  • Venue

    Kullu

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