One of the most popular festivals of the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Sazo Festival is observed in honour of the ancestral gods and goddesses of the local people.
Celebrated in the month of January, people believe that on the day of the festivities, deities of their local temple go to heaven for a short period of time. Thus, the devotees bid adieu to them amid celebrations and a cheerful procession.
Though the celebration is an intimate affair, you will feel the utmost joy and ecstasy spread in the entire district. Tourists from across the country arrive here to witness Sazo which is one of the most fun festivals of Himachal Pradesh.
Major Attractions of Sazo Festival
1. Bathing in Satluj River
First of all, the local people perform the ritual of bathing in the Satluj River. Some also prefer to have the ritual bathe in the local hot springs. This ritual is performed in order to cleanse the soul and body with the holy water of the river.
2. Food Rituals
On this day, the families prepare traditional food such as poultice, rice, pulses, vegetables, meat, halva, chilta, and pug. As per another significant ritual which is referred to as Deacher and Deokhel, the local priests go door to door to bless the people and distribute food grains.
3. The Worshipping
Rituals and prayers in the honour of the family gods are performed three times a day. In the morning, the god is worshipped by offering food, excluding meat. And in the evening, the deity is brought out of the house worshipped, and offered wine and halwa. After all the rituals are completed, it is believed that the deity has proceeded towards the Kinnaur Kailash.
How to Reach Kinnaur
Kinnaur is a treasure trove of natural beauty that is adorned with rivers like Spiti and Sutej. The beautiful district has picturesque valleys, meadows, traces of Buddhism, and many other religions co-existing there.
The well-established transportation infrastructure helps you reach the district easily by airways, roadways, and railways. Kinnaur District is approximately 600, 2,000, 2,100, and 2,700 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Scroll down to find out some best travel options for this beautiful holiday destination.
Kinnaur district does not have its own airport, hence, if you plan to take a flight, the nearest airport for you would be the Shimla Airport in Jubbarhatti which is 22km away from Shimla and 260km from Kinnaur. The best way to reach Kinnnaur is through airways. From the airport, you may hire a taxi or get on a local bus as well. Air India runs a non-stop flight of 70 minutes from Delhi, whereas if you are arriving from Mumbai, Kolkata or Bengaluru then you have to travel via connecting flights.
You can reach Kinnaur by deboarding at Kalka Railway Station, which is the nearest. This railway station is approx. 350km away from Kinnaur and, from there, you can take a taxi, or a bus to reach your desired location in the district.
For Kinnaur, you will get direct trains from metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Arriving from Delhi, you can consider traveling by Kalka Shatabdi, or Himalayan Queen; from Mumbai, Paschim Express; and from Kolkata HWH DLI KLK Mail.
From Kalka, you may take the following 5 local trains - Shivalk DLX Express, Him Darshan Express, KLK SML Pass, Himalayan Queen, and Kalka Simla Express. All these trains run on all days of the week and take approximately 5 hours to reach Shimla. From Shimla station, you can take any mode of transportation such as a cab, or a local bus to cover another 250 km to reach Kinnaur district.
Kinnaur has a good infrastructure and is easily accessible through the road network of the district. You can get there via inter-state tourist buses or through HRTC buses.
In case you are arriving from Shimla, you have to cover a motorable distance of 250km via NH 5, 130km via NH 5 from Rampur, 330km via NH 305 from Manali, and 450km via NH 5 from Dharamshala.