Visualize River Beas confluence in the valley of Kullu hill station and some other images come flooding to mind like -
These are but few types of scenery when thinking of Kullu. They contribute their part in making complete picture of a memorable hill town with perfect Kullu holidays.
The Kulanthpitha of past referring to the meaning – 'end of the livable world', is Kullu where visitors come and revel in all the gifts Nature has to bestow on its onlookers. At an altitude of more than 1200 m, the feeling of 'inhabitable' can come to mind, even more when the visit is made in winters. However, during the pleasant sunny days, Kullu can give a run to best of the hill resorts.
Presence of various temples makes the sanctity in the foothills of Himalaya even more venerable. The hills and forests that force couples to snuggle a little closer are a welcome too. Add unbridled Nature to as well above ingredients and a tourist can get the adrenaline rush of his life. Kullu tour thus becomes an obvious choice for the honeymooners, families and adventurers for an exceptional time.
Time to worship God can be easily found in places like these where presence of divine could be felt in every speck of dirt; in temples as well as in the company of Nature. Following are the integrals of Kullu tourism -
Raghunath Temple - The temple's prime deity is Lord Rama and the temple is known for the Dussehra festival that keeps the visitors and locals streaming to the temple for the seven days of celebration.
Shringi Rishi Temple- Also known as the temple of Skirni Deo, the place is worshipped by Hindus for the deity protecting Banjar Valley. In May of every year, a fair is held in his honor.
Maha Devi Tirth – Also known as Mata Vaishno Devi of Kullu, the temple is revered by the followers of Hindu faith, as much as the one in Katra, Jammu.
Bijli Mahadev - Lord Siva is considered to be among the most worshipped Hindu God and this temple is one of the most intricately decorated abode with the Shiva-lingam in Kullu.
Some other important temples include- Devta Narsingh, Manu Temple, Hanogi Mata, Hidimba Mata Temple, Basheshwar Mahadev, Jagannathi Devi and few more.
Vashishta Hot Water Spring - The water from the spring is believed to be medicated, curing the skin problems. Taking a dip in the waters is thus considered highly pious ritual.
Lakes - Some of the places in Kullu would seem ethereal in the tranquility and beautiful lakes are also among them- Bhrigu lake, Servalsar lake, Mantlai lake and Dashir lake.
Great Himalayan National Park - Wildlife tourism can be easily clubbed with a hill station, if the place to be toured is Kullu. This national park is known to house some rare high altitude animals and birds that are not found commonly otherwise.
There are more in this list, namely, Bhekhali Height, Solang Nala, Shoja and Jana Falls. Some more aspects of wilderness could be enjoyed in Kais, Kanawar, Khokhan and Tirthan Sanctuaries.
Festivals - Kullu Dussehra, Kullu Holi, Chrewal or Badranjo festival, Chet festival and Nawala festival are celebrated for some pretty popular enthusiastic times when the bond between the humans is strengthened. Among all, Kullu Dussehra draws visitors from every corner of India and world.
Fairs - Fairs flare up the zest for life, which is why most of the village and town have fair that represent their culture and rituals to celebrate life. In Kullu, Sainj fair, Bhuntar fair, Ghatasani fair, Luhri Lavi, Birshu fair, Pipal Jatra, Phagli fair, etc are quite popular.
Naggar Castle - When Kullu was ruled by Kings some 1400 years ago, Naggar used to be their capital. That part of history is still there in the form of a castle here which is now converted into a hotel to make tourists in Kullu royal.
Places around Kullu
With the luxury of time, following places located nearby Kullu can find space in tourists' itinerary as well and would amaze them as much as Kullu did-
Bhuntar - Only 10 Km in between, finding accommodation here is quite common and thus tourists find a way to enjoy this village as well.
Raison - Some 12 K away from Kullu is Raison, another heaven for days to be spent languidly. The place is known for camping activities.
Manali - Kullu and Manali occur simultaneously in many travel packages and many tourists who are not familiar with the places in India, think of them as one, even when they are separated by a distance of more than 40 Km.
Manikaran - Approx. 40 Km ahead, Kullu has this village as its neighbor, which is in no way less enchanting.
Lahaul Spiti - With a distance of 180 Km in between, an adventure freak can look for a cycle ride from Kullu to the valleys of Lahul and Spiti- real thrill indeed.
Other places that could be explored in addition to Kullu are Malana Village and Shimla.
Things to do
Touring Kullu can be more than just sight-seeing. A bit of adrenaline rush could be experienced by gearing up for Skiing in winters to witness the harshness of soft snow. Trekking to many nearby sites like Chander Tal, Jalori Pass, Chandrakeni, etc would introduce adventurers to the mountain beauty Kullu is. Fishing in river Beas is another fun where Mahaseer becomes a challenge for the angler. Rafting in the same river is icing in the cake, all the while counting the rapids crossed on the raft.
Te above list continues to grow with paragliding, rock climbing, mountaineering, Jeep Safari and bike safari on Manali-Leh route. These are more than enough to be done in a single holiday, which is why sports enthusiasts keep returning to this serene sanctity of Nature.
Kullu has become a very well known hill town to be in during summer vacation, so much so that at peak tourism season getting an accommodation can get really problematic. Resorts and hotels in Kullu and in nearby places become much sought after then.
It is always suggested thus, to review best of the accommodations online and make bookings as early as possible. Some of these hotels are Holiday Inn Manali, Welcome Heritage Solang Valley Resort, Corporates' Orchard Park, Himalayan Hamlet Resort, JJ Resort, Hotel Vaishali, etc. Most of these are in Kullu but some are within a perimeter of 20 to 25 Km in hill towns as beautiful as Kullu itself.
Getting a good stay place ensures everything cozy in a cool hill station; from warm welcome to hot dinner; what more luxury could come to mean!
Time from March to June is the hottest or in alpine terms the most pleasant part of the year when the temperature stays between 4 to 20 degrees. Most of the Kullu travel packages are taken during these times making the best of it.
July to mid September is for monsoons on hills, which generally is of everybody's liking. Winters from September end to February are meant for snow adventures when the snow covers the meadows of Kullu in Dec, Jan and Feb, making it ideal for snow lovers.
Best time to visit
If holidays are to be planned with every member of family including kids and elders, avoiding monsoon and winters is suggested, leaving the only option of Kullu Summers- March to June. When Romance and adventure is on mind- monsoon and winters can add extra zing to Kullu holidays.
How to reach there
Air : Thanks to the Kullu Manali (Bhuntar) Airport, reaching Kullu is just an effort of 10 Km by road.
Rail : Nearest railway station to Kullu is Joginder Nagar which is 120 km away. Other options of railway stations include Kiratpur (200 Km away) and Una (260 Km away).
Road : Kullu is directly connected from Delhi, Shimla and Chandigarh with around four routes each to reach to the hill destination under discussion.