KULLU:The most charming and beautiful Kulu valley spreads out its charm on either side of river Beas. The valley runs north to south of this river and is 80kms. long and about 2kms. at its broadest. Yet with awe inspiring glens and mossy meadows encircled by the rushing streams and meandering brooks, flung east & west, a fairly wide area is open to the tourists, the trekkers, the mountaineers, the artists and to anyone who wishes to escape the heat & dust of the plains to breathe the exhilarating air of the Himalaya and enjoy the spectacle of the variegated mountain scenery. The valley is also famous for its exquisitely woven colourful hand made shawls and kullu caps.
Located in Himachal Pradesh, the Himalayan Jewel. Kullu was once known as Kulanthpitha-&39the end of the habitatable world&39. Beyond rise the forbidding heights of the Greater Himalaya, and by the banks of the shining river Beas, lies the fabled &39Silver Valley&39. The town of Kullu is famous for its colourful Dussehra festival. Decorated palanquins and processions convey gods and goddesses from temples all over the valley to Kullu, to pay homage to the reigning deity, Raghunathji. A mela springs up during the festival which is celebrated with a great deal of singing, dancing and festivity.
40 kms. away from Kulu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breath taking. One sees well-defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with its clear water meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards. It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Leh and Zanskar regions in Kashmir valley. It is known as the SWITZERLAND OF INDIA.
Manali is Situated at the northen end of the Kullu Valley, Manali has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. The Beas rushes along its rocky course amid grassy meadows carpeted with wild flowers and wagtails hop along from stone to stone along the stream&39s edge. There are marvellous walks too, through dappled orchards and fairy-tale forests of deodar.
The Manali market is crowded with myriads of interesting shops selling Tibetan carpets and crafts and the appetizing aroma of steaming noodles hangs about the little restaurants. Manali, with its Mountaineering Institute, is a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter. Interesting routes into the surrounding valleys, over the high passes, are provided with tourist huts and rest houses for trekking enthusiasts.
BIJLI MAHADEV SHRINE (2460 m): 10kms. from Kulu across the Beas river, Bijli Mahadev temple is one of the striking temples in the temples strewn district. It can be reached by a tough but rewarding climb of 10 kms. trek. From the temple a panoramic view of Kulu & Paravati valleys can be seen. A 60 feet high staff of Bijli Mahadev temple glistens like a silver needle in the sun. in this temple of lightening it is said, the tall staff attracts the divine blessings in the form of lightening. The rest of the story can be heard from the priest, which is un-believable but true.
||Kullu Sight Seeing
RAGHUNATHJI TEMPLE: 1 km. from Dhalpur, Raghunathji is the principal deity of the valley.
VAISHNO DEVI TEMPLE: At a distance of 4kms. from Dhalpur, a small cave enshrines an image of Goddess Vaishno Devi.
CAMPING SIGHT RAISON (1433 m): 16kms. away from Kulu, the sight is ideal for spending a quite holiday in solitary splendor and for holding youth camps. There are a large number of orchards in this part of the valley. HPTDC has log cabins for comfortable stay.
KATRAIN (1463 m): The central and the widest part of the valley, Katrain is 20kms. from Kulu on way to Manali. Apple orchards and trout hatchery lend charm and prominence to the place. It is also famous for bee keeping and Govt. trout farm at Patilkulh. Sufficient accommodation is availablein Hotels of HPTDC.
NAGGAR (1760 m): On the left bank of the Beas, Naggar is delightfully situated on a wooded slope and commands an extensive view. It was the capital of erstwhile Kulu state for about 1400 years. There are large number of famous temples notably Vishnu, Tripura Sundari & Lord Krishana. Cars and jeeps easily go upto the Naggar castle. Roerich art gallery which houses the paintings of Nicholas Roerich as well as his sculptures , is less than a km. from the Castle. Naggar is also a base for undertaking treks to Chanderkhani Pass and to remote valley of Malana.
KASOL (1640 m): Situated on the bank of Paravati river, Kasol makes a good holiday destination. 42kms. from Kulu, charmingly located on an open space which slopes down to the broad expanse of clear white sand at the Parvati river. The place is well known for trout fishing.
MANIKARAN (1700 m): Manikaran, 45kms. from Kulu and just 3kms. from Kasol, is famous for its hot springs. Thousands of people take a holy dip in hot waters here. The water is so hot that dal, rice & vegetables etc. can be cooked in it. It is also a well known pilgrimage place for both Hindus & Sikhs. Ramchandra and Shivaji temples besides a Gurudwara are there. According to an old legend, Manikaran is connected with Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Parvati, who lost her ear rings here, which gave birth to hot waters on the bank of Parvati river. Hearing this religious myth from the priests will be more rewarding and interesting. Ample accomodation in the temples and Gurudwara, is available for night stay besides the HPTDC hotel.
MALANA (2652 m): Little ahead of the beautiful Chanderkhani Pass lies the village Malana which is famous for the temple of Jamlu and its distinct, social and cultural life. Malana is considered to be the oldest democracy in the world. It would be worth while to visit this village to study the style and social system prevalent there.
BAJAURA: 15kms. short of Kulu , Bajaura is on the main road where BASHESHWAR MAHADEV temple is situated about 200 m from the village in a plain between the main road and the Beas river. It is believed to have been built in the mid 8th century.
LARJI (957 m): South of Kulu, Larji 34kms. away is a small hamlet providing excellent spot for trout fishing. The PWD rest house is located in a stunning position between the foaming torrents of the river Sainj & Tirthan, before they join the Beas. The place is patronized mostly by anglers.
BANJAR (1524 m): At a distance of 58 kms. south of Kulu, Banjar is an excellent spot for trout fishing in the waters of river Tirthan.
HADIMBA TEMPLE: Manali has many attractions but the chief centre of interest, historically and archeologically, is undoubtedly the DHOONGRI TEMPLE dedicated to goddess Hadimba, the Bhim of Mahabharat fame. It has four-tiered Pagoda shaped roof and the doorway is carved with legendary figures and symbols. This temple located amidst wooden forest of deodar is about 2.5 kms. from the tourist office. It is a pleasant experience to stroll in the temple complex which was built in 1533 A.D. A large festival is held here in May.
||Manali Sight Seeing
MANU TEMPLE: 3 kms. from the main bazar in old Manali lies the temple of MANU RISHI. It is believed that this is the only temple of Manu in India, who was the creator of human race on the earth.
CLUB HOUSE: 2 kms. from the town, club house has indoor games facilities which has been located on the left bank of Manalsu Nallah. There are some picnic spots near it.
TIBETAN MONASTERIES: There are 3 newly constructed colorful monasteries, where visitors can buy carpets and other Tibetan handicrafts. Two are located in the town and one at Aleo on the left bank of Beas river.
MOUNTAINEERING INSTITUTE: Located 3 kms. on the left bank of river Beas towards Kulu. This Institute organises basic & advance training courses, in trekking, mountaineering, skiing and water sports. Skiing and trekking equipments can be hired from here by booking in advance. Tourists can visit an interesting showroom here.
VASHIST HOT WATER SPRINGS AND TEMPLE (3 kms): Vashist, a small village located on the left bank of river Beas towards Rohtang pass is worth a visit. It is renowned for its hot springs and temples. Nearby is the pyramidal stone temple dedicated to Vashist Muni. There is another Temple of Lord Ram here. Natural hot sulphur springs with two separate bathing tanks for gents and ladies are always full of tourists. Turkish style showers fitted baths have also been built nearby. Hot water from the nearby spring is provided for bathing.
NEHRU KUND: 5 kms. on National Highway to Leh,a natural spring of cold clear water named after Pt. Jwahar Lal Nehru, who used to drink water from this spring during his stay in Manali. This spring is believed to originate from the Bhrigu lake situated high-up in the mountains.
SOLANG VALLEY: 13 kms. is a splendid valley between Solang village and Beas Kund. Solang valley offers the view of glaciers and snow capped mountains and peaks. It has fine ski slopes. The Mountaineering Institute has installed a ski lift for training purpose. Located here is a hut and guest house of the Mountaineering and Allied sports Institute, Manali. Now a few hotels have also come up. The winter skiing festival is organised here. Training in skiing is imparted at this place.
KOTHI: Situated on the road to Rohtang pass, a picturesque spot, Kothi is 12kms. from Manali. A PWD rest house is situated on a ridge overlooking a narrow valley with a very good view of mountains and valleys. Large number of films (movies) have been picturised at this place and is the ideal resting resorts of poets, writers and the lovers of peaceful environs.
RAHALA WATER FALLS: 16 kms. on way to Rohtang pass. If one goes to Marhi on foot from Kothi from the old road, the sight of the falls is fascinating. It is a good picnic spot as well.
ROHTANG PASS (3979 m): Rohtang pass is 51kms. from Manali on highway to Keylong/Leh. It offers a panorama and spectacular mountain view. The pass is open from June to October each year although trekkers can cross it earlier. It is a gateway to Lahaul Spiti, Pangi and Leh valley just as Zojila pass is a gatway to Ladakh. There are a beautiful sight of glaciers, peaks and Chandra river flows down in the Lahaul valley. Slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypan. During summer(mid June to October) regular buses ply between Manali-Keylong/Darcha, Udaipur, Spiti and Leh.
ARJUN GUFA(CAVE): 4kms. from Manali towards Naggar, the cave is situated near Prini village 1km. above the road where Arjun had meditated. This is good 1/2 a day excursion with charming view of the brilliant mountains.
JAGATSUKH: 6 kms. from Manali located on the left bank on Beas on the road to Naggar. The place is famous for very old temples of Lord Shiva and Sandhya Gayatri in Shikhara style, these are worth a visit.
RAIL: Nearest convenient rail head are Chandigarh and Pathankot. Manali can be reached from road from these stations.
||Approach to Manali
ROAD: Manali is well connected by road with Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Shimla, Dharamsala and Chamba/Dalhousie. Regular buses ply between these stations. It is connected with Leh during July to October.
AIR: Kulu is connected by Indian Airlines, Trans Bharat Aviation and Jagson flights with Delhi & Shimla. The airport is at Bhuntar, 10kms. from Kulu.
||Approach to Kullu
RAIL: Nearest convenient rail heads are Kalka, Chandigarh and Pathankot on Broad Gauge from where Kulu can be reached by road.
ROAD: Kulu is well connected by road with Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Shimla, Dehradun, Pathankot, Dharamsala & Dalhousie etc. Regular direct buses ply between these stations including deluxe, semi-deluxe and air conditioned buses during tourist season.
LOCAL TRANSPORT: Local buses operate between Kullu-Manali and Manikaran regularly. Taxis are also available.