|24th October 2023
|12th October 2024
If you are planning a trip to Kullu, Himachal Pradesh then it is better to visit the place during the Dussehra time. Kullu Dussehra is different from Dussehra that is celebrated all over India after Navratri. Kullu Dussehra is celebrated when the rest of the country ends the nine-day long Navratri festival. It is celebrated with great pomp and fervour for 7 days. This is a traditional annual festival of Kullu and is one of the most popular festivals of Himachal Pradesh.
Kullu, the breathtakingly beautiful hill station in the state of Himachal Pradesh is referred as the “Valley of Gods” and it is one of the most favourite and widely visited hill stations of the country. Kullu Dussehra is one of the major festivals celebrated there. This annual festival is held in the month of October or November. Kullu Dussehra 2023 dates are 24th to 30th October 2023. Kullu Dussehra 2024 dates are 12th to 18th October 2024. A festival tour to Kullu during Dusserha time gives you a scope to enjoy this small hill town abound with Nature along with all its traditions and culture.
In 1972, Kullu Dussehra was recognized as an International Mega Event. People from different parts of India visit the place for the celebrations. More than 4-5 lakhs of people from all across the globe come to enjoy Kullu Dussehra every year. Every year, this festival is celebrated in a grand way, making it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations.
If you are planning a trip to Delhi, then book your tour to Delhi during Dussehra time to witness Navratri, Durga Puja and Dussehra at one go
History of Kullu Dussehra Mela
The celebrations of Dussehra in Kullu started way back in the 17th century during the rule of Raja Jagat Singh. He had once taken away a bag full of magical pearls from a poor Brahmin, who burnt himself and died and cursed Jagat Singh. The brahmin cursed him that whenever he eats, his rice will appear as worms, and water will appear as blood. King Jagat Singh thus could see only worms and blood and fell ill seriously. To get rid of the curse, the king, got a rare idol of Lord Rama from Ayodhya and this was installed in Raghunath temple at Sultanpur. Lord Raghunath thus became the reigning deity of the Kullu valley and all deities accepted the overall lordship of Lord Raghunath. It is believed that all the deities of the Kullu region assemble at Kullu and pay their homage to the chief deity on Dussehra.
Another legend says that when Maharishi Jamdagni, was returning from Kailash, he had with a basket with images of eighteen different Gods. While he was crossing the Chanderkhani pass, there was a horrible storm which led to the scattering of all the Gods’ images across the Kullu valley. The locals saw these images being converted into forms of Gods on their own. This led to Kullu valley to be named as “Valley of Gods”. And Kullu Dussehra is celebrated to worship these scattered Gods’ images with great pomp and show.
Highlights of Kullu Dussehra
Dussehra is celebrated in the Dhalpur maidan in the Kullu valley. A spectacular gala celebrated with extravagant grandeur and zeal, the Kullu Dussehra is one of the biggest festivals of Himachal Pradesh.
The various events that take place in Kullu Dussehra are as follows:
Rath: The Kullu festival is one of the greatest spectacles in India, in which the celebration begins with the colourful parade of the deities in their attractive palanquins which arrive at Raghunath temple. The Raghunath idol is the centre of attraction in the festival and is taken on a Ratha or chariot pushed by the devotees all across the hill town. This is the most awaited event of Kullu Dussehra. This celebration starts from the Royal Palace. Religious chants praising the gods and goddesses echo all around. This is considered the most colourful and energetic ritual in the Kullu dussehra festival. More than 200 Gods and Goddesses also participate in this procession along with Lord Raghunathji.
Lalhri Natti : This takes place on the Dhalpur field. The field is beautifully decorated with flowers. Tents are there on the ground. Locals gather here dressed in new colourful traditional attires, gold and silver mohoras, and jewellery. The ambience around is of fun and festivities with traditional instruments like drums, dhol, nagaras, and shehnai being played welcoming Gods to earth. Folks dances are performed at night.
Muhalla: Raghunath Temple comes to life during the festival time when mesmerising dance performances are performed outside the temple complex. People enjoy the fun-filled, thrilling fair with songs, dance, community acts, delicious food stalls, and much more. This event is called Muhalla and starts from the second day of Dussehra. There are variety of events for the entire night which people enjoy to the core.
Jaleb: This is another important ceremony. In this ceremony, Raja is in his rath, and a procession starts from the camp area. It is referred as Jaleb in local language. Musical ensembles accompany this event. He is greeted in Dhalpur ground with ransingha, a blowpipe, and shesh. This entire event occurs over a period of six days.
Bali: Also termed “Ashtanga Bali,” this is a very significant event in Kullu, in which eight animals are sacrificed to Devi Hadimba, the most sacred deity of Kullu. This is an animal sacrifice ceremony held on the final day of the celebration.
Lanka: On the seventh day, Gods and Goddesses are said to return home. The chariot of Lord Raghunathji is taken near River Beas. On the river banks, a heap of thorn bushes is burnt to mark the slaying of demon king Ravana by Lord Rama and burning of Lanka. Around 200 deities are involved in the Dahan. After that the chariot is taken back to Sultanpur where the idol is installed back to the temple of Lord Raghunathiji.
Kullu in Himachal Pradesh is beautiful destination to explore. Book your Tour to Kullu, Himachal Pradesh during Kullu Dussehra Festival time to enjoy the picturesque beauty of this valley along with its rituals and traditions. Unless and until you do not become a part of Kullu Dussehra, it is difficult to feel the beauty of the festival. Dussehra Festival is the most vibrantly celebrated festival of the state. A week-long carnival awaits you. Book Kullu Dussehra Tour Package 2023 with the best inbound tour operator of the country and get a chance to enjoy this International Mega Dussehra.
Want to join this festival?