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Kullu Tourism And Travel Guide
16.4° C / 61.5° F
November to June
7 to 10 Days
Kullu-Manali Airport (11 kms)
Joginder Nagar Station (123 kms)
As once described by a Buddhist monk who visited the place in 635 CE, Kullu is still a very fertile region surrounded by many mountains. Formed by the Beas River, this valley is a treasure of nature covered with tall pine and deodar trees. The valley is blessed with many apple orchards too. According to popular myths, it is said to have been named by Manu. When Manu visited the place during the great floods and in not succeeding to cross the Rohtang Pass, he is believed to have named the last settlement he came across as the ‘Kulant Peeth’, roughly translating to the ‘end of the world’. The name then became Kulut from which the present-day name Kullu seems to find its origins.
It is a valley highly accessible today and with its great weather, tourism in Kullu is on all year round. Kullu finds its place on major travel-lust lists and this Kullu travel guide that we have compiled will tell you all you need to know about this holiday destination.
How To Reach
Kullu is believed to have had access from Shimla until it got its motorable road post-independence. Since then, travelling to Kullu has become somewhat of an easy affair.
The closest airport to Kullu is located in Bhuntar, where the Beas and the Parvati rivers meet. The airport is commonly known as the Kullu-Manali airport and lies at a distance of about 11 kilometres from Kullu town. There are flights to and from Chandigarh and Delhi on a regular basis.
Kullu doesn’t yet have a railway line. The closest railway line to Kullu lies in Joginder Nagar at about 100 kilometres from the town. The Joginder Nagar line is further connected to Pathankot through the Kangra Valley Line. Taking the railway route to Kullu can be very tedious and is not the best way to reach the valley town.
Kullu is connected to the national capital Delhi via NH1 and NH21. The roads are open and accessible almost all through the year. There are private taxi services from most major cities across northern India. The prices vary depending on the place of origin and type of service. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation provides bus services to Kullu from major cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, etc. There are a variety of services and the prices range between 600 to 2000 INR, depending on place of origin and type of service.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The weather in Kullu is pleasant almost all through-out the year, making it the perfect getaway. Although each season has its own give-aways, summer is considered as the best time to visit the valley.
Summer (March to June):
With daytime temperatures ranging from about 20 to 38°C, the valley provides the perfect escape from the extreme heat of the Punjab region. It is important to consider that the summers can get a little crowded and accommodations can get a bit pricey and hard to find. It will be wise to book well in advance.
Monsoon (July to September):
Monsoons are not usually preferred to visit the valley as the rains can get in the way of sight-seeing and other activities. But Kullu doesn’t receive too much rain and can still make for a wonderful experience during monsoon. It is mostly quiet and can allow for some peaceful soul-searching.
Winter (November to February):
With temperatures falling to about 6°C, Kullu can get very chilly and cold during the winters. With ample snowfall, it can be a good time to catch a glimpse of the white mystic in the valley though.
Things To Do
Although a smallish town, Kullu has a lot to offer. Ranging from sight-seeing to indulging in some adventure, Kullu has it all.
The many temples in and around Kullu like the Raghunath temple and the Bijli Mahadev temple can be good places to start. The trek to the Chanderkhani Pass can be a nice way to understand the life and culture as it passes through many tiny villages. One can also catch a glimpse of the Pir Panjal and get a view of the whole valley. Kullu is also the gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park. The park houses numerous Himalayan flora and fauna. One can also visit the hot springs in Manikaran. These springs are believed to be medicinal.
Kullu has plenty of trekking routes to choose from, ranging from a day to a week. The Tirthan Valley trek takes you through a number of streams and waterfalls, while the Saurkandi Pass takes you through high meadows all the way up to the Saurkandi Lake. For the more adventurous lot, there is the trek to the Deo Tibba Base camp.
Kullu is the best place for skiing and snow gliding, with amateur stretches and professional slopes. The Solang valley is a good place for beginners while there is Deo Tibba, the Hanuman Tibba and Rohtang Pass which are perfect for professionals.
With about an hour in the air, Paragliding here can be really fun. The aerial view of the scenic valley is one to remember. The pine and deodar forests placed amidst the snow around the Beas River are surely some of the best places for paragliding.
Meandering through the beautiful valley of Kullu, afloat on the turquoise waters of the Baes River, it is just as adrenaline inducing as paragliding. With challenging waters and many rapids, river rafting here can be an experience to cherish.
With an array of cuisines, Kullu has a mixture of both traditional and other delicacies to offer. You can find Punjabi, Himanchali, Tibetan, Chinese and Continental cuisines here. With delicacies like the Bhature, Jatu (red rice), and Kodra Roti, Kullu has it all. There are also local wines made from the red rice like the Chakti and Lugri. The valley is also a good place to enjoy some fresh fruits. The best way to enjoy the mesmerizing view of the valley is surely with some good food.
Shopping in Kullu can be a rewarding experience. With a huge list of things that you can get here, shopping for souvenirs can be both surreal and challenging. The Kullu caps are one of the most famous in the region. With traditional designs and patterns made into the pashmina and angora wool, the caps really do stand out. Kullu is also quite famous for its Kinnauri Shawls. With geometric patterns and splendid weaves, these shawls are vastly different from the Kashmiri Shawls and are gorgeous looking.
With an abundance of fruits and a huge population involved in small scale industries, Kullu has some of the best Jams. Completely organic and in a range of flavours like Blackberry, Strawberry, Apple, and Raspberry, these jams are utterly delicious. Kullu also has a variety of Tibetan handicrafts and jewellery. With extremely intricate designs and patterns these can make for good souvenirs. Once in Kullu it is a must to visit the famous Akhara Bazar, Khara Bazar, and the Lakkar Bazar. For a place this small, Kullu really packs a punch when it comes to shopping.