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Tourist Places To Visit In Kullu
Sandwiched between the Lower Himalayan ranges and the Great Himalayan ranges, Kullu is packed with loads of tourist places to visit. Formed by the Beas River, the valley, covered with pine trees and deodar is one of the most spectacular places to visit in the region. Ranging from temples to National Parks, Kullu has it all; and to any visitor travelling to Kullu, the place will surely be mesmerising. From Bijli Mahadev to Chandra Tal, Bhrigu Lake to Great Himalayan National Park, there's much to see here.
Located at around 22 km from Kullu, the Bijli Mahadev temple is one of the most visited and famous places in the region. There are plenty of mythical folklore spun around the temple; the most famous among them is that lightning strikes the Shiva Lingam in the temple and shatters it into many pieces and that the priest furbishes it back into shape with adhesive. The temple is also famous for its 60 ft high pole which gleams like a needle on a bright sunny day. Located on a higher plane than the valley, the temple also provides for a nice spot to enjoy panoramic views of the Parvati and the Kullu valley.
Popularly known as ‘Lake of the Gods,’ and fittingly so, the Bhrigu Lake is among the most visited destinations in the Kullu region. Located in the midst of snow-capped mountains at an altitude of about 4200 m, the lake allows for one of the most fascinating views of the valley. With the quiet in the air and the mist and the clouds brushing your hair, the lake is truly paradisiacal and is a must-see.
Located at about 40 odd kilometres from Kullu, Manikaran lies on the banks of River Parvati. The major attractions in Manikaran are its hot springs. While at some spots, the water can be very hot, there are plenty of spots to take a relaxing dip. Manikaran is also very popular for its folklore and mythology. It is said that Lord Shiva once visited the famous Kulant Pith and stayed there for a while making it a hotspot amongst pilgrims. It is also said that Guru Nanak ji had asked one of his disciples to lift a rock and that is what gave way for the hot springs. Alongside the mythology of the place there is also a geothermal experimental plant in the region for research towards renewable energy sources.
The Great Himalayan National Park
Now recognised as one among UNESCO’s World heritage sites, the national park, established in 1984 is among one of the best places to visit when in Kullu. The park is home to numerous fauna with over 375 species and also numerous species of flora. With creatures like the Blue Sheep, the Himalayan Brown Bear, the Himalayan Tahr and the Snow Leopard, the park is a fantasy come-true for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is also quite famous for its trekking possibilities and camping. With every step, new landscapes uncover themselves in this ever-so magical place.
The Rupi Palace
Believed to be the residence of the erstwhile royal family of Kullu, the Rupi palace (also known as the Sultanpur Palace) is among the famous places in Kullu. Although rebuilt after the original palace was destroyed the palace represents both pahari and colonial architecture. The palace also houses many miniature paintings in the Kullu style, characterized by the lack human subjects. This palace, located about 500 m from the bus station, is accessible by foot.
Dhakpo Shedrupling Monastery
Located in the village of Kais, at about 12 km from Kullu, the Dhakpo Shedrupling Monastery is also known as the Kais Monastery. Inaugurated by his Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2005, the monastery is popular among pilgrims and people who want some time away from the bustling city. The monastery is representative of the Indo-Tibetan architecture and houses a huge Buddha statue. With the serene landscape and the divinity of the monastery, your stress vanishes. The monastery also provides for a picturesque view of the Baes River.
Raghunath Ji Temple
With the reputation of being one of the oldest temples in Himachal Pradesh, the Raghunath Ji temple is one of the most visited places in Kullu. Located close to the Rupi palace, the temple has close ties with the palace. The Raghunath ji temple is dedicated to Lord Ram and hence the name Raghunath (another name for Lord Ram). The temple was built in the 17th century by Raja Jagat Singh with a mix of pyramidal and Himanchali style architecture. The temple covers the whole of the peak region of the hillock and is quite big. There are plenty of stories that revolve around the temple that could interest visitors. It is believed that the king built the temple to atone for his many sins and the idol is believed to have been brought from Ayodhya.
Great Himalayan National Park
The Great Himalayan National Park is more than 3 decades old, boasting to be one of the biggest in the region. From treks to sightseeing, nature-tourism to overnight camping — there is a lot you can do here. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hence draws large crowds from Kullu almost all year round. Night treks, stargazing and bonfires are other coveted activities out here, especially on clear winter nights. Great Himalayan National Park is about 50 km from Kullu city centre.
Literally translated to the 'moon lake,’ Chandra Tal is a very famous spot in Manali near Kullu. It forms the initiation of River Chandra and once used to serve as a spot for trading between people from Ladakh, Tibet, Spiti and Kullu as well as a sacred place for many devotees. The lake is best visited on full moon nights to experience the glory of moon reflected in these crystal waters. Many treks, especially the Chandra Tal trek, are famous here.
Parvati Valley, named after Shiva’s wife Devi Parvati, is only 40 km from Kullu. Best visited for its peaceful surroundings, rivers meeting, meadows growing… this valley is blessed with much needed silence after the town-humdrum of Kullu-Manali. River Parvati and Beas have their confluence in this valley, as well as it forms the route to Manikaran, a highly sacred spot of Hindus and Sikhs. Another space for trekkers, campers and hikers, Parvati Valley supplies thrill in equal measure as peace.
Who can tame a river? Not a mere dam. But at least it can try.
Pandoh Dam is one such monstrous structure, trying to hold down the flow of the feisty Beas river. For the most part, it does tame it. Located in Mandi, this dam also forms a great manmade tourist spot. It also produces hydroelectricity and serves as a fertile bank for many agricultural activities. Most people flock here to indulge in birdwatching some migratory as well as exotic species. While others enjoy the untouched beauty of the place with a picnic basket. Pandoh is 50 km from Kullu Bus Stand.
Chandarkhani Pass, a gorgeous pass in the Himalayas, is known for its trekking trails and magnificent views of Deo Tibba and Pir Panjal. Perched 3660 m above sea level, Chandarkhani Pass is all beautiful landscapes and welcoming hamlets. Malana is one of the most important village in the vicinity and a must-visit when you trek up to Chandarkhani. Their culture draws you in, with their arts, music, dances and food. They call this place valley of god. A drive of an hour from Kullu drops you at Chandarkhani Pass.
Kullu’s Friendship Peak is about 66 km from the town bus stand, attracting tourists that include trekkers, hikers and peace seekers. At 5289 m above sea level, the peak shoots thrill up its trekkers’ bodies as they indulge in one of the most challenging trails in all of Himachal. From the top you get a scintillating view of Solan Valley spread out below, with meadows, alpine forests, and even blooming orchards in season. Some places you can stop by on your way are Vasisht Hot water spring, Naggar Roerich Art Gallery and Hadimba Temple.
Jana Waterfall is located very close to Naggar Castle as well as Bijli Temple. A short little hike through a jungle of pine trees leads you here, and what a site it is — milky froth of water jumping out of chunky dark rocks. Coupled with a tiny footbridge made of wood and natural pool where you can take a dip, the place is serene and picturesque. Visit for a little swim session, some quiet or a picnic with your beloved.
Also popular as ‘Hawa Ghar,’ the Sunrise point is the place where tourists prefer to gather at dawn. As the name suggests, it is a point in Kasauli to observe the sun rise above its horizon every morning. The view is such that most days you can get a full sunrise. And at other times of day people come here to breathe in fresh air as the place guarantees it at any time of the day or season.
Gauri Shankar Temple
Not only for devotees and religious souls but for all those who wish to explore the history and culture of this region, the Gauri Shankar Temple is a must visit. Located in the Naggar Castle in the village that goes by the same name, this temple is more than 800 years old. Built in the Shikhara style of architecture, the shrine is believed to be the last of Gurjara Pratihara traditions’ monuments. Decorated with ardharatna symbols, Ganesha carvings and other motifs, Gauri Shankar Temple is about 22 km from Kullu.