Blessed with some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes anywhere, it is a travellers paradise -lofty snow peaks, deep gorges, lush green valleys, fast flowing rivers, enchanting mountain lakes, flower bedecked meadows, beautiful temples and monasteries steeped in time. May it be for relaxing, sightseeing, trekking, mountaineering, fishing, para-gliding, skiing, ice skating and golf, Himachal has it all…Come Explore Himachal with himachaltourist…
The valley of gods, as the Kullu valley has come to be known, is perhaps the most delightful region in the western Himalayas. The ancient Hindus regarded it as the furthest limit of human habitation – Kulantapitha, and its original name finds mention in the epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as well as Vishnu Purana.
Like a slender delicate-hued fern glistening in the morning dew, the valley spreads out its charm on either side of the upper reaches of the river Beas. Running north to south, the main river valley is only 80 km long and 2 km at its broadest, yet a fairly wide area is open to the visitors to enjoy the spectacle of variegated mountain scenery.
In the spring Kullu is at its most colourful with pink blossoms and white flowers while the higher slopes are aglow with gorgeous rhododendrons. With utumn, clear blue skies return and fields and forests alike show wonderful tints of crimson and ochre. By December, there is no greenery except the majestic pines and cedars in the forests. In winter the hillsides are flanked in white.
Situated on the banks of the Beas, Kullu, the headquarters of the district, serves as a nerve centre of the valley and is the starting place for a number of treks. The deodar-fringed grassy maidan, Dhalpur, is a stage for many colourful fairs.
Places to see in Manali
12 km. A quiet but picturesque spot. The Rest House overlooks the narrow valley and commands views of the mountains. Below Kothi, for more than a kilometre the river Beas flows through a deep gorge, almost a subterranean passage, 30 metres or more in depth, and the cliffs which flank both sides of the canyon are a favourite haunt for rock pigeons. The site of the bridge provides an interesting historical episode in the early annals of Kullu.
13 km. A splendid valley between Manali and Kothi which offers views of the glaciers and snow-capped mountain peaks. The plateau is frequently used for holding camps by the trekking parties. Good skiing slopes of the Mountaineering Institute. Venue of annual winter carnival from February 10-14. Bus service upto Palchan village (10 km) and then by jeep or on foot.
2 km from Kothi. Here the river Beas hurtles down from a height of about 50 metres. Charming spot for picnics.
A bridle path from the Manali log huts goes past the Dhoongri Temple and wanders into the dense deodar, kail, horse chestnut, walnut and maple forest which is a part of this sanctuary. Camping overnight in tents at Lambadug or Galiani Thatch is possible.
Lush green alpine pastures and glaciers lie beyond Galiani Thatch. Musk deer, monal and brown bear are often spotted. For those who venture still further into the glacier zone in summer, there are herds of ibex.
51 km. At an altitude of 4,112 metres on the highway to Keylong, the pass affords a wide-spread panorama of mountain scenery. In place of the pinnacled hills, sheltered valleys and cultivated tracts, the eye meets a range of precipitous cliffs, huge glaciers and piled Moraine, and deep ravines. Almost directly opposite is the well defined Sonepani glacier, slightly to the left are the twin peaks of the Geypang, jagged pyramids of rock, snow streaked and snow crowned.
The Beas river rises near the crest of Rohtang from a block of Mica-Schist. The pass normally opens for traffic after mid-June and officially closes in November. To its left, 200 metres higher, is the little lake of Sarkund (Dashair) visited by a number of people, the general belief being that a bath in these waters effects a cure of all bodily ailments-real or imaginary. 10 km before Rohtang is the barren-landscape of Marhi which hums with activity during summer and autumn months because almost everyone stops here for refreshments.
117 km. A fair sized village amidst green fields of barley and buckwheat, Keylong is the headquarters of the Lahaul and Spiti district, surrounded with brown hills and snowy heights. Karding Monastery overlooks Keylong and is 3.5 km across the Chandra river while Shashur Monastery is about 1 km. HPTDC Tourist Bungalow.
Triloknath and Udeypur
These are two important places of pilgrimage in Pattan Valley. At Triloknath is a six armed image in white marble of Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattava. Visitors will enjoy crossing the Chandra-Bhaga river and the trek of 3 km to reach the destination. The temple of Marikula at Udeypur is highly remarkable for its wood carvings. Udeypur is 166 km from Manali.
Places to see in Kullu
1 km. In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh installed here an idol of Lord Raghunathji, which he brought from Ayodhya. As a mark of his penance he placed the idol on his throne and it became the presidind deity of the valley.
4 km. A small cave enshrine an image of goddess Vaishno.Other temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Rama and Krishna.
3 km. A stiff climb leads one to the shrine from where one gets a panoramic view of Kullu town.
Bijli Mahadev Temple
11 km. The Bijli Mahadev temple one of the most striking temple is set on a spur, and is famous for its 60 ft high staff which periodically attracts lightning that shatters the Shivalinga. Each time this happens, it is pieced together by the temple priest.
The Great Himalayan National Park
Located in the beautiful district of Kullu, the 620 sq. km. area has temperate forests – some of the virgin coniferous forests of the state. Vast areas of alpine pasture and glaciers cap this park. Among the animals found in this part of the western Himalayas are musk deer, ghoral, thar, bharal, sewor, brown bear, leopard and snow leopard. Bird life includes a variety of colourful pheasants – monal, khalij, cheer and tragopan. A trek through the park to Rekte-Sar, the origin of the Sainj River and camping amid alpine pastures is a memorable experience.
This sasnctuary located in the Parvati Valley of the Kullu District is the habitat of the Himalayan thar. This big goat is often seen on high mountainous precipices.
A splendid trek is possible along the Garahan Nalla from Kasol through dense deodar and fir forests. The rest house at Kasol is convernient and the Range Officer, Wildlife, Kasol, can offer information and assistance.
16 km. A delightful spot (2,300 metres) for a quiet holiday where one can commune with nature. Many walks in the neighbourhood. Forest Rest House provides accommodation.
Bajeshwar Mahadev Temple (Bajaura)
15 km. The pyramidical temple (9th century AD) is embellished with wonderful carvings in stone and sculptural decorations. The three large image slabs on the exterior are all of a high order of sculpture in the Indian classical (Shikara) style.
42 km. Situated on the banks of Parvati river, Kasol in the Parvati valley makes a good holiday destination. Charmingly located in an open space which slopes down to a broad expanse of clear white sand at the edge of the river. The place is known for trout fishing.
45 km. On the trekking route to Pulga and Pin Parvati pass, Manikaran is famous for its hot springs. Thousands of people take a dip in its hot waters. The water is so hot that dal (pulses), rice etc. can be boiled in it. It is also a well known pilgrimage centre and there is an ancient Hindu temple and a gurdwara here. According to a legend, Manikaran is also associated with Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Parvati, who lost and recovered her ear-ring here.
34 km. South of Kullu at an elevation of 957 metres, this is a small hamlet providing excellent trout fishing. A Rest House is located in a stunning position, at an angle between the foaming torrents of the rivers Sainj and Tirthan, before they join the Beas a few hundred anglers.
Pulga and Khirganga
16 km. A stiff march takes one to the restful solitude of the Forest Rest House whose immediate environment affords a sylvan and peaceful retreat for body and mind. The Tos nullah, which branches off from the main Paravati valley is well worth exploration by those who favour the wilder aspects of natural scenery and are prepared to camp out. 10 km from Pulga lies Khirganga which is well-known for its hot springs.
58 km. an excellent spot (1,534 metres) for trout fishing in Tirthan river. the famous temple of Shringa Rishi is located here in whose honour a fair is held every year in May.
Accommodation is available at a PWD Rest House.
13 km from the Banjar PWD Rest House (2,650 metres) on the Kullu side of the Jalori pass, it is located in a setting of marvellous scenic surroundings.
16 km. On the way to Manali, it is an ideal site at an elevation 1,433 metres for spending a quiet holiday in solitary splendour and for holding youth camps and rallies. On the gurgling banks of the Beas there are 14 wooden huts of HPTDC.
20 km. The central and the widest part of the valley on the way to Manali and at a height of 1,463 metres. Apple orchards, a Fruit Research Station and a trout hatchery lend prominence to the place. HPTDC’s Hotel Apple Blossom and Tourist Cottage.
28 km. On the left bank of the Beas and about three hundred metres above the river, Naggar is delightfully situated on a wooded slope and commands an extensive view, especially of the north west of the valley. It is an excellent place for a longer stay. Naggar was the capital of the Kullu Rajas for about 1,400 years. There are a large number of famous temples in and around Naggar. Artist Nicholas Roerich’s art gallery is also worth a visit. Cars and jeeps can easily go up to the Naggar Castle which is now Himachal Tourism’s well furnished Hotel Castle.
28 km. up to Naggar by bus and then 20 km. on foot. A little ahead off the beautiful Chandrakhani pass lies the tiny village of Malana, famous for the temple of Jamlu and its distinct social and cultural life. Reputed to be the oldest democracy in the world in existence where all the inhabitants of the village take part in managing its affairs. An exciting place for trekking.