Kullu Dussehra is one of the famous festivals in Himachal Pradesh. Tradition is followed for many centuries, and still today, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm. The week-long celebration begins on Sunday. Amid the pandemic, people were participating in the festival in large numbers. All Covid linked guidelines are followed strictly during the celebration.
It is seven days event that begins after the Vijaya Dashmi. The Lord Raghunath worshipped during the event. The Chariot procession is arranged to take the Lord Raghunath to his destination. The “Rath Yatra Of Lord Raghunath” carried out joy and singing traditional songs. People wear traditional dress and dance and sing while the Chariot moves to its final destination.
Kullu Dussehra is the majestic festival of Himachal Pradesh. Before the event, people start preparing their traditional attire, food for the festival, traditional songs and dance with the decoratives to join the celebration. People worldwide join the festival to enjoy the local tradition and participate in the one-week-long journey. The vast popularity of the festival has made it a tourist attraction.
Kullu Dussehra festival signifies the victory of the Lord Raghunath on the evil force. The Chariot moves slowly from its beginning point to the final destination that is Dhalpur Maidan at Kullu. Its landscape is surrounded by natural beauty.
The place is known for beautiful waterfalls, mesmerizing mountain streams, ancient old temples act as the storyteller. You will find yourself lost in the wildlife. It takes you close to nature.
The history goes back to the 17th century. As per the locals, The Kully was ruled by the Raja Jagat Singh. He was the mightier King of the Kullu. One day someone told him that Durgadutt has beautiful white pearls.
The King wanted to take possession of those pearls. He called Durgadutt to his palace and ordered him to surrender those pearls to him. Durgadutt tried to convince the King that he doesn’t have such pearls, but Raja did not accept his plea.
Hopeless Durgadutt decided to burn himself with his family after failing to convince the King. He took this decision to avoid oppression from the King and curse him for what he had done to his family. After the incident, Raja felt guilty about his behaviour.
He told his feeling to the Brahmin, and they advise getting Lord Raghunath’s deity from Ayodhya. On his instruction, the Pandit was assigned to bring the God, but unfortunately, the pandit went missing on the way back to the home. After the long search operation, the deity from Ayodhya and the pandit were found near the Saryu River.
Pandit then took to the Kully and idol of the Lord Rahunathji installed. King started praying to the Lord Raghunath with devotion. After few years, his curse was lifted, and he was free from it. King Jagan Singh started holding the Kullu Dusshera festival from that day.
The celebration becomes the symbol of the win over the devil and happiness in the region. Various fun activities are organized with traditional music, dance, colourful decorations around the street.
Beautiful Chariot is made to place the Raghunathji in it, and the Chariot is the move from the street and bought to the same place where the banks of Beas River. End day of the celebration, the grass is burnt, which signifies the burning of Lanka.
Highlights of Kullu Dussehra Festival
- Kullu Dussehra is different from the Dusshera festival celebrated in other parts of India.
- The festival runs for a week, and various traditional activities are organized.
- The main destination of the Kullu Dussehra is the Dhalpur Maidan in Kullu.
- The festival starts on the tenth day in the evening with the rising moon. It is also the day of Vijaya Dashmi as per the local calendar.
Festival Dates and Months
The Kully Dussehra festival is celebrated in October every year.
How is Dussehra celebrated in Kullu?
The Kullu Dussehra festival has a different tradition compare to the Dussehra festival celebrated in the country. The devotee creates a beautiful chariot for the idols of various gods. The process begins with decorating the Chariot, praying idols with the traditional method and taking the idols to meet the Lord Raghunath, also known as Lord Ram, in the temple.
During this festival, hundreds of Gods from different regions are brought to the temple on the day of Dussehra. There will be prime deities named Hadimba (Deity of the Kullu Kings) and Jamlu Rishi (The deity of Malana Village) to the temple with all these deities. The seven-day festival brings joy and happiness to the state.
People from all regions participate in the festival in massive numbers. Resident indulges in various entertainment, Cultural activities, dancing, singing, and many programs are organized for the traveller. Multiple camps are organized to provide basic facilities to the travelling from far distance to the temple.
The massive popularity of the Kullu Dushera attracts tourists in the region. People come from all around the world to participate in the festival and witness the grand celebrations. The festival is organized near the bank of the Beas river.
On the final day, a pile of wood is brought and set on fire to signify the winning over the evil force. The final process is similar to the Dussehra festival celebrated in the country. It is a practice to symbolize the destroying and burning of the home of the Ravana in his land Lanka.
The feast is organized for the people who reach the place on the final day. The last day is when all the fun begins. A huge bonfire is lit, and prayer is conducted. The festival is concluded by sacrificing fish, crab, rooster, buffalo, and lamb in front of the deity.
On the following day of the festival, the idol of the Lord Raghunath is brought back to its original place and position through a grand celebration.
Everyone should witness the joy and celebration of the Kullu Dussehra in their lifetime. It is incredible to see how people forget all their pain and participate in the festival with enthusiasm. The land lit up with the festival lights, decoratives and fanfare. Visit the Kullu during the festival season and enjoy the celebration. Book your ticket a few months before the festival to avoid the last movement rush.