One of the most awaited festivals in Himachal Pradesh is the Halda Festival, celebrated with zest and joy. Crafted with the best dance performances and unique cocktails, the festival is an unforgettable experience for the people. It is such an occasion of happiness where people from different states come together to celebrate. Moreover, it is the New Year in Himachal Pradesh with people wishing prosperity to their kin and kith.
Halda Festival is dedicated to ShiskarApa, the Goddess of Wealth in the Lamaistic Pantheon. The significant attraction of the festival is the vast and considerable bonfire! The bonfire is held at a site chosen by the Lamas! People of Himachal gather all the cedar twigs to light the massive bonfire.
People do merry-making and fun while circling the bonfire. The bonfire depicts the unity of the people. Engaging dance performances add to the glamour of the festival. A special ceremony is also held on the occasion. Offerings are given to the local deities for the well-being of the townspeople.
Halda festival is celebrated similarly to Diwali, which starts on a full moon day. Additionally, it is held on the second or third week of January. The celebration is to pray for a better yield during the spring season. It is believed that the Gods leave the mountains at this time to their splendid house.
Currently, the demons attack the valleys making it difficult for the people to stay. These festivals protect the villagers from the monsters’ wrath while they offer their prayers to the Gods. You will get some colored drinks and great food to make the occasion extra special.
Major Attractions of the Halda Festival
The Colorful Dances
Dance and music are part of the Halda festival, and you can’t separate it from the festival. The main objective of the celebration is to impress the Gods for better production. Also, it makes sure that all the negative energies are left behind for positive to make their way. So every member contributes a few twig branches to light up the bonfire.
On the auspicious occasion, everyone gathers at a particular place. It is thought that when many people gather, they can keep the negativity away. The local pujaris choose the festival date. However, there is no fixed date, and the dates change every year.
How to Reach Lahaul?
Lahaul is in Himachal Pradesh and is such a picturesque gateway. The place is meant to explore the hidden gems of nature. You can travel to Lahaul in many ways.
If you plan to go by air, you can reach the Kullu Airport in Bhuntar. It is located about 800 km from Lahaul. It is far, so most people take the buses and private cabs to reach Lahaul. There are connecting flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Lucknow, and different cities.
When traveling to Lahaul, the road is the best means. The Lahaul and Spiti valley provide the most extraordinary possibilities to travel. Lahaul is a cold dessert so that you can move to other hill stations quickly. You might not feel comfortable driving in snow. Opt for the best NHS to get to Lahaul. There are private cabs to help people travel.
Joginder Nagar Railway Station is the nearest station to Lahaul. But the station doesn’t have the best connectivity like the roads. There are no direct trains to Lahaul. So it would help if you took the streets to go to the Halda Festival.
Best Things to do in Lahaul Spiti
The twin valleys of Lahaul and Spiti are so breathtaking. The place is to die for with the stunning landscapes and alpine lakes. When in Lahaul, there are many things to do.
Try out meditating with the Buddhists.
Lahaul Spiti is home to some of the best Monasteries located at the compact mountain ranges. Further, if you are looking for some inner peace, you can come to these beloved sites. The fresh air taking over the mountains and the chant sounds are blissful. It’s like a perfect escape from routine life.
There are meditation caves overlooking the Spiti river. For example, the caves of Tabo Monastery are so peaceful. Get into any of these caves if you want to meditate and focus on life for some time.
Visiting the World’s Highest Post Office
If you are in Spiti, send a postcard to your loved ones from Hikkim. It has the highest post office in the world. It is located at 4,389 m with an imperative connection with the outside world. Check with the locals to know all about the post office and its scenery.
Best Places to Visit in Lahaul Valley
Mrikula Devi Temple
Mrikula Devi Temple is a Kali temple made with wood tiles with conical roofs having simple walls. The insides have some amazing deodar intricate structures depicting the Hindu epics. The wood carvings are similar to the Hidimba Temple, showcasing the 16th century.
It is the biggest monastery in Lahaul, established almost 900 years ago. The walls of the sanctuary are covered with colorful paintings called frescoes. In the Kardang Village, there is another yet small monastery where you can see rock carvings and two big chores.
Best Season to Visit Lahaul
The summer months are the best time to visit, but the winters are mesmerizing. Lahaul has the Atal Tunnel, where you can enjoy the serenity of the regions. There are very few guesthouses and hotels to live in Lahaul. But the smaller villages have good homestays for the visitors to haul. You can always ask the local communities for any help you need.
Places to Eat in Lahaul
You won’t find the fine dining in Lahaul, but the street foods are worth tasting. Momos, Thukpa, Daal, and Roti are some of the items available. But, of course, Hills and Maggi are inseparable, and you can’t live out Maggi when in Lahaul.
Lahaul is the most scenic place on most travelers’ bucket lists. Plan during the time you can attend the Halda Festival. It is a celebration that can’t be put into words.