Tuesday, July 13, 2010
One of the oldest towns in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Kullu finds a mention in the scriptures written by Xuan Zhang the Chinese traveler. Founded in the 1st century A.D. by Behangamani Pal whose forefathers had migrated to Mayapuri from Tripura, Kullu was known as Kulantha Pitha which meant the end of the habitable world.
It is the most recent temples that was built in the valley but attracts equal number of tourists and devotees. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, it is a small temple and the deity is enshrined in a cave. The climb to the temple is still steep but it offers a stupendous view of the mystic Kullu valley and the River Beas running along its length like a young maiden walking a ramp!
The Bhuvaneshwari Temple of Bhekhli is built in Pahari style is also dedicated to one of the forms of Goddess Durga. The temple walls are decorated with Kangra paintings of Durga. A magnificent stone lion gives the example of the local art. The stone lion in the courtyard is a fine example of local art. This beautiful temple is situated uphill at a distance of 10 km from main Kullu town.
This ancient temple, built in the 8th century is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also known as the Bishweswar temple. It is one of the most beautiful temples of the Kullu valley which is around 15kms from Kullu and is worth a visit.
Great Himalayan National Park
Situated in the Kullu valley, the Great Himalayan National Park makes a good visit. Situated in the vast area of 620 sq km, the park is full of coniferous forests, with alpine pastures and glaciers forming a beautiful background. Some of the rare species found in here are the Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Snow Leopard, Monal and many more. The visit to this park gives an unforgettable experience.
Naggar, 26 km from Kullu was the erstwhile capital of the place for nearly 1400 years. The Naggar castle which stands the mute testimony to its glorious past has been converted in to a hotel today. It was founded by Raja Visudhpal and continued as a headquarters of the State until the capital was transferred to Sultanpur (Kullu) by Jagat Singh. The beautiful castle here was built by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu around 1460 A.D. and commands an extensive view of the valley and the River Beas. There are many temples situated in the vicinity notably amongst which are the temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna.
Manikaran is a small village at the distance of around 45 km from Kullu. The place is full of hot water springs which are believed to have curative properties. Hence daily thousands of devotees take the holy dip in these hot waters. The water is so hot that Rice, Lentils and vegetables get boiled and cooked in the water. The legend goes that once Shiva and his wife Parvati were wandering through this place where her ear ring dropped. This gives the name to the place Manikaran meaning ear ring. The search of the rings was futile and Shiva got annoyed. It was Shesh Nag; the serpent, which came forward to pacify the lord by hissing and boiling the water. Thus the jewel that lay under the water came up and Lord Shiva was pacified. Since then the water is hot.
This square shaped lake resting on a mountain surrounded by deep vegetation is a sacred spot for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists alike. According to a legend, the great teacher Padmasambhava used his powers to take a flight from this place directly to Tibet. The waters at the Rewalsar Lake is therefore precious and people throng here to take blessings and honour the water of the lake.