India’s Own Valley of Gods - Kullu
Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh lies in an idyllic setting, surrounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges, with its shores washed by the holy waters of River Beas. Through a myriad of myths, legends and local lore, Kullu has earned the moniker of Valley of Gods. Manali sits on the northern tip of the valley and is a popular hill station. It is the best place to start your exploration of the Valley of Gods. Larisa Manali, our luxurious resort offers exquisitely designed accommodations and contemporary facilities to elevate your experience. Our resort also has dining facilities where you can experiment with the local cuisine to delve further into the native culture.
History Behind the Name
Religion and mythology have both played significant roles in shaping the history of Kullu. The valley district is dotted by mediaeval temples and shrines dedicated to various local deities as well as the more popular deities like Vishnu and Ganesh. The first mention of Kullu can be found in Mahabharata, where it is referred to as Kulut/Kultura, a name that signifies its neutral position beyond normal socio-political norms. Hence, certain legends associated with the valley revolve around significant events in the great mythological scripture. For instance, it is believed that the Pandavas spent some years during their exile in this valley.
Another legend narrates the tale of the powerful deity of Malana Village, Jamlu. He is said to have been crossing the Chandrakhani pass and in his hand was a basket full of the local Gods of Kullu. However, as he opened the basket after reaching the peak of the pass, a strong gust of wind blew over the basket, toppling it over and scattering the Gods to the location they are currently found at in Kullu. This led to Kullu being crowned as the Valley of Gods.
A Diverse Culture
Kullu has been a witness to many different dynasties that have established their empires in India including the Guptas, the Khashas and later the Rajputs. The entire district was fragmented under the governance of different Rajput kingdoms, the Marathas and the Sikhs. All these regions were unified under the single name of Kullu after the British conquest. Credit to such diverse influences, Kullu’s culture is vibrant and dynamic. A number of villages prefer to worship their own deity. Each deity has its own designated temple. The main idols are often carved out of solid gold and are sheltered in a temple. In some villages, the main idol might also serve as the village head.
Notable Temples to Visit
While exploring Kullu, you must visit some of the most notable temples to completely grasp the culture of the Valley of Gods. India is home to several religions, which include worshipping local gods and goddesses. Hidimba Devi Temple in Dhungri Manali, Siyali Mahadev Temple in SIyal, Manu Rishi Temple in Old Manali and Vyas Rishi Temple at Rohtang Pass are some of the most noteworthy temples in the area.
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