Summer cool –Kulu, the valley of the Gods
Before we reach the town of Kulu, we arrive at Bajaura with its shrine of Basheswar Mahadev, famous for its sculptures and bas-reliefs, some of which were mutilated during invasions.
Everywhere along this valley are apple orchards. About 4 km before reaching Kulu town there is a small airport at Bhuntar which links this heart of Himachal Pradesh with the rest of India.
All the local Gods in the valley owe allegiance to this deity
Kulu is located on the Beas at an altitude of about 1200 meters. It consists of two district townships- the Sultanpur area, where the government offices, a hospital and rest-houses are located, and the Akhara Bazaar, which is a market place. There is a spacious grassy meadow which extends right up the Bases. It is called the Dhalpur Maidan and it is the site of the famous Dassera fair which is held here every autumn. During the fair gods from all ports of the Kulu Valley are brought here in gaily decorated palanquins to the accompaniment of musing and chanting of mantras. The principal deity is Shri Raghunathji, whose idol was originally brought to Kulu from Ayodhya in Utter Pradesh. All the local Gods in the valley owe allegiance to this deity.
Forty five kilometers from Kulu are situated the well-known hot spring of Manikaran in the Parvati valley. A bath in them is believed to be a cure for rheumatism, gout and other muscular ailments.
A short journey up and along the Beas brings us to Katrain, which is well known for its fruit orchards and trout hatchery. Across the river, near Katrain and about 300 meters higher, lies the small town of Naggar, made famous by the Russian painter, Nicholas Roerich. The art collection of the Roerich’s can be seen here. There is also an old castle which has now been converted into a rest-house.
From Katrain we proceed to Manali were the Kulu’ valley seems to end. This is popular resort where many tourists from the plains come during summer and autumn, a little higher up is a small picture lake named after the sage Bhrigu.