Dussehra is around the corner, and the country is gearing up for the festivities. Among the most popular celebrations of the same is Kullu Dussehra, with a mela, dances, and everything festive. Here’s your guide to experiencing the same. By Anushka Goel
About Kullu Dussehra
The festivities take place for a week, starting on the day of Dussehra. The events include a Rath Yatra, music, dances, and celebrating the Kullu devtas (deities). The festival sees lakhs of devotees come and witness the celebrations every year.
History of Kullu Dussehra
Legend has it that the festivities saw its beginnings in the regime of Raja Jagat Singh. The king ruled Kullu from 1637 to 1672, and it is said that he had been informed of a bowl of pearls being in the possession of a Brahmin, Durga Dutt. When he sent his men to find the pearls, they harassed the poor Brahmin. Later, when the Raja himself visited the village, the Brahmin locked himself and his family inside the house and set it on fire, cutting himself with a sharp knife and cursing the king.
View this post on Instagram
Later, the king seemed to be haunted by the spirit of the Brahmin and his family, and had hallucinations. He saw worms and blood instead of rice and water in his meals, and he started falling ill. When no medication could help him, a Bairagi named Krishan Dutt said that the king could only be saved by the blessings of Lord Rama. Soon after, the King was able to procure an idol of Lord Rama from Ayodhya, and through prayers, he started recovering from his hallucinations.
Thus, he became heavily influenced by Rama. He even abdicated his throne to the will of Raghunathji and became his ‘Chharibardar’. It was after this that he invited all the Gods and Goddesses to assemble at Kullu to celebrate Vijaya Dashami, aka Dussehra, and this is how the festivities apparently began.
Kullu Dussehra mela
The festivities begin with a rath procession, followed by the inauguration of the festival. It also includes a mela, processions and a lot more to keep audiences engaged. Cultural performances are a part of the festivities as well.
Places to visit on Dussehra
Apart from Kullu, there are several other places you can visit in India to witness some unique Dussehra celebrations. Some of these are:
- Kolkata (for the Durga Puja and Vijaya Dashami celebrations)
- Varanasi (for the Ram Leela and Ganga Arti)
- Delhi (for its elaborate Ram Leelas and melas)
- Mysore (for the popular Mysusu Dasara celebrations)
You can check out our detailed guide to the grandest Dussehra celebrations in India here.
Things to do on Kullu Dussehra
During the festivities, you will be able to enjoy the vibrant Pahari culture, complete with its music, food, language and everything encapsulating its essence. Enjoy folk performances, purchase local goods and learn more about the region, as you celebrate Dussehra to the fullest.
How to reach
By Air: The nearest airport is in Bhuntar, about 10 kilometres from Kullu
By Road: The distance from Delhi is about 560 kilometres, and can be covered in about 13 hours
By Train: The nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar, about 120 kilometres from Kullu
Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Kullu Dussehra is a renowned festival in India, and is also called the International Mega Dussehra.
Answer: Kullu Dussehra is an extension of the festivities. While in the rest of the country, the navratri festivities end with Dussehra, in Kullu, the day marks the beginning of the week-long celebrations.
Answer: Among the rituals are bathing, decorating and worshipping idols of devis and devtas.
Answer: The Kullu folk dance of Nati is what is performed usually during Kullu Dussehra.