- Headquarter: Kullu
- Languages spoken: Kullui & Hindi
- The district is located between 31°58’00” North Altitude and 77°06’4” East Longitude.
- The only river which originates from district Kullu is Beas.
- The Mansarovar Lake in olden days was known as Mantilac.
- The Potato Development Stations in Kullu are at Hamta (Kullu) and Kuna (Anni).
- The Vegetable Research Station in Kullu is at Katrain. This station is maintained by Indian Agriculture Institute.
- The Cereal Seed Multiplication Farm is at Sainj, Kullu which is maintained by National Seed Corporation.
- Pioneer of fruit growing in district Kullu was Capt. R.C.Lee of ‘Bundrole orchard’. He set up an apple orchard in the year 1870 and obtained plants from United Kingdom.
- Padha Bansi Lal was the first local farmer who planted apples trees in the District Kullu at Seobagh.
- Sheep breeding farm at Nagwain started in 1963 under Indo-German project.
- Bed Ram Thakur was the founder of Bhuti Weavers Co-operative society in 1944.
- In the past, Manali was known as ‘Dana Aghe’.
- The First Guest House in Manali was Sunshine Guest House managed by Banon family.
Fig : Kullu District
Some Important Details of Kullu District :
Year of creation of District
Total Area (Hectares)
Total Assembly Constituency
Population (2001 census)
Total Police Stations/Posts
Literacy (2001 Census)
Zila Parishad Members
Panchayat Samiti Members
Gram Panchayat Members
Total Panchayat Secretaries
Total Panchayat Sahyaks
Total Technical Assistants
Total Agricultural Land (Hect.)
Net Shown Area (Hect.)
Irrigated Area (Hect.)
Large & Medium Scale Units
Small Scale Units
Senior Secondary Schools
Ayurvadic Health Centres
Land Dev. Banks
Watershed / Hariyali Schemes
No. of Micro Watershed Schemes
Area Covered (Hect.)
History of Kullu :
- According to the traditional folklore of people, the Kullu valley originally bore the name of ‘Kauntapitha’ means the end of the inhabitable world.
- Bihangmani Pal is believed to have been founder of Kullu state.
- Kailash Pal (1428 A.D.) was the last Raja to bore the surname of Pal.
- Jagat Singh (A.D. 1637-1672) was the most powerful ruler of the dynasty.
- The idol of Raghunath ji was brought from Ayodhya in 1653 by a Brahmin named ‘Damodar Das’ and installed in Kullu by Raja Jagat Singh.
- Raja Jagat Singh transferred the capital from Naggar to Sultanpur in A.D. 1660.
- Hieun Tsang visited Kullu in A.D. 635.
- Mr. Moorcraft was the first European to visit Kullu on his way back to Ladakh in A.D. 1820.
- In 1846 A.D., Kullu became the sub-division of Kangra district.
- Kullu has the distinction of having the oldest democracy in the world in village ‘Malana’.
- Jagatsukh, Naggar and Sultanpur were the capital of princely state form time to time.
Detailed History of Kullu :
Geographical Status :
31o 20’ 25" to 32o 25’ 0" North
76o 56’ 30" to 77o 52’ 20" East
Surrounding Areas & Districts
Kullu is bounded on the north and east by Lahaul & Spiti, on the south-east by Kinnaur, on the south by Shimla, on the south-west and west by Mandi and on the north-west by Kangra.
Generally, the climate is cold and dry and the year can be divided into three season:
From December to February, this period is very chilly. Heavy frost occurs during this period. Snowfall generally occurs during December and January or an early snowfall may occur in November also. During this period, most of the parts of the Kullu remain under cover of snow. But the snow does not remain on the ground for a long time. The average rain fall is 80 cm. Max temperature is 38.8o C and minimum is 5.2o C in winter.
Places of Interest :
Kullu - The District Headquarter
Kullu, the headquarters of the district, is situated at an altitude of 1200 mt on the confluence of Savory rivulet and Beas river. Though it is somewhat warm during June and early July, but for the rest of the year provides a delightful and healthy climate. the annual rainfall is about 40", of which a little less than a half occurs during the winter months from October to March. There is not much snowfall during the winters but the snow clad peaks look very beautiful. Kullu town has made its name on the international tourist map for its famous Dussehra festival. Town is a seat of the chief deity of the valley i.e. Raghunathjee. During Dussehra the visiting deities from all over the district first pay their obeisance by visiting abode of Raghunathjee at Sultanpur. The town of Kullu can accommodate large number of visitors with all facilities of boarding and lodging required by them.
Kullu district offers many attractions to the tourists. It has rich art and cultural heritage, lush green deep meadows, dazzling rivers, white capped snowy peaks and high mountains. The district has incomparable Beas and its sub-valleys which are full of natural charm and grandeur. Though, Kullu does not have the rich historical archaeological or epigraphically antiquities like Chamba but still has some ancient remains antiquities like Nirmand in outer-Seraj and Hat at Barjaura. Not only the district is famous for its scenic beauty but also as a paradise for the trekkers and mountaineers.
Situated near the end of valley, Manali is one of the most attractive tourist spot not only of Himachal Pradesh, but of International fame also. Manali is synonymous streams and birdsong, forests and orchards and grandees of snow-capped mountains.
Manali is the real starting point of an ancient trade route which crosses the Rohtang and Baralacha passes, and runs via Lahul and Ladakh to Kashmir while divergent road connects it with Spiti. Now the motor link have been provided up to Leh in Jammu & Kashmir, Pangi valley in Chamba and Kaza of Lahul & Spiti. There are regular bus services to these places from Manali during summer season. It is situated at a distance of 45 kms from Kullu.
There is an interesting legend about Manali which goes to say that Manu, the author of ’Manu Samhita’, after the great deluge first stepped on the earth from the celestial boat at a place in this land. The particular spot where he established his abode was the present Manali which is regarded as the changed name of ’Manu-Alaya’, the abode of Manu. The temple dedicated to Manu is still existing in the Manali village.
Naggar, on the left bank of the Beas and about 300 mts above the river, is delightfully situated on a wooden slope and commands extensive views, especially of the north and west of the valley. It is 27 kms from Kullu and 5 kms from Patli Kulh. There is a bridge across the river Beas connecting Naggar and Patli Kulh.
Naggar succeeded Nast (Jagatsukh) as the capital of Kullu. It was founded by Visudh Pal and continued as the headquarter of the state until the capital was transferred to Kullu (Sultanpur) by Raja Jagat Singh. A massive castle belonging to the Rajas of Kullu still exists here. The castle now is converted into a tourist lodge is built on a steep eminence overlooking the valley and dominates the village and surroundings countryside. It is supposed to have been built during the reign of Raha Sidh Singh with stones brought from Baragarh fort on the opposite of the valley.
At the foot of the small bazaar, below the castle is the Gauri-Shankar Temple of Lord Shiva, a charming example of the architecture and carving. It is presumed that the temple which is a protected monument is eight hundred years old. A little higher is the Vishnu temple of Chatturbhuj (with Four Arms). Higher still in the upper part of the village, is Pagoda shaped temple of Tripura Sundri Devi. Highest of all on a small ridge above Naggar, is theKrishna temple of Murli Dhar. This temple is perhaps the oldest of its type in this part of Kullu.
Above the castle a road leads to Hall. The beautiful house which gives its name to the estate was built by Late Colonel Rennick, but is now in the possession of the Roerich family. The late Professor Nicholas Roerich (died in Dec, 1947) was a illustrious artist of international repute had selected Naggar as his residence when he came to India in 1929 along with the other members of his family. One of his sons Sovetoslav Roerich, was also a renowned painter.
Numerous mountain passes lead in and out of Kullu, but one the most popular with trekking parties is the Rohtang, about 3,978 mt. above sea level. It is easily the most convenient route from Manali and throughout the whole distance provides a charming variety of scenery. The length of the pass is about 1 km. and has served as the route for many centuries for trade with Lahaul, Ladakh and to far away countries in Central Asia. The roadfrom Manali to Keylong passes over this pass which is 51 kms and the vest of the Rohtang pass affords a wide spread panorama of mountain scenery.
The Beas river rises near the crest of Rohtang springing into existence from a block of mica-schist. To the left of the pass five or six hundred feet higher is the little lake of ’Sar Kund’ (also called Dashair). On 20th Bhadon (about the 4th September) each year, this small glacier lake is visited by numbers of people from Kullu and other adjoining districts with a belief that a bath in the cold water at day break on this particular day will cure all bodily ailments.
In early summer and late autumn after about 11:00 AM or mid-day, the crest of the pass is occasionally subject to sever blizzards and snow storms, accompanied by a deadly cold breeze. Daily bus service is available at Manali for a trip to Rohtang-pass. The reservations for this trip may be done with assistance of Tourism Development Officer, at Manali.
The original name of which was ’Nast’ was the ancient capital of Kullu state. Here the earliest Rajas ruled for twelve generations till, in the reign of Visudh Pal, the capital was transferred to Naggar. It lies on the left bank of the Beas and the road from Naggar to Manali runs through the village. It is about twelve km from Naggar and six km from Manali. Before reaching Jagatsukh a place Shooru, near the entrance to Hamta Nullah, is passed at which is located teh ancient and historical temple of Devi Sarvali. In Jagatshukh some ancient temples are still in existence. The most important being the Shiva Temple in the Shikhra style. It has a very chaste sculptured decoration. The temple of Gayatri Devi is also located near this temple.
A little village located on the left bank of the Beas, but well above the river and about 3 kms beyond Manali and is renowned for its hot sulphur springs named as Bashisht or Vashist. There is a regular walled bathing pool with stone floors. Turkish styled shower fitted bath rooms, separate for ladies and gents have been built closely where the hot/ cold water is separately piped, maintaining the regular temperature for bathing, charges are nominal. There is cafeteria. Flanking the pool there is a stone and a wooden temple dedicated to Vashishta Muni, from whom the village gets its name. The hot sulphur springs at Vashist are famous for their great gelling powers.
A cave, which is about five kms from Manali and known as Arjun Gufa, is situated a little up from the left bank road near the village Prini. According to a legend, Arjuna under the advice of a Vyasa rishi practiced austerities in a cave in order to get the powerful ’Pashupata Astra’ from Indra.
Fairs and Festivals :
Dussehra is celebrated in most parts of the country on Vijya Dashmi to commemorate the victory of Rama over demon king Ravana. The highlight of this fair is The victory of good over evil.
Kullu Dussehra is however, different in certain ways from Dussehra celebrations in the other parts of the country. It presents cultural ethos of the people and their deep rooted religious beliefs which manifest during this festival with traditional songs, dances and colorful dress. It begins on Vijya Dashmi and lasts for a week. There is an interesting story behind the beginning of Dussehra Festival. And now also, the internationally famous Dussehra of Kullu is celebrated in the same tradition.
Pipal Jatra/ Vasantotsava
The traditional name of Vasantotasava is Pipal Jatra or it is also called Rai-ri-Jach. It takes place at Dhalpur, Kullu on 16th Baisakh every year. The Raja of Kullu was used to sit in front of the ’Kala Kendra’ on a raised platform of Pipal Tree alongwith his courtiers and the traditional dance was held in front of him. Once about 16 Kullu gods participated in this fair but by and by it lost its grandeur. In 1976 AD efforts were made to revive this fair with the help of Himachal Academy of Arts, Culture and Language. The Baishakha is the month of Blooming spring season in Kullu Valley. So the fair has been renamed as Vasantotsava or Spring festival. Cultural programs are organized with classical music songs and dances. Vanstosava is now held from 28th April to 30th April every year. It is also very significant from the business point of view. The people belonging to Lahaul begin to return to their native place after passing cold wither in the valley. This fair gives them an opportunity to buy their agricultural tools and other useful/ needful equipments and items.
This fair is held on 1st Baisakh (April 13) for one day in village Khokhan. The fair is religious and seasonal. The legend connected with he moved by the alluring beauties of the hill springs used to dance at this place with her girl friends who were daughters of Rishis and Munis. The local inhabitants also regard themselves as the progeny of the daughters of those Rishis and Munis. The goddess is worshiped outside and then it is taken inside the temple. The people offer young yellow sheets of barley which are specially sown for the occasion to be offered to the Devi along with garlands. Then a he goat is scarified. Thereafter the women sing and dance around the Rahta carrying the Devi. The devi is also danced about. Men-fold stay on as spectators and on-lookers.
The fair is held on 1st Ashad (June-July) for 3 days in village Bhunter. The fair is seasonal and religious. The fair was started by the Devta of the ilaqua Suraj Pal. Palaghmiar a Devta from mardo also attends. From this day the use of food grains from the newly harvested crops starts after cooked food offerings are made to the gods and then the meal is shared by other relatives and friends. This is known as ’Tahoolikhana’ in the local terminology.
This fair is held in Raila on 21st of Baisakh (April-May) for one day. The significance and legend of the fair is religious and recreational. Idol of Devta Laxminarayana is brought from Raila to Sainj. Thereafter the fair starts with folk dances and songs rhythmical with the beat of drums and trumpets.
This fair is held on Kartik 21 and 22 (October-November) for two days and one night in village Dingidhar at Luhri. The significance of the fair is religious and commercial. The fair is held in honor of Devta Jogeshwar and Khegro Maya. The Devtas are worshiped. Nati dances, mimicking, fold dance performances at night are resorted to.
This fair is held on the 27th Vaisakh (April-May) for two days in village Franali at Anni In the fair deities of the adjoining villages participate. The main attractions of the fair are folk dances and other cultural programs.
This fair is held in the month of Bhadon for three days and nights in village Soidhar at Dalash. The fair si altogether religious and is held in honor of Devta Jogeshwar Mahadev of Dalash and Bungli Nag. The devtas are worshipped and natti dances, cultural programs and sorts tournaments are performed.
This fair held on Pon 3rd (Dec.-Jan) for one day. The fair is mainly religious and it is said that Rana and Thakurs the then rulers of Kullu valley were at logger head and used to be constantly at war with one another. To commemorate the battle a ram used to be scarified. The practice of ram sacrifice is still in vogue.
This fair is held on Chait 4th (March-april) for two days in village Dawra. The legend connected with the fair is that once mother Parvati asked Lord Shiva to forget Rama saying that even Rama could change. To prove this she went to Rama in the guise of Sita to deceive him. When Lord Rama saw her he could see through the game and addressed Parvati as mother and enquired as to why she has left his guru i.e. Lord Shiva. The fair starts with worship of Vishnu Bhagwan and the village Devi. Natti dances, folk songs and other cultural programs are the main attractions of the fair.
This fair is held on Jaishth 2nd (May-June) for the three days at Dhoongri (Manali) in the memory of Devi Hadimba who meditated at Dhoogri and was married to Bhima one of the five Pandvas. She had a son from him who was named Ghatotkach. He fought in the battle of Mahabharta. The fair starts with the worship of Goddess Hadimba.
This fair held once in three years, dates whereof are decided by the Brahmins. The fair is held for four days. The fair is commemorated in the memory of Lord Parshu Ram who is stated to have meditated here.
On the first day of the fair reception of Devis and Devtas and their attendants takes place. On the second day Devis and Devtas are propitiated through songs and dances. On the third day they are carried in a procession around the village. On the fourth day, the fair comes to an end after serving community feast.
This fair is held on Maghar Amawas for three days in village Nirmand. The fair associated with the battle of Mahabharta which is said to have started on that day. The fair is also held to commemorate the killings of two demons Dano and Asur who resided at village Nirmand in the form of snakes. The fair starts with a brief recital of Mahabharata and story of Raja Bali in folk songs. Two ropes of munj grass signifying the snake demons are cut into pieces by the Kashtriyas.
The fair is is held in the month of Phagun and hence the name Phagli. The fair is held to show the struggle of supremacy between the god and demon, in which ultimately the god emerges victorious. This fair is also held to commemorate the event of killing the demon by god.
A person wearing the mask and a grass tied with the help of strings all over the body acts as a demon and god is represented by GUR (god’s spokes man). Special dances ’Deo Khel’ and ’Raksh Khel’ are performed by these people with the rhythm of the drum-beats. The demon is ’Tundi Raksh’ who troubled people living from Manali to Archhandi. Manu Rishi with the help of Shandalya Rishi killed him. Phagli is held at Malana, Jana, Halan, Soil and in all temples of Jamlu.
This fair held in the month of Chaitra or Baisakh, through out the district. One day before the first day of the month delicacies are cooked in the houses and sent to all the relatives. The temples are decorated on the first day. All the villagers assembled there and gur of the god performs ’Deo Khel’. Then the god si teken for a round in th village. All the people greet & pay respect to him out side their houses and seeks his blessings. After completing the round, the god returns to the temple.
This fair is held in the temple of the Tripura Sundri, in the ground named Sharhi. This fair is held for three days. The gathering here is always large. It takes place in the month of ’Jaishtha’ (May-June).
Flora and Fauna :
Because of its complex geography and its great variations in altitude, Kullu is home to an enormous range of species, which span the subtropical to the alpine. The common trees in the Kullu hills belong to the conifer species (deodar, pine, spruce, fir). Several species of medicinal plants like Hath Panja (Dactylorhiza hatageria) and Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata) grow luxuriously in the valley. The valley is known for the presence of the majestic Snow-leopard, the Himalayan brown bear and the Himalayan Tahr. The Western Tragopan (the state bird of Himachal Pradesh) and the Monal pheasant are the prominent birds species found in the region.
The Great Himalayan National Park
The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, India. Initially constituted in 1984, GHNP was formally declared a National Park in 1999, covering an area of 754.4 sq kms. In 1994, two major changes were made in land use around the Park. A buffer zone of 5 km from the Park’s western boundary, covering 265.6 sq km. and including 2,300 households in 160 villages, was delineated as an Ecozone. Most of the population (about 15,000 to 16,000 people) in the Ecozone are poor and dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods.
The second change was the creation of the Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary (90 sq km) around the three villages of Shagwar, Shakti, and Marore. On the southern edge of the GHNP, another Protected Area (PA) was declared, known as Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary. This covers 65 sq km and is without habitation. More recently, in 2010, both the Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries were added to GHNP, but will not be formally incorporated until a process known as settlement of rights has occurred. Thus the initiated merger of Sainj and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuaries with GHNP will be followed by a process of settlement to relocate inhabitants and make the area free of traditional pressures, which may take some time. The total area under Park administration (National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Ecozone) is 1171 sq km, which is together referred to as the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA).
Biogeographically, the location of GHNPCA and adjacent protected areas is at the junction of world’s two major faunal realms, i.e. the Indomalayan to the south and Palaearctic to the north. The temperate forest flora-fauna of GHNPCA represents the western-most extenuation of the Sino-Japanese Region. The high altitude ecosystem of Northwest Himalaya has floral affinities with the adjacent Western and Central Asiatic region.
Training in snow skiing was started in early 1970 at Solang Nala Ski-slopes. High Altitude Trekking was also started in 1970 and thereafter in order to conduct adventure and rock-climbing, specific courses were introduced. The Institute also imparts mountaineering and rescue training to the people living in the tribal area. For this us pose two mountaineering sub-centres were established at Jispa in Lahaul & Spiti district and Bharmaur in Chamba district in the year 1979. In order to help people to cross over Rohtang Pass to Lahaul & Spiti or Manali during winter months, the Directorate sets-up rescue posts at Marhi and Koksar from 15th November to 31st December and 1st March to 15ht May.
Bijli Mahadev Temple (Kullu)
A regular bus goes up to Chansari village, 14 km from Kullu. The remaining three km. are to be traversed on foot. The 2 km road is totally surrounded with pine trees. There is great rush at the temple in the month of July. A visit to this place provides memorable moments and journey through the forest is very enjoyable.
Vaishno Devi Temple (Kullu)
Bishweshwer Temple (Bajuara)
Rama Temple (Manikaran)
Gurudwara Shri Narayan Hari (Manikaran)
The temple of Manu Maharaj is located in Manali village, which is about1 1.5 km from the main town. The idol was found in the court yard of the house of a person, named Gauri of Dhauni Chauni. The present temple has been constructed on the said spot. On the 6th day of Phalgun, the famous Phagli fair is held here in honor of Manu Maharaj, every year. It marks the beginning of the spree of fairs in the valley. The temples of Manu Maharaj found very rare in India. Manu Smriti was written by him.
Vashistha Rishi Temple (Manali)
There is a 4000 year old temple of Guru Vashishtha on the right side of the springs, built by the king Janamjaya. Inside it, there is a black stone statue of the Rishi Vashishtha, clad in dhoti. The village Vashishtha is famous for hot water springs.
Rama Temple (Left Bank)
This temple is about 40 mt. from the main road. The temple was built in 8th century and is in a pyramid style.. The idols of Parbati and Shankar have been installed inside the temple. A fair, locally called as Chachohli fair is held in March/ April for three days.
Sandhya Devi Temple (Left Bank)
Vishnu Temples (Naggar)
The deity is kept in its chariot all the time. The new temple is in Pagoda and Pahari style with four roofs. The wooden work is marvelous. The idols inside the temple are of stone and brass. The temple remains closed during winter.
Dhar Deo Dhank Cave (Nirmand)
Heights (Above sea level in meters)
Sri Khand Mahadev