Apart from its beauty Kullu is also known for grand Dussehra celebrations. Declared as an international event in 1972 the magnificent festival attracts large number of visitors. Read on to know more about this international event.
Known world-wide Dussehra celebrated in Kullu is famous for its large number of visitors and grand celebrations. The festival starts from the Vijaya Dashmi day and continues for seven days. Kullu dusshera is little different from the celebrations in rest of the country; Kullu dussehra celebrations begin when the rest of the country closes the nine-day long festival.
The weeklong festival is celebrated in the Dhalpur maidan at Kullu in Himachal Pradesh state. The festival starts with paying respect to Lord Raghunathji. On the first day the statue of Lord Raghunathji is installed on a beautifully designed chariot which is pulled by ropes by the locals from its place to different sites across the maidan. The village Gods and minor deities are also a part of this celebration. The 7-day festival is filled with dancing, drinking and feasting. Thousands of people from all over
the country and world visit this place during Dussehra and the celebrations fill them with eternal happiness and satisfaction. On the last day of the festival, the chariot is brought by the banks of Beas River where a mass of wood grass is burnt, signifying the burning of Lanka.
The celebration of Dussehra in Kullu started in the 17th century during the reign of Raja Jagat Singh. There is an interesting story behind this. Raja Jagat Singh was told that a poor Brahmin named Durga Dutt has a bowl full of pearls. Raja wanted those pearls and sent his troops to get them. Durga Dutt was greatly harassed by the troops and on finding the torture unbearable, he locked himself in a room with his family and set fire to the house. He cursed the Raja for his cruel deeds. The Raja got restless and in his guilt he started hallucinating and used to see blood in place of milk and water and worms in place of rice.
Nothing helped Raja get out of this situation till he met a saint who told him that only the blessings of Lord Rama could save him. Raja sent his troops to the kingdom of Ayodhya and asked them to bring the idol of Lord Rama. The idol of Lord Rama was installed at the Raghunath temple. Then after this Raja showed signs of recovery and his dreams started vanishing and soon the whole state accepted the lord as their deity and celebrated the first Vijay Dashmi festival in the state of Kullu. From that day onwards the Kullu Dussehra festival is celebrated with great joy and devotion.
The festival of Dussehra renews the hope of a wonderful tomorrow in our lives. The festival symbolizes the coming of dawn after dusk and happiness after suffering. The festival inspires us to continue our good deeds and keep the hope alive in ourselves.