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HILL STATIONS - KULLU MANALI

Kullu Manali Hill Station

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kulu - manali :-In the Valley of the Gods
The Kulu valley with its pastoral ambience, fruit orchards, temple and mountain scenery, is one of the beautiful valleys in the Himalayas. This accessible mountain resort is sandwiched between the inner ranges of the Himalayas and the River Beas. Manali, 40 km. beyond Kulu, is reached by a dramatic ascent at the end of which one view the Central Himalayan ranges. It is a lush green hill resort surrounded by mountains ranges and gushing streams. For trekkers this region offers great scope for adventure. Manali is the gateway to the Rohtang Pass and the barren snow lands of Lahaul and Spiti beyond. Keylong, in the midst of the region, has a number of Buddhist monasteries. During the Dussehra festival the whole valley comes alive with music and dance, fairs and festivals.

WHAT TO SEE
KULU -- Tour & Excursions:
There are several shrines in and around Kulu like Raghunathji Temple, Vaishno Devi (4 km.) and the Bijli Mahadev Shrine (14 km.).

» Raison (16 km.) where there is a camping site on the banks of the Beas.

» Katrain (20 km.), en route to Manali, has apple orchards and a trout hatchery.

» Naggar (27 km.). Located above the River Beas, it commands an excellent view of the valley. It was the capital of the Rajas of Kulu for 1400 years.

» Roerich Art Gallery (housing the paintings and sculpture of the famous artist, Nicholas Roerich), 1 km. from Naggar.

» Manikaran Hot Spring (45 km.) are also a place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Sikhs.

MANALI --- Tour & Excursions:

» Vasisht Baths and hot Springs.

» Dhoongri Temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi (the wife of Bhima of the Mahabharata).

» Jagatsukh, ancient capital Kulu

» Tibetan Monastery. Tibetan carpet weaving can be seen here.

» Solang Valley, for winter sports. There are good skiing slopes with an excellent ski lift.

» Rahtang Pass (51 km.) at an altitude of 4112 meters (13,700 ft.) on the route to Kaylong is the only access to the Lahaul Valley (open June to September).

» Lahaul Valley is near the Indo-Tibetan border and is primitive and rugged, surrounded by high mountains and massive glaciers.

» Keylong (117 km.) is reached by a motorable road from Manali. There are several gompass of Buddhist monasteries which are repositories of Buddhist art.

FESTIVAL OF SPECIAL LOCAL INTEREST
Festival at Hadimba Devi Temple, Manali (May). Nearly every temple in valley has a festival at some part of the year. Dussehra (September-October) is the biggest festival at Kulu with festivities going on for a week. The highlight is the Rath festival on the Dussehra day. About 200 deities of the hill people are brought to pay homage to Lord Raghunathji, who is taken in procession in a large rath (chariot). There is great celebration with music, dance and all manner of festivities.

SHOPPING
Fine Kulu shawls, the most famous being the Pashmina, embroidered scarves from Chamba, and embroidered footwear are real work of art. Miniature paintings from Chamba and Kangra are also available. A popular craft is wood-carving out of the wide range of wood like birch, walnut, black mulberry etc., made into articles of daily use. Dolls of Himachal, woven rugs in bright colours (called namdahs), Tibetan carpets, Kulu cape, Tibetan curios, tankhas (tapestries), metal craft and so much more is available for the shopper.

ADVENTURE SPORTS
Trekking. Himachal is a trekker's paradise. Skiing on the snow-covered slopes of Manali and Rohtang are popular winter sports. A winter sport festival is organised. by the Mountaineering Institute at Solang near Manali every winter. White river runs, riverside camping, swimming, nature walks, angling and bird watching have ample scope in this region as do mountaineering and rock climbing



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