You will feel in a different world as you land at the Bhuntar airport in Kullu. The place is so serene that the first impression would definitely last for a lifetime. Devbhoomi, as the state is called is known for its locations, culture and friendly people. Kullu is no exception and when you are here, you can begin by exploring the town and its surroundings.
The Great Himalayan National Park
Built in 1984, GHNP is around 50Km from Kullu and was accorded the status of National Park in 1991. There are numerous species of mammals and over 180 species of birds in this national park. It is a nature lover’s best den and is visited by Indians as well as foreigners every year.
Many trekking trails including Sainj-Tirthan and Samshi-Kaza originate from this park and if you love staying in solitude, the park has many options available.
Some villages are also located within the park boundaries and it can be an exciting take to explore different facades of lives of rural Himachal here.
The trek to Kheerganga passes through dense forests and you can commute in a vehicle till Barshaini which is 22 Km from Manikaran. From Barshaini, you are at nature’s mercy and on a good day, the trek could be the best one of your life.
Ideally, you should hire a local guide when trekking to Kheerganga as knowing about local rituals and customs is equally important. Tourists from Israel make it a point to visit Kheerganga and you will find some basic eateries here which can offer you some solace and good food after a tough trek.
45 Km from Kullu, lies the popular pilgrimage town of Manikaran which is known for its gurudwara as also for the hot water springs which add a unique charm to the place. The small town is located on banks of River Parvati and with holy Gurbani and temple bells ringing most of the time, the place offers soothing calmness, something which is difficult to describe in words.
Temples of Lord Rama and Shiva are also worth a visit here as is the mandatory visit to the gurudwara and the langar hall which offers food in form of parshad.
October is perhaps the best time to visit Kullu as the famous Dusshera begins from the Ragunath temple. The main deity here is Lord Rama who is shown sitting on a chariot. The deity along with many other devtas of Kullu valley is taken around the town during the Dusshera festivities and the entire town is in a festive mood during this period.
On a lazy day, you could rest in the famous Dhalpur ground and watch the slow paced town move ahead with its daily chores. Two to three days are ample to explore Kullu before you head to Manali which lies some 40 Km upstream and is one of the best places to explore in Kullu District.
More in the series in coming blogs!