All About Kullu Dussehra: A Unique Festival in the Heart of Himachal Pradesh

Dussehra, one of the most celebrated festivals in India, is known for its grandeur and significance. While Dussehra is celebrated with fervor throughout the country, there’s one place where it takes on a unique and enchanting form – Kullu. Kullu Dussehra, unlike any other, offers a mesmerizing blend of culture, tradition, and natural beauty. In this blog, we will explore the captivating world of Kullu Dussehra, its history, traditions, and why it’s a must-visit event for anyone interested in experiencing the rich heritage of Himachal Pradesh.


The Origin of Kullu Dussehra:

Kullu Dussehra is celebrated in the beautiful Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, and it has an intriguing history. Unlike the rest of India, where Dussehra is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana, in Kullu, the festival commemorates the return of Lord Raghunath (an incarnation of Lord Rama) to his abode.


Duration of the Festival:

Kullu Dussehra lasts for a week, making it one of the most extended Dussehra celebrations in the country. The festival typically falls in the month of October and concludes on the day of Vijay Dashami, which is also the tenth day of the Hindu month of Ashwin.


Unique Features of Kullu Dussehra:

  • Rath Yatra: One of the most spectacular events during Kullu Dussehra is the Rath Yatra, where the idol of Lord Raghunath is taken out in a beautifully decorated chariot. This procession is accompanied by traditional music and dance, making it a visual and auditory treat for all.
  • Cultural Performances: The festival features various cultural performances, including folk dances, music, and dramas. These performances showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region and offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Himachal Pradesh.
  • International Folk Festival: Kullu Dussehra also hosts an International Folk Festival, where artists from around the world come to showcase their talents. This adds a global touch to the festivities and promotes cultural exchange.
  • Religious Rituals: The festival is not just about entertainment but also about spirituality. Devotees come from far and wide to take a dip in the holy River Beas and seek blessings at various temples in the region.


The Legend Behind Kullu Dussehra:

The legend of Kullu Dussehra is rooted in the royal history of the Kullu Valley. In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh was the ruler of Kullu. He was a devotee of Lord Raghunath and, during his reign, decided to bring the idol of the deity from Ayodhya to Kullu.

However, this act of devotion stirred up divine anger, and the idol got stuck on the way. The royal priest, after a dream, advised the king to build a temple for Lord Raghunath at the spot where the idol was halted. The king obeyed and constructed the temple. This temple is still one of the main attractions during Kullu Dussehra.


Why Visit Kullu Dussehra?

  • Cultural Extravaganza: Kullu Dussehra is a cultural fiesta where you can experience Himachal Pradesh’s rich cultural heritage through traditional music, dance, and art forms.
  • Natural Beauty: The Kullu Valley is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. The festival provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the scenic landscapes of the region, including lush green valleys, snow-capped mountains, and the pristine River Beas.
  • Unique Rituals: The religious rituals and ceremonies associated with Kullu Dussehra offer a unique and spiritually enriching experience.
  • Shopping: Kullu Dussehra is also a great time for shopping. You can buy traditional handicrafts, woollen clothes, and local artifacts that make for excellent souvenirs.


Tips for Attending Kullu Dussehra:

  • Plan Ahead: Due to the festival’s popularity, accommodations can fill up quickly. It’s a good idea to book your stay well in advance.
  • Dress Warm: Kullu experiences chilly weather in October, so dress in layers and carry warm clothing.
  • Respect Local Customs: Be mindful of the local customs and traditions, and always show respect for the religious aspects of the festival.
  • Try Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on the delicious Himachali cuisine, which includes dishes like Dham, Chana Madra, and Babru.
  • Stay Hydrated: The high altitude can lead to dehydration, so make sure to drink plenty of water during your visit.



Kullu Dussehra is a unique and enchanting festival that beautifully combines culture, tradition, and natural beauty. With its extended duration, cultural performances, and historical significance, it’s a must-visit event for those looking to experience the rich heritage of Himachal Pradesh. Whether you’re a devout Hindu seeking spiritual solace or a traveler interested in the diverse cultural tapestry of India, Kullu Dussehra promises a memorable and immersive experience that will leave a lasting impression. So, mark your calendars and get ready to embark on a cultural journey like no other at Kullu Dussehra!

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