Festivities and celebrations in Kullu-Manali last almost the entire year, with some event or the other taking place every month. The year commences with the Bandhu or Ghost Dance, which takes place in January in the wee hours of the morning. This dance is performed and attended only by men and is meant to ward off evil spirits. The Horn Dance is the traditional dance of Kullu, which is also performed in the cold nights of January. This dance is performed by six people dressed as deer, clowns and women. The Naggar Ganeh festival in January also marks the victory of good over evil. During this, a person dresses up as a sheep and is carried around town in a procession. Games and competitions are also held and attended by all natives. The Winter Carnival is undoubtedly the most awaited event in the valley. Held in Manu Kala Kendra in Manali, it is attended by students of various colleges across India. This 5-day festival includes cultural competitions like Indian classical music, folk songs, dances, plays and Personality competitions.
The Spring Festival is celebrated in April and is marked by great celebrations, dances and songs. Especially vibrant are the cultural programs that take place at night at Kala Kendra. Charasay-Tarasay is performed in March and April by married women. A highlight of this festival is that the dance is performed only on songs without any music. The Banjar Fair at the Banjar Village is performed in May and dedicated to their main deity. One day prior to this festival, the idol of Shringa Rishi is carried in a palanquin to his original abode and carried back to Banjar the next day. The main highlight of this festival is the Seraji Natti dance performed by the rural people. Another popular form of dance is Natti, which is performed by 12 or 16 dancers dressed in traditional attire and dancing in a circle.
An especially popular festival is Basant Panchami, which is celebrated across the several temples of Manali. People gather at the temples and the idols of Saligram, Hanumana and Garuda are carried in a palanquin decorated with bright cloth and flowers. One of the main attractions of this festival is the enactment of Hanuman, performed by a person who covers himself in saffron color and dons a conical cap and tail and carries on various activities. Sharhi Jatra is another famous fair of Kullu held for 3 days before the ancient Tripura Sundri Temple in May. Folk dances, sports and various competitions mark the festival. Stalls selling clothes, cosmetics and sweets are also set up. The Hadimba Devi Fair is celebrated in the Hadimba Devi Temple Complex and attended by people from across the country.
October heralds the much awaited Dussera Festival, celebrated by the entire valley. The festival begins by Goddess Hadimba’s idol being brought to Kullu to visit the royal family. The idol of Lord Raghunathji is placed next to Goddess Hadimba in a beautifully adorned chariot and pulled up the hill. At the same time almost hundreds of gods and goddesses are placed on colourful palanquins and taken around in a procession. On the sixth day the gods get together for the Devta Darbar and vibrant celebrations take place. The royal procession reaches the Beas River on the ninth day and a pile of thorn bushes are set afire to depict the burning of Lanka. Finally, the palanquin reaches its original spot and this signifies the culmination of Dussera.
Top Hotels in Kullu Manali
- Hotel Shobla International
- Hotel Sangam
- Hptdc The Sarvari
- Hotel The Nest
- Yash Palace Deeyas Family House
Top Landmarks in Kullu Manali
- Hotels Near Kullu Main Bus Stand
- Hotels Near Kasol River Parvati
- Hotels Near Bhuntar Airport Kullu
- Hotels Near Jalori Pass
- Hotels Near Dhalpur Bus Stand