Set in a valley whose original name meant "end of the habitable world," this resort town in the lower Himalayas blossoms in summer and during its famous Dussehra festival in October. Don't miss the Raghunath Temple, built in 1660 in honor of the valley's patron deity, Lord Ram. Less than two miles away, a 90-minute climb to the Jagannathi Devi Temple provides a panoramic view of the alpine area. The town is also known for its locally woven wool shawls, blankets and slippers.
Restaurants in Kullu
5 based on 215 reviews
Tirthan valley is situated at around 540km from delhi..The valley initial entry point is Larji which is around 1 km from NH-21 before the Aut tunnel..remember don’t enter the Aut tunnel go straight to visit tirthan..
Banjar is the tehsil for administrative work which is around 20 km from Larji..
Road to the valley is not much wide and u might feel difficulty in driving..
You can experience lots of activities like trout fishing,river crossing,trekking,bonfire,hiking etc with mesmerising views and sound of river flowing..
Relax in magical environment of valley and forget the world for few day..
Thank you god for creating such a beautiful place..
4.5 based on 97 reviews
I went to Great Himalayan National Park. The exquisite location and scenic surroundings of this park are highlighted with Deodar and Oak trees. Many people visit this amazing park to experience trekking and camping in the alpine pastures of the Kully region. It is great place to go.
4.5 based on 118 reviews
I went to Bijli Mahadev Temple. This is the one temple in Kullu that you cannot miss. From a legend where lightning strikes, to a huge structure and surreal surroundings with some of the best views and sceneries of Kullu, the temple is enchanting in every bit. It is great place to go.
4 based on 196 reviews
Our visit to Kasol and Manikaran was memorable. In Manikaran, where temples and a gurdwara stand side-by-side, we needed to walk down to the level of the hot Springs. The steam from these Springs rose nearly two stories and food could be cooked in it. The temperature of the Springs are scaldingly hot and the waters are said to have curative properties
4 based on 75 reviews
I went to Vaishno Devi Temple. Revered and highly believed in, thousands of Pilgrims visit each year to seek blessings and show unflinching faith in this temple. Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani is a manifestation of Durga, a Goddess according to Hindu mythology. It is great place to go.
4.5 based on 38 reviews
4.5 based on 30 reviews
The Monastery was inaugurated by Dalai Lama in year 2005. It is located at the bank of river beas. Very beautiful place to visit and specially for the people seeking peace.
4.5 based on 14 reviews
It was still Day 6 and 11.45AM, and despite being on the road since 7.45AM, we were fresh, brimming with joy and exuberance of 16year old and raring to go. We drove back on the Kullu road and the Jari bend, we took the left turn toward Malana power house and then climbed onto our next frontier Chandrakani Pass. Infact the Manager at ‘The Himalayan Village’ suggested that we undertake the journey to Chandraknai Pass via Malana village and also get to see Magic Valley. We passed by the 1.0 meter wide penstock - it looked mammoth - it would have taken a lot of effort to assemble the entire pipeline.
We gained altitude very very rapidly (and by now this was becoming a habit for us), and soon we were on the road leading to the Malana dam and further onto the Mouzik Valley (also known as magic Valley), which lies towards the right flank of Chandrakani Pass. The area was completely desolate, hardly any traffic, oak trees on one side and the other side completely barren, the river bed full of rocks from the excessive blasting that took place in this area to carve out the road to the highest point (near Mouzik Valley) of the Malana power project. From an ecological standpoint this was devastating and it seems this project generating 100MW power at peak capacity is nothing short of a disaster.
The one-way road with virtually impossible over-taking options was well mortared in places and at many others it was virtually a dirt track. The curves and the bends were very narrow, sharp and dangerously close to the vertical fall on the left hand side of the valley. Normally, I am pretty cool about such terrains - however, on this one I was very alert - the only reason could be the sharp drops that we were encountering every now and then and kept getting a sinking feeling that we are going to slide in the valley below….Loose rocks falling from above is common sight here, and that makes driving all the more difficult and dangerous, as this leads to skidding.
On the first bend we sighted a wafer thin waterfall and then on the second turn as we climbed, we witnessed a massive bloc of rocks on the river bed and the river was virtually reduced to a trickle. From here-on we continued to ascend and then leveled out to a crossing marking the dam (again similar to the one that we spotted in Hampta viz. Al project). After passing the project office check-post (as of now permits are not required to travel on this road), we climbed and got a glimpse of the dam, it was full to the brim and looked menacing. We spotted trolleys that were used for ferrying raw materials - these were massive structure and must have numbered at least 50-60 pillar posts and more than 100 carts.
We were now driving on mud track and were amazed to see the barren landscape all around. The excessive blasting has the made area extremely dangerous - 100 meter high cliffs dangerously hovered around us for most part of the journey, loose rocks slipping every now & then, Waterfalls making driving conditions difficulty, dirt and mud making visibility a huge issue. We passed through a couple of short tunnels - these were bolted at more than 300-400 places to ensure that the whole mountain does not collapse in a heap and block the way. We became a bit weary by now, as all these vagaries acting in conundrum were becoming too much and too hot to handle. However, regardless we pressed on and brushed these deterrents aside. The drive became a little belter as we now descend to the river bed and were running almost parallel and in the distant we spotted the cross-over bridge from left to right bank. We were busy looking at natural scenery around and all of a sudden the vehicle came to a screeching halt near a small waterfall. There was what we were looking for - the signboard read ‘Way to Malana Village”. It was very peaceful with the beating sun was behind the high Mountains and from below all we could see were the two mobile towers (Airtel & BSNL). The journey from here-on was to be on steps and one had to climb approx. 2000+ steps to reach the forbidden village. We climbed the first section of the uneven steps (which were laced with algae, wild plants..) and met up with a local resident - he had immaculate features and looked outright handsome, very sharp features and for a moment I mistook him for a foreigner. He advised against the very idea of attempting to sight Chandrakani Pass from Malana village from this route, which according to him was very arduous, steep and back breaking and instead he suggested to use the route from Magic Valley instead - a 30 minute drive from this point. He opined that since we are used to climbing such steep stairs on a daily basis, this could be counter-productive viz. AMS and allied health issues and with no help nearby this could be fatal.
It was close to 1.00PM and we heeded to his suggestion, but not before having a good 25 minute conversation with him. He shared with us the glorious history of the village (along with the devastating fire a few years ago that rocked almost half the village on the left bank), they being descents of mighty Aryan race - though he also mentioned some of the villages (especially old timers) trace their origins to Alexander and hence the place is also known as ‘Little Greece’, they being the oldest democracy in the world and how the society in general is - how decision making takes place even now, the major festivals, wedding rituals, the pros and cons of mingling with the villagers, how cut off are the inhabitants of the village from the rest of the world, mobile and TV being the only element of modernity, the do’s and don’ts in the village (especially the hefty fines associated with any wrong doing), about Jamlu Devta, the changing face of the youth in the village & their aspirations, the changing face of Malana’s character - the loss of centuries old houses (primarily made from wood and stone) being replaced by concrete - thanks to the trolley which was sanctioned by the Gram Panchayat (the deciding body) and is installed at the base of Mouzik Valley, this in turn has led to a lot of the olden/ broken structure being replaced by the more sturdier concrete homes. And finally we also broached the sensitive topic of ‘Malana Cream’ - the final product of the globally famous ‘weed’ that is cultivated here. He spoke at length about the whole process of extracting the final product, harvesting and festivities surrounding the same. He also shared his side of the story about how the inhabitants (men, women and the youth) typically profess to using the weed and the advisory that is associated with the tourist that visit Malana - according to him ‘you enjoy the stuff as much as you want in the confines of the village itself and do not carry along with you even a morsel, as the tiniest of the mistakes could land you in a lot of trouble’. He also elaborated on how the quality of weed in Malana was superior to the one that’s grown in Rashol, Kasol, Tosh and other villages in Parvati valley. We were lucky to meet this God sent messenger from Malana.
We drove upwards on very very treacherous terrain - full of rocks, loose soil and slippery track and after about 30 minutes saw the famous village in the distant, it looked perched precariously on a cliff and clearly one could see the demarcation of upper and lower Malana houses, a lot of concrete structures in the foreground whereas those at the back were the traditional Malanese houses - wood, stones, slates - all giving a very charred appearance. Malana is situated under the shadow of Chandrakani pass and Deo Tibba massif (though not visible from the place where we were). One has to reach Malana village and then continue trekking (taking regular instructions from the villagers) and continue on the well-marked trek path to Chandrakani Pass. As we took the final bend into the Mouzik Valley, we immediately understood why the same is popularly referred as ‘magic Valley’. The spectacle was nothing short of a jaw dropping ‘WOW’ moment, in the foreground was the huge expanse of snow-capped Mountains towering above the grassland knolls, the glacier from where the Malana river originates and the variety of flowers blooming in the region, as this point the yellow ones were dominating the landscape along with trees that were unique to this area alone - a single tree has multitudes of colors (green yellow, orange and slight pink…).
It was almost 2.00PM and as we parked our vehicle, we spotted a few badly maintained shanties (for a night stopover maybe) and people who were manning these, never gave any warm vibes…in fact they were rude to many tourists hanging around. In a few of these shops we spotted foreigners drooling over one another and playing guitar and the irony was that there was a poster of Bob Marley in background. We also noticed a slew of vehicles parked and noticed that a lot of youngsters including foreigners were planning to trek down to Malana through the alternative route - this looked like a moderate trek. There were well-marked stairs and the descent and ascent both seemed gradual. We took the plunge and started trekking down to the river bridge that connected both the flanks of the valley - the Malana river gushed violently contrary to the visibly choked flow in the lower reaches, especially as it approaches the Malana Dam. We crossed the bridge and began the ascent and after a little while we were panting and struggling hard to gasp for breath. We stopped and then continued slowly, coz, the height at Malana village is approx. 3200 meters and at this point AMS usually kick-in. A few more stop-overs and sips of water and we reached the highest elevation of the trek route and then we had crossed over to the Malana village bridge - this structure seemed to hanging precariously in the middle of no-where and was out rightly dangerous and scary, as this was located in the path of the lofty valley overlooking the village and therefore the breeze was adding to the problems. It was almost 3.30PM and with great difficulty we crossed over to the Malana village. We were given a very hostile reception, everybody was staring us, no one smiled, we were being followed, the local kept hounding us and frequently asked us to try the weed, we were being frowned upon, some even shouted not to touch anything around, especially children and animals. The popular belief was that ‘outsiders’ are impure and any contact with them was ‘unholy’ and will need massive purification rituals leading upto several days. We were dead tired and scared to even sit anywhere. Shortly we crossed by the scared square area, which is where all the decision are taken by the community and it also hosts all the festivals. We passed by the Jamlu rishi temple (this is the most revered landmark in the village) and saw other temples which had animal skulls on the walls (there were purely sacrifices offered to the presiding deities). We then passed by a temple that was burnt by a raging fire that broke out a few years back - but it seems that many of those house have since then been repaired. The houses were typical stone, wooden along with intricate carvings and shale on the roof top. Frankly most of the buildings were standing very precariously. I often wondered during my entire walk around the village that was completed in less than 25 minutes, how come these houses are standing for centuries….We also noticed a lot of concrete building and a couple of guest houses - a good option for an overnight stay - though would not hesitate to suggest avoiding a night stay given the very obnoxious/ stringent nature of do’s and don’ts - it is definitely not worth the risk, instead drive up early and return the same day. Later I got to know that the so-called guest houses are very badly kept and mostly people staying here venture out in the open to defecate. Finally we stumbled upon ‘weed’ - it was growing in wild and the current stock was to be ready for harvesting in August. The Malanese old men and women looked haggard with their faces caressed with freckles and looked very fragile. The youth on the contrary were blessed with sharp, stunning and beautiful features. The children on the other hand always scorned at the visitors, especially foreigners. We enquired from the old brigade in the village square about the route to Chandraknai Pass and they pointed towards a pink colored modern house from where we had a half an hour upward trek. We darted off in excitement to view the Pass and the Deo Tibba ranges in full bloom. The trek route was full of loose gravel and muddy and was flanked on either by dense weed growing wildly. As we gained altitude at every turn we got a more clear view of the Magic Valley ranges on the left flank and it was truly a spectacular sight - towering peaks, Waterfalls and cheeky clouds…playing hide-and-seek with the lofty peaks. After about 20minutes into the trek we came a few trekking enthusiasts and they guided us to reach a vantage point from where we could get a clean shot of Chandrakani Pass. The last 10 minutes were very difficult and taxing on our calf muscles - however we just tugged along and realized that eventually every step that had taken from Magic Valley onwards was worth the effort. The sun was still high and was shining briskly on the entire Deo Tibba ranges that were glistening - though the massif it self was very over powering and jutting out into the sky and stood out amongst all the other ranges. It seemed we were on top of the world. Snow peaks all around (360 degree view), green verdant hills, crisp icy winds and pin drop silence - broken only by our whisper. It scenes like these that make you believe in the ‘All Mighty’ - this was a sight that can't be described in words - one has to visit the place to experience the beauty. One look over our shoulder and we realized how tiny Malana was looking in the background. We spent 15 minutes to soak in the beauty of the region as we saw cloud build up and was definitely not keen on getting stuck up here. We looked at our watch and it was 4.10PM and we decided to head back to safer confines. The descent was very very brisk and we were back in about 20 minutes. We hung around in the village till about 5.00PM and decided to trek back. The return was certainly better off than the ascent into the village.
By about 5.50PM we were back at our vehicles totally exhausted. Rajiv got us a good cup of tea and we sat by and sipped in total disbelief that we had actually conquered Malana. We walked a little further towards the Mouzik valley and it started drizzling - initially it was very gentle and then it picked up steam. We suddenly noticed that everybody was frantically running for cover and many of them even trying to drive back. Rajiv insisted that the road is bad and we should leave now and we obeyed and left at 6.30PM. On our way back we spotted a lot of youngsters in 4 and 2 wheelers who were pushing hard to reach Malana - by all count they would stay back to enjoy the ‘Malana Cream’.
Since we were driving in fading light we were very keen to reach Malana Dam at the earliest, however speed was not an option on such hostile terrain. Finally at 8.10PM we reached the Jari bend and heaved a sigh of relief. It was then that I noticed the palatable ease on Rajiv’s face - this was understandable!
As we reached ‘The Himalayan Village’ we headed straight to our cottage (Kullu Machan) and every step seemed like a journey of thousand miles and finally after climbing nearly 200 stairs we reached our cottage and just crashed out - we were totally out of breadth and completely fagged out - could not even muster enough strength to even unpack a few essential items or even get tea for ourselves.
At about 8.45PM, we ordered dinner and then soaked our feet again in magnesium suphate. As I reflected on this long day, I could not believe for what we accomplished in a single day Naggar, Roerich, Malana, Chandrakani Pass, Deo Tibba peak and Magic Valley. My mind went racing back to everything that we experienced during our journey to & fro Chandrakani Pass, helped me comprehend as to why the region is touted as one of the most mysterious place on earth (solely coz of its traditions, customs and faith). Its notoriety is essentially derived from the impeccable ‘Malana Cream’ which lures scores of people every year from worldwide locales. And finally the magic that this region radiates viz. the flaura & fauna coupled with the natural vistas which are otherwise hard to find by. I hit the bed at 10.15PM, as we have to traverse the length of Parvati valley right upto the picturesque village of Tosh, which I have covered in my review titled ‘Land’s End - Captivating Tosh’.
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