Dussehra Kullu

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On the highway between Kulu and Manali we saw many processions with ''devtas'' and ''devis'' on their way to Kulu. All the deities are invariably brought by the local people in procession. — at brought down by the local people walking in a procession. Some journeys can take two days.

Young people do the "nag" or snake dance leading the procession of the local deity on its way to Kulu. To know story of Kullu Dussehra Click Here

Happy ''processionists'' en route to Kulu. "The Kullu Dussehra, started by king of Kullu Jagat Singh in 1665, used to be held at Manikaran, but the king brought the old idols of Lord Raghunath from Manikaran to Kullu, said Maheshwar Singh, the present ‘Kardar’ of Lord Raghunath, who is hero of all ceremonies."

This group of people from a village called "Prini" spent the night at Johnson Orchard, in Raison. Here some of the people are having dinner after a day-long walk.

The "devta" from Prini rests for the night. "The Kullu Dussehra starts when Dussehra festival ends in other parts of the country."

The dinner served to the pilgrims who bring the "devta" consists of rice, dal and ''karhi''. The original name of Kulu was Kulanthapitha, meaning ‘end of the habitable world’.

Jimmy and Bala Johnson, the generous hosts at Raison. "As many as 292 local deities have come to Kullu to pay obeisance to the presiding deity, who would camp at Dhalpur for seven days and religious ceremonies would be held."

A close-up of the ''naag devta'' from Prini. "Goddess Hadimba arrived at the venue from Manali a day before the Rath Yatra and would leave after the festival is over."

After a night stop, the pandit prepares the devta for the final leg of the journey to Kulu.

Offering a prayer to the ''devta'' before embarking on the final leg.

Close-up of the Prini naag devta.

Prasad for all who come.

Two of the able-bodied men who brought the ''devta'' from Prini.

Heave-ho! Getting set to walk to Kulu from Raison (about 12 km).

All set.

And they are off.

The ''devtas'' are beautifully decorated. The faith of the people is amazing.

The ''praandi'' maker. Does anybody know whether ''praandi'' has an equivalent word in English?

The Dusshera mela in the maidan in Kulu.

Each of the ''devtas'' is installed in its own its own tent.

A close up of a ''Devi''.

Some of the deities are carried on the run, swaying madly from side to side. Why? Because they are supposed to be the "angry gods".

In Kulu.

As each deity arrives at the maidan, it is put on a small platform before being installed in its own tent. To see pics of Mani Mahesh Yatra Click Here

The Raja of Kulu leads the procession to install the image of Raghunath, the reigning deity. To know about Folk Culture and Dance, traditions of Kulu Click Here

The melee. When in Kulu go ahead of Manali/Rohtang to the beautiful Lahaul Valley. To see pics Click Here

I got the profile I was looking for. From Lahaul go to Spiti Valley. To see pics Click Here

One of the visitors to the Mela. From Spiti Valley go to Kalpa/Sangla Valley. To see pics Click Here