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History of Kullu

According to ancient Hindu scriptures, the area was known as ‘Kulantapitha’ – the end of the habitable world. Nestling within the high Himalayan ranges, the Kullu valley remained isolated from the rest of the world till very recently. The Hindu rulers of Kullu initially ruled over an area restricted to the upper Beas River valley, with their capital in the ancient village of Jagatsukh near Manali. The valley was a gateway to Lahaul and Ladakh andan important stop on the crucial trade route between central Asia and the Gangetic Plains down south. This made the area prosperous and by the 17th century AD, the kingdom had expanded its boundaries to Lahaul-Spiti in the north and the Sutlej River in the east. The capital of the kingdom was first shifted to Naggar, then to Sultanpur before finally settling at Kullu.

Kullu grew into an important town when Raja Jagat Singh shifted the capital of the kingdom from Naggar in the mid-17th century. The idol of Lord Raghunathji (Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, one of the gods in the Hindu trinity), the presiding deity of this town, was brought from his mythical birthplace in Ayodhya by the king. Declared the district headquarters after independence, Kullu is now an important market town for the region, and a transit point for travellers going on to the more popular Manali, 40 kms north. Kullu is also the focal point for trekkers into the Parvati valley and the Pin valley.


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