Kullu Dussehra

Kullu valley in Himachal Pradesh is home to a number of natural and cultural wonders, from the scenic Himalayan mountains that surround it and the majestic Beas River to the temples and shrines dedicated to the local gods and goddesses. And on Dussehra, all these gods and goddesses come together in a massive celebration. The Kullu Dussehra festival falls on the same day as Dussehra does for the rest of India. This year, Dussehra 2017 falls on September 30. ALSO READ: Dussehra 2017 Celebration in India: Here’s How India Celebrates Dasara Also Read - Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 Goes on Floor, Kiara Advani-Kartik Aaryan Mark 'Shubharambh' With Clapper

Kullu Dussehra celebrates, like the rest of the country, the victory of the Hindu god Rama over Ravana, as told in the ancient epic Ramayana. But while the rest of India burns Ravana, Kullu Dussehra celebrates and honors Rama himself in the form of Raghunathji, the presiding deity of the Raghunathji Temple in Kullu. This temple is the center of all celebrations, though most of the activities happen at the Dhalpur Maidan in Kullu. For a week, the local gods and goddesses of nearby villages and towns in Kullu are brought to the temple to honor the god and give their blessings. Travelers from around the world come to witness a side of the valley that locals otherwise keep to themselves. Also Read - Bipasha Basu Can't Stop Blushing Over Karan Singh Grover's Mushiness During Sindoor Khela, Viral Video Will Make You go Awww

Kullu Valley

Kullu Valley

The festival’s origin can be traced back to the 17th century, during the reign of the king Jagat Singh. The king is said to have incurred the wrath of a peasant, Durgadutt, in his vain search for some precious pearls. Cursed and ridden with guilt, he sought the advice of a sage, who told him of the idol of Raghunathji in Ayodhya, the kingdom of Rama. With the king’s blessings, the sage went forth to retrieve the idol from the city. Also Read - Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Shares Adorable Picture With Daughter Aaradhya Bachchan as They Wish Fans 'Happy Dussehra'

The sage eventually reached the city, took the idol and started his journey back, resting beside the Saryu River along the way. But by then, the citizens of Ayodhya had found out about the missing idol and caught up with the sage. When they got back the idol, however, they found that the idol got heavier as it was taken back to Ayodhya, and lighter as it moved towards Kullu. Seeing this as a sign from the gods, the sage was allowed to pass, and the king eventually got rid of his curse. Since then, the gods and goddesses have come to the temple every Dussehra to pay their respects to the god. CHECK OUT: Dussehra 2017: Top 8 Places To Visit During Vijayadashami

The festival itself is seven days of music, tradition and dance. Thousands come together on the first day of the festival, when the idol of Raghunathji is placed on a chariot and taken through the Dhalpur Maidan. The subsequent days see cultural events, including song and dance performances by local and international artists, and the festival ends as always with the symbolic burning of Lanka by setting a heap of grass on fire beside the Beas River.