The famous Dussehra Fair starts on Vijay Dashmi every year in Kullu town of Himachal Pradesh (India). Sanjeev Sharma shares some of his mobile clicks from today's tour of Kullu town. Let's see what all happens in Kullu town during the famous Dussehra Fair.
Today, the villagers start pouring into Padhal Maidan in Kullu with their Gods and Goddesses to meet Raghunath Dev. To know more about the Raghunath Idol, check out the story shared below, courtesy wikipedia.
It seems, Maharishi Jamdagni went to his hermitage at Malana village , after returning from Kailash. On his head he carried a basket that contained eighteen images of different gods. Crossing through the Chanderkhani pass, he came upon a fierce storm. Struggling to stay on his feet, Maharishi Jamdagni's basket was thrown from his head, scattering the images to many distant places. Hill people, finding these images saw them take shape or form as Gods, and began to worship them. Legend has it that idol worship began in the Kullu Valley.
Raja Jagat Singh used to rule over the prosperous and beautiful kingdom of Kullu. As the ruler, the Raja came to know of a peasant by the name of Durgadatta who apparently possessed many beautiful pearls. The Raja thought he should have these treasured pearls, even though the only pearls Durgadatta had were pearls of Knowledge. But the Raja in his greed ordered Durgadatta to hand over his pearls or be hanged. Knowing of his inevitable fate at the hands of the king, Durgadatta threw himself into the fire and cursed the king, "Whenever you eat, your rice will appear as worms, and water will appear as blood". Doomed by his fate, the Raja sought solace and searched out advice from a Brahmin . The Holy man told him that in order to eradicate the curse, he must retrieve the idol of Ragunath from Ram's kingdom. Desperate, the king sent a Brahmin to Ayodhya .
One fine day the Brahmin stole the idol and set out on his journey back to Kullu. The people of Ayodhya, finding their beloved Ragunath missing, set out in search of the Kullu Brahmin. On the banks of the Sarayu river, they approached the Brahmin and asked him why he had taken Ragunath ji. The Brahmin recounted the story of the Kullu king. The people of Ayodhya attempted to lift Ragunath, but their idol became incredibly heavy when headed back towards Ayodhya, and became very light when headed to Kullu. On reaching Kullu Ragunath was installed as the reigning deity of the Kullu kingdom. After installing the idol of Ragunath, Raja Jagat Singh drank the Charan-Amrit of the idol and the curse was lifted. Jagat Singh became Lord Ragunath's regent. This legend is connected with the Dussehra at Kullu. This idol is taken in a Ratha to the Dussehra.
Above photograph shows the rath (vehicle) which is used for placing the idol of Raghunath ji. Raghunath Ji along with all other Devtas (Gods) take a tour of the town and reach Padhal Maidan, where actual fair takes place. The photograph below gives a sense of crowd that gathers on first day of Dussehra fair.
This fair is very interesting due to various reasons. It's a unique annual meet-up of gods of different regions of Kullu Valley and Himachal Pradesh. It is difficult to imagine the scene without actually experiencing it personally at Kullu Dussehra.
Over the years, Kullu Dussehra has gained a lot of popularity and tourists from different parts of the world have started coming to Kullu valley to experience something unique.
Sanjeev, thanks for sharing these photographs from Kullu Fair 2014.