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Legend of Kullu Dussehra or Kullu Dasara

Kullu Dasara is celebrated in the Kullu region in Himachal Pradesh in India. It has a unique tradition of beginning the celebration on the day of Vijayadashami and the celebrations last for the next seven days. There is also an equally interesting legend behind this which leads to the idol of Shri Rama going from Ayodhya to Himachal Pradesh.

The Legend of Kullu Dasara:

The legend dates back to 16th century when Raja Jagat Singh ruled the place of Kullu. At one point of time, he came to know about a peasant who possessed many beautiful pearls. The peasant was Durgadatta who merely had the pearls of knowledge. The king ignorant of this fact felt that he should possess those pearls and asked Durgadatta to give him the pearls or else he would be hanged. Then the peasant unable to bear the torture at the hands of the king’s associates set himself on fire along with his family. Before dying, he cursed the king that whatever he would eat would appear as worms to him.

The king later had to face the consequence of his actions and approached a holy man to find a solution to this curse. To which the holyman said that he must retrieve the idol of Lord Raghunath from Ayodhya and worship it. The King hired a Brahmin to do this task and the Brahmin stole the idol from the place and tried to escape to Kullu. Meanwhile the people of Ayodhya found out about the incident and caught the Brahmin who narrated the story of the ailing King. Then the people of Ayodhya tried to take the idol back to their place but the idol became too heavy when they headed back to Ayodhya. On the other hand, the idol became very light when headed to Kullu. They learnt this as God’s indication and moved the idol to Kullu. There the idol was installed as the reigning deity of the Kullu kingdom. The king was removed of his curse and became an ardent devotee of Lord Ram.

This is the reason why Lord Raghunath is worshipped in this region starting from the day of Vijayadashami. During the celebrations which last for seven days, all the other deities pay their respect to Lord Raghunath and at the end, send him off grandly.

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