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Week-long international Kullu Dussehra festival begins

Shimla, PTI | Updated : 14 October 2013, 09:15 PM

The week-long international Kullu Dussehra began on Monday with Rath Yatra of presiding deity "Lord Raghunathji" from Sultanpur temple to Dhalpur maidan, the venue of the festival.

The Kullu Dussehra starts when Dussehra festival ends in other parts of the country.

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.

Goddess Hadimba arrived at the venue from Manali a day before the Rath Yatra and would leave after the festival is over.

Thousands of devotees joined Governor Urmilla Singh in pulling the ropes of Lord Raghunathji's Rath as it is considered auspicious.

The Kullu Dussehra, started by then 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.

The committee has not invited local deities Shringa Rishi and Balu Nag as a dispute is running between the two deities over a specified slot at Dhalpur.

The committee has not invited both the deities for the festival this time. "We welcome them if they come, but we will confine them to their camps till the dispute is resolved," said Rakesh Kanwar, DC-Kullu-cum-president of the Dussehra committee.

Over a dozen cultural troupes from across the country and 11 foreign troupes would perform at the Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra during the Kullu Dussehra Cultural Folk Festival.

The foreign teams, who have been invited for the first time, include those from Russia, Kazakhstan, Japan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Spain and Nepal.

First Published: Monday, October 14, 2013 09:13 PM
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