--> Skip to main content

Holi Festival in Kullu in Himachal Pradesh Begins on Vasant Panchami at Raghunath Temple in Sultanpur

Holi Festival in Kullu in Himachal Pradesh begins nearly one and a half months before the original Holi festival. Kullu Holi is different from other regions in India as the festivities begin on Vasant Panchami day. People in large numbers arrive on the day to apply gulal (organic color from fruits and leaves) on Lord Raghunath in Sultanpur, the chief deity of Kullu Valley.

The festivities which begin on Vasant Panchami end on the annual Holi festival day. The murti of Lord Raghunath is bathed in different colors on all days starting from Vasant Panchami till Holi.
Tribune India reports
"The idol of Lord Raghunath was installed in the temple after purification," said Maheshwar Singh, the chief gurdian of Raghunath idol. 
After the installation ceremony, thousands of devotees pulled the sacred rath (chariot) of Lord Raghunath amid beating of drums and playing of 'shehnais'. The devotees threw 'gulaal' at each other. 
Locals say starting from Basant Panchami, the idol of Lord Raghunath will be bathed with colours till the  Holi festival day. 
The festival dates back to the 17th century when Raja Jagat Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Kullu, obtained the Lord Raghunath idol from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and built the temple. 
Since then, the people are gathering at the temple to apply colours to Lord Raghunath and celebrate Holi for 40 days. 
The unique Kullu Dussehra, a century-old festival, is also associated with Lord Raghunath.