Kullu, also referred to as Kullu Manali is often considered as 1 destination and that’s how most travellers even plan their trips.
Kullu is the capital town of Kullu District in Himachal Pradesh. And, before we begin, let’s understand the meaning behind Kullu. The name dates back to the Vedic Period and is derived from the word “Kulant Peeth”, meaning “end of the habitable world.
Yes, you heard that right. During the time of great floods, Sanatan Hindu lawgiver Manu visited this valley which is now known as Kullu but was unable to proceed further. Passing the Rohtang valley was next to impossible during that time. So, he named it the last settlement and settled and meditated here. Interesting isn’t it?
Depending on the Kullu weather, you can chill here for a day or two. It has a slow pace city life, with locals always there to guide you.
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You can start Day 1 of your itinerary with these Top 5 Kullu Places to Visit
1. Valentino’s Cooking With Herbs Café:
We started exploring the city from the main Kullu Bus stand and was walking around to reach a café that we had heard a lot about. It took us a good 40 mins walk to reach Valentino’s Cooking with Herbs. It was a great walk on broad roads with a scenic hill view.
The Valentino’s Kullu Café has nice indoor and outdoor seating. The inside seating has a comfortable wooden feel, and on the outside, you can have a great garden view on one side and a river view on another.
The Valentino Kullu menu has a variety of offerings for everyone. The place turned out as per our imagination, as we tried their Pizzas with delicious toppings. Here everything is custom made, from Pizza to Pasta, you can select your base sauce, toppings, etc and make it as per your wish. We also tried their Cheesecake, and it was on point.
The service here is slow, for placing an order many times you need to go to the counter. Other than that, this is easily one of the best cafes in Kullu as you can easily chill and enjoy hours here. They also have power plugs to charge your phone or laptops.
2. Pirdi Bridge:
After a hearty meal, you can walk for 35 mins or a 15 mins local bus ride can take you to Pirdi Bridge. On the way from the café to the bridge, you can see and hear the river flowing too. The bridge is beautiful with the Beas river flowing down. It’s the river connecting two routes so locals and bikes keep moving, but trust me the movement is less and it’s super non-crowded bride, unlike a Ram Jhula in Rishikesh, so just be there and enjoy. This is easily one of the beautiful spots of Kullu valley.
3. Beas River:
Once you step down of the Pirdi Bridge there are quintessential spots that you can choose and rest. Sit on the rocks or with your legs dipped in water. It’s easily one of the best places to visit in Kullu Manali. Hear the birds or pick up the dry pines fallen from the trees. This is the place that you can sit for hours, feel close to nature, and have a good me-time or with your gang. Also, you can watch people taking part in adventure sports!
4. River Rafting:
This is perhaps one of the best adventure sports experiences one can have in India. Right next to this spot is the place where you can participate in river rafting and enjoy yourself. Due to the cold Kullu temperature, I didn’t experience adventure sports here. I just watched all the rafting gears and people getting ready for their adventurous venture.
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Day 2: Start early in the morning and venture in for a day filled with trekking and memories
5. Bijli Mahadev Temple:
This is one of the most famous temples to visit in Kullu and it almost takes a day to do so. You can take a bus from the Kullu Bus stand to “Chansari Village’ or a private car to the last spot for Bijli Mahadev Temple.
From the Chansari Village, it’s a steep walk up the steps for about 3 km. Followed which there is another 5 km trek on the stretch with bits and pieces of walking on steps along the way. The trek has a beautiful view throughout the jungles, orchids, small villages, etc. One enjoys the journey much more than the destination. It’s easily one of the best Kullu visiting places.
On the hilltop is the Bijli Mahadev Temple. One can easily plan a full day outing here, start early in the morning to finish, and be back to the bus stop before the last bus.
You can utilize this 2-day Itinerary to explore scenic and hidden places in Kullu. I have not explored many temples, but a few offbeat destinations that usually people don’t explore much.
If you feel I missed out on any Kullu places to visit, feel free to add them in the comments. I’ll do my best to visit them the next time.
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How to Reach Kullu from Delhi?
You can directly reach Kullu from Delhi by non-stop flight to Kullu Airport for about 2.5 hours or via a bus that would take about 14-16 hours.
How to Reach Kullu from Chandigarh?
From Chandigarh, there are lots of direct HRTC or private Volvo Semi Sleeper Buses that travel to Kullu very frequently. The bus ride takes about 7-9 hours depending on the operator of the bus and the fare starts from INR 599 to 999 depending on the bus selection. You can also choose to rent a private car for the same, the price for the same starts from INR 4000 onwards, depending on the car and your bargaining skills 😉
What to see in Kullu?
Kullu is known for its temples and is also the starting point of the base camp for a lot of treks. That said, there are tons of adventure and romantic places in Kullu. The further day-wise itinerary and Top 5 Kullu places to visit is mentioned above. One can explore temples, trekking points, small villages, Pirdi bride, and a few cafes while travelling in Kullu.