The Kullu Dasehra festival, a seven-day celebration of the victory of good over evil, is all set to begin on October 24 with a grand procession of the local deities. The festival, which attracts lakhs of tourists every year, will also showcase the rich and diverse cultures of India and the world through various events and performances.
Cultural evenings to host Bollywood and Punjabi singers
One of the main attractions of the festival will be the cultural evenings, which will be held at the open air auditorium at the Kala Kendra. The first six evenings will feature performances by Bollywood and Punjabi star artistes, while the last evening will be a Pahari night, where Himachal artistes will perform.
Some of the names that have been finalised for the cultural evenings are:
- Saaj Bhatt, a Bollywood artiste and playback singer, who will perform on October 24
- Simar Kaur, a Punjabi singer, who will perform on October 25
- Euphony Group, a musical band, who will enthrall the audience on October 26
- Shivjot Singh, a Punjabi singer, who will be the star performer on October 27
- Jasraj Joshi, a playback singer, who will perform on October 28
- Monali Thakur, a playback singer and National Film Award winner, who will perform on October 29
International folk dance festival to showcase global cultures
Another highlight of the festival will be the international folk dance festival, where cultural groups from about 15 countries will participate and display their unique dances and costumes. The countries that have confirmed their participation are:
- Sri Lanka
The international folk dance festival will be held at the Kala Kendra every day from October 24 to October 30. The cultural groups will also perform on an alternative stage that has been set up at the exhibition ground for the first time.
State-level artistes to showcase Himachal culture
The festival will also provide a platform for the local and state-level artistes to showcase their talent and culture. The Dasehra committee has conducted auditions of about 600 artistes from Himachal Pradesh, out of which about 200 have been selected. These artistes will perform various folk dances, songs, and dramas during the festival.
The last cultural evening of the festival, on October 30, will be dedicated to the Pahari culture, where Himachal artistes will present their traditional and folk art forms.
Preparations in full swing for the grand event
The Kullu Dasehra festival is one of the most popular and prestigious events in Himachal Pradesh, which attracts tourists from across the country and abroad. The festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Raghunathji, the presiding deity of Kullu valley, who is believed to have defeated the evil king Ravana.
The festival begins with a grand procession of Lord Raghunathji and hundreds of other local deities, who are carried in palanquins by devotees. The procession starts from the Raghunath temple and ends at the Dhalpur ground, where a huge wooden effigy of Ravana is burnt.
The festival also includes various religious ceremonies, cultural programmes, exhibitions, fairs, and sports events. The festival ends with another procession of Lord Raghunathji and other deities back to their respective temples.
The Kullu Dasehra committee, headed by CPS Sunder Singh Thakur, has been making extensive preparations for the smooth conduct of the festival. The committee has ensured that all the necessary arrangements are in place for the security, sanitation, traffic management, parking, accommodation, medical facilities, and entertainment of the visitors.
The committee has also invited Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur as the chief guest for the inaugural ceremony of the festival on October 24.