The valley of Kullu is aptly known as the valley of Gods. There are more than 350 temples in the valley dedicated to various Hindu Gods. The temples of this place carry three distinctive forms of architecture. The influence of Buddhism arrived from Tibet is seen in some of the Pagoda style temple. The typically Hindu architecture is evident in Shikhara architecture of some temples. The local architecture, known as the Pahari architecture which can sustain the natural hazards of the region is also seen in some of the temples.
Bijli Mahadev Shrine:
This beautiful small temple build in the Pahari style is around 10 km from Kullu across the Beas River can be reached through a trek only. But after reaching the temple the reward is too good. The temple is 60 feet high and glistens vehemently in the sunlight and thus gains the name of Bijli temple, or temple f lightening; albeit the legend offers a different story altogether. It is said that long time ago Lord Shiva absorbed t he lightening that fell, which would have devastated the earth completely. The episode took place on the confluence of the Parvati and Beas Rivers and people erected a temple in honour of Lord Shiva and named it after the episode.
It offers a beautiful panoramic view of the valley. Inside the shrine is the Shiva lingam adorned with flowers and garlands.
The Raghunath Temple:
The Raghunath temple is dedicated to the presiding deity of the valley, Lord Ram. It is believed that the idol is ancient and to be the one which was used by Lord Ram himself while performing the Ashwamedh Yagna. This is the temple built in Pagoda style and where the famous Dusshera celebrations take place. The temple is supposed to be built in the 17th century when the King of the place was advised to get the idols of Lord Ram from the nearby valleys. Inside one can see the idol of Lord Ram sitting on velvet cushioned silver chariot.
Vaishno Devi Temple:
It is the most recent temples that was built in the valley but attracts equal number of tourists and devotees. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, it is a small temple and the deity is enshrined in a cave. The climb to the temple is still steep but it offers a stupendous view of the mystic Kullu valley and the River Beas running along its length like a young maiden walking a ramp!
The Bhuvaneshwari Temple of Bhekhli is built in Pahari style is also dedicated to one of the forms of Goddess Durga. The temple walls are decorated with Kangra paintings of Durga. A magnificent stone lion gives the example of the local art. The stone lion in the courtyard is a fine example of local art. This beautiful temple is situated uphill at a distance of 10 km from main Kullu town.
This ancient temple, built in the 8th century is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also known as the Bishweswar temple. It is one of the most beautiful temples of the Kullu valley which is around 15kms from Kullu and is worth a visit.