As many as 204 deities arrived at Dhalpur ground, Kullu for the week-long international Kullu Dussehra festival, which kicked off with the journey of Lord Raghunath’s chariot at the historical ground with traditional fervour on Friday.
In the morning, all deities visited Lord Raghunath temple at Sultanpur Kullu and paid obeisance. They gave blessings to Chhabridar of Lord Raghunath — Maheshvar Singh — who is the successor of erstwhile kingdom of Kullu, and his family.
Governor Urmila Singh inaugurated the festival at Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra, Kullu and was accompanied by Kullu deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar and other dignitaries.
Thousands of people were present at the venue to take a glimpse of Lord Raghunath Yatra around 4pm. Devotees clutched to the ropes of the chariot to pull it and seek Lord Raghunath’s blessings. The chariot would stay in a temporary camp in the town for the next six days and then would move to the Dussehra cattle ground on the last day of the event. Later, it would return to its destination.
Two deities, who have arrived for the event without invitation, have been kept under police security due to a conflict between the two. IPC 144 has been imposed on them during the event.
Sources said deity Shringa Rishi of Cheni Kothi and Balunag of Chetar fought with each other few years back to occupy the place on right side of the Lord during the event. The matter is with the high court now.
According to locals, the event dates back to 17th century when local King Jagat Singh installed an idol of Raghunath on his throne as mark of penance and, thereafter, the festival is celebrated.