The Basant Panchami festival was celebrated with zeal in Kullu with thousands of people coming out to watch the unique celebrations at Dhalpur ground.
Basant Panchami is considered to be one of the favourite celebrations among Hindus across the country and is celebrated every year with much fanfare.
In Kullu town the unique celebrations marks the start of Holi (festival of colours) from Raghunath temple and continues till the day of Holi is actually held around the country.
On the day of Basant Panchami, a chosen Mahanat community makes a colour offering to Lord Raghunath at his abode temple in Raghunathpur. Then Lord Raghunath does come out on his chariot to the Dhalpur Dussehra grounds where ‘Ram and Bharat Milan’ (a symbolic reunion of Lord Rama with His brother Bharat ) takes place.
All members of royal family wear yellow clothes on the occasion. Every year a large gathering comes to witness this divine reunion (Milan). After this ritual a man dressed up as Lord Hanuman throws powdered orange colour on the gathered crowd gathered, who consider it a blessings of the Gods.
The colour thrown by God Hanuman is believed to be sign of good luck and large crowds gather to be blessed by colours.
In a year Lord Raghunath’s idol is brought twice on a chariot to Dhalpur grounds, once on Basant Panchami festival and second time for Dussehra festival.
Chhadibdaar, the head caretaker of Raghunath temple explained,” this celebration of Basant Panchami as start of Holi is unique to Kullu valley and is celebrated till the Holi festival is celebrated in Brindavan.
A theater artist, a script writer and a TV anchor, news is something that grips Renuka. She lives in Kullu.