Kullu was earlier known as ‘Kulanthpitha’, which translates to ‘The End Point of the Inhabitable World’. This is because Kullu was isolated from the world and not easily reached up until the 1950’s, which has largely allowed it to retain its traditional charms and century old customs. It is of great historical significance and has been named in the epic tales of the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Vishnu Purana.
It is believed that Kullu derives its name from ‘Kalut’, which was a tribe in the upper valley of River Beas. The letter ‘T’ was eventually dropped from the name with the passage of time. Thus, came about its present name Kullu.
It is believed that Lord Manu first stepped into the earth from the celestial boat onto this land. The exact spot where he established his home is the present day Manali, which is believed to be adapted from ‘MANU-ALAYA’, which translates to “Home of Manu”. It was from here that the human race came into being after the deluge.
The valley played a pivotal role in trade between Central Asia and the Southern Plains and also acted as a path to Lahaul and Ladakh. Due to its location, Kullu became very prosperous and by the 17th century, the kingdom had expanded its boundaries to Lahaul-Spiti in the north and the Sutlej River in the east. Naggar was first chosen as the capital of the kingdom, then Sultanpur was elected and finally, Kullu was chosen as the capital.
Kullu was first made a sub-division of the district of Kangra and Lahaul-Spiti was made a part of Kullu for proper administration. In the year 1960, Lahaul-Spiti was declared a separate district. In the year 1963, Kullu was also made a separate district and it remained a part of Punjab until October 1966. After the reorganization of states, Kullu District was made a part of Himachal Pradesh on 1st of November, 1966.
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