Major Characteristics of the District Kullu – Himachal Pradesh

By | June 25, 2020

The People:

  • The main population consists of Hindu followed by Buddhist and fraction of Sikh and Christian religions.
  • The predominant class consists of Rajputs, Brahmins and then Scheduled Castes.
  • Though no record of above-mentioned castes settlement is available, however, brief evidence are available in the Epic of Mahabharata about the existence of Kulindas, Khashas and Vedic Aryans.
  • There is also a mention of non-Aryans as is evident from the battle by Bhimsen of Mahabharata with the demon king of Tandi.
  • The culture and the language have also been influenced by the trade routes which show that the people have links with Tibet and Yarkand of Russia.
  • The Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsiang also visited Kullu and described it as a beautiful place and existence of Devta Temples belonging to different sects in each village.
  • The district is known as Dev Bhumi in local dialect as each village has its own local deity known as deo-devta or devi.
  • These deo or devi play a vital role in the lives of people.
  • People still have remarkable faith in worshipping their deities.
  • Each devta or devi has its own fair which are celebrated regularly.
  • These Gods and Goddesses are held in great esteem as birth, marriages, ailments and disputes are settled by these deities through their oracles.
  • The economic life of the people has changed through the spread of education and most of the people shifted from agriculture to horticulture.
  • Other developmental activities have also made an impact on the living standard of the people.


  • There is no distinction to the castes hierarchy in the matter of dress of the people.
  • Men’s dress comprises a woollen cap with a coloured band which is known as ‘Kulvi’ cap.
  • Headgear of women is a square cloth coloured in design which is known as ‘Dhattu’ in the local terminology.
  • Men put on a loose coat and a woollen pyjama.
  • However, the women have typical attire known as ‘Pattu’ which is put on by them in the fashion of a ‘Saree’.
  • The spread of education and contact with the people of other districts and states has brought about a noticeable change in their way of life especially among the new generation.
  • Since most of area is mountainous nature controls the habits of the people in the matter of their dress.
  • During summer, men wear loose woollen trousers, jacket and coat.
  • In winter in addition to these a blanket is also wrapped round the body.
  • The waist is bound by a muffler type small ‘Pattu’.
  • Women cover their waist by a ‘Pattu’ with multi-coloured designs woven artistically on the borders.
  • In winter woollen trousers are used, however in summer months salwarkameej and Churidar Pyjama known as ‘Suthan’ are used.
  • Besides ‘Dhattu’ for the headgear Kulvi cap and ‘Thipi’ is also used.
  • Gradually the Pyjamas are being replaced by pants and in the case of women the headgear is being replaced by ‘Dupatta’.
  • Among the women and belles, different types of gold and silver ornaments are commonly used.

Food Habits:

  • The staple food of the people is rice, wheat, maize and barley and minor millets.
  • But with the spread of education and improvement in economic condition barley consumption is being abandoned and wheat, maize and rice are common cereals on the daily menu.
  • In upper areas Koda, Kagni, Bathu, Ogla and Fafra are also grown and consumed by the people.
  • Suitings to the climatic conditions people prefer non-vegetarian diet.
  • Sheep and goat meat is relished with joy.
  • In the high hills, flesh of the slaughtered goats is dried up and it is cooked as and when they desire.
  • Fish is also consumed a lot, if available.
  • In the recent past Tibetan entrepreneurs have introduced Tibetan food/dishes and response of the younger generation to this food is encouraging.
  • Tea is now common throughout rural and urban areas.

The food intake is spread over four times such as:

  1. Breakfast: Nuhari with a maize roti or Chapatti.
  2. Lunch-Kalar: Rice, chapatti, maize roti with pulses or curry.
  3. Post Lunch: Light food ’Bhattoru’ made from fermented wheat flour Dupehari with pickles or chutni.
  4. Dinner-Biali: Maize, rice or wheat chapattis with pulses, curry or vegetables, whatever is easily available depending on the season.

On the festive and special occasions, sweet rice, kheer and vegetables are cooked with extra care.

Siddus’ (stuffed with salted nuts and poppy seeds) a speciality of this region are steam cooked or boiled.


  • The language spoken by the people of Kullu is known as Kulvi or Kulubi which is one of the several languages come under western Pahari.
  • According to the classification of languages, made by the Linguistic Survey of India, Kullu Group of languages come under Indo-European Family languages.
  • It has further been classified as a language belonging to Aryan-Sub-Family, Indo Aryan Branch, Inner Sub-Branch, and western Pahari under Pahari Group of languages (Census of India 1961)
  • While on the eastern side this language comes in contact with Kirati-Mundorain dialect of Malana, which has a close link with Bhoti dialect.

Contribution of the district in the form of any historical figure

  • Kullu is famous for its historical Kullu Dussehra and places of tourist interest of international fame.
  • It has a number of enjoyable sites suitable for skiing and mountaineering.
  • For the cultivation of apple, Kullu ranks first in India.
  • The district is also famous for its beautiful traditional Handicrafts in weaving.
  • Multicoloured caps and shawls of Kullu are famous in the country.
  • The district is known as Dev Bhumi in local dialect as each village has its own local deity known as Deo, Devta or Devi.
  • Religious place Manikaran is famous for hot water springs and Gurudwara.

About the Village Malana: 

  • The famous Malana village has oldest democracy of the world where all the inhabitants of the village participate in the village administration.
  • They have their own pattern of parliament i.e. Upper House (Jaostang) and lower house (Kamshtang or core).
  • Jaostang has its own Executive and it works like Judiciary.
  • If no solution comes out in both houses, then the case is put forward to Jamalu Rishi (Devta) and then Devta decides the case through its ‘Gur’ and its decision is final and binding to all inhabitants of this village.

Read also: History of District Kullu 

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