The legends with which the temples, sacred sites, religious fairs,
folk-stories, songs and arts of this region are associated are overwhelming and figure in
many ancient texts. The two important deities in the Hindu Pantheon regarded most
important in Himachal Pradesh are Lord Siva and his consort Durga, or Parvati or Uma. Most
of the temples in Kangra and Kulu are dedicated to them.
We have emblems of 'Durga in her different
aspects, the sublime but serious- looking deity that has thrust her deadly weapon into the
Mahishasur, the great demon in the shape of a fierce buffalo and striking him down
typifying the victory of virtue over sin and also the sublime, delicate and homely aspect
of Uma, the ideal housewife devoted to the husband and the troubles of her children-the
During Dussehra festival there is much
religious fervor and colorful worship of Durga throughout Himachal. But essentially the
worship of Durga in this area is somewhat different from the way of Durga worship in
northern India. The typical example is the famous Dussehra festival at Kulu, which
attracts thousands of visitors. Peculiarly enough the Kulu Dussehra is not centered on the
worship of Durga although she is ultimately very much in the background.