The Bhunda festival of Nirmand in Kullu

The Bhunda festival is an event in the region of Nirmand in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. The festival takes place in sixteen villages in the outer Saraj region of Kullu and the fringes of Shimla. The festival commemorates the birth and death of the mythological demon ‘Bheda.’ During this ceremony, Brahmins enter the midst of a dark room without wearing clothes or lights. They bring out the Parashurama Murti and various ritual objects that symbolize the ancestor’s life.
The Bhunda festival is organized to please the goddess Kali, and ward off evil spirits. The event features a deadly rope slide in which Beda performs a dangerous ritual. A specially-built rope is stretched across two hills. As Beda slides down the rope, his wife wails under him, and if he is able to land safely, he is given money and jewelry. The tradition dated back to the medieval period and was first celebrated by the Buddhists in Tibet.
The Bhunda festival is held in the village of Nirmand every 12th year. The event is held in honor of the deity Devi Ambika. It is also observed in sixteen villages around Kullu and the fringes of Shimla. The festival is associated with the mythological demon. The ritual highlights the life and death action of ‘Bheda.’

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