The Pori Festival allures and delights a large number of tourists every year, while the locals consider this festival a very sacred occasion. The beginning of the festival is marked by an enchanting prayer ceremony in the holy premises of the Triloknath Temple, where the devotees pay their respects to the local deity and ask for His blessings. After that, they go to the parikrama gallery where they complete clockwise circumambulations of the gallery.
During the evening, the tourists are greeted with the mesmerizing sights of the pilgrims dancing in huge circles to devotional folk songs. The following day sees the devotees lighting a special butter lamp to appease the deity, as well as taking out an extraordinary procession adorned with music, songs and dances, early in the morning. The most amazing feature of this grand procession is that it is headed by a horse without a rider as the locals believe that the horse is being ridden by the Lord himself. The procession then goes to the house of the local ruler or the Thakur of Triloknath, where the horse is given a warm welcome and showered with sweets. A grand feast is organized here for the pilgrims and devotees.
Post this grand welcome and feast, the local ruler takes his place on the horse and leads the procession and inaugurates the fair. The festivities begin and the whole Valley comes alive with lights and sounds. Numerous stalls and shops selling a wide variety of items are set up in Lahaul during the Pori Festival which adds to the charm of the colorful vistas that engulf this scenic abode at this time of the year.
Special Highlights of the Festival:
- The Pori Festival is a three-day festival.
- It is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists living in these Himalayan Highlands, and is the perfect example of the region’s rich cultural amalgamation.
- During the celebrations of this festival, the horse holds a place of extreme prominence. It is bathed in sweetwater, fed rich and healthy food, and decorated beautifully.
- At the temple of Triloknath, the statue of the Deity is bathed with milk and yogurt.
- With its street plays, music, dances and games, the festival offers tourists a peek into the fascinating culture of the people living in this Himalayan hinterland.