Mandi, Himachal Pradesh is situated on the banks of the river Beas. Sited at the altitude of 754 meters in the lower Himalayas, the hill station is a starting point of various trekking expeditions. Earlier known as Mandav Nagar, the town has a rich treasure of culture and history. The town has been and still is an important trading centre on the Pathankot-Kullu route. It is also the gateway to Himachal's most popular valleys, Kullu, Manali, Lahaul and Spiti. Mandi is also called "Chhota Kashi of the hills" as it is the site of many ancient temples. The charm of the town makes it one of the most visited tourist cities in Himachal.
History of Mandi
Mandi was previously known as Mandav Nagar getting its name from the mythological Sage Mandav who is aid to have meditated here. The town of Mandi was founded by Ajber Sen in 1526. The town was later occupied by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839. However, after his death, Sikh regime in the hill town disintegrated. Mandi has been at the forefront of various revolutionary activities during the freedom struggle. It became a part of India on April 15, 1948. Today it is one of the most popular hill stations in Himachal Pradesh.
Tourist Attractions in Mandi
Mandi is located at the crossroads of the popular attractions of Himachal Pradesh. The quaint town is known for its 81 temples most of them dedicated to Lord Shiva. Adventures of the mountains can be embarked upon from Mandi.
The Bhootnath Temple is practically synonymous with Mandi. Located the heart of the town, the temple dates back to the 1520s. Every year in March, the festival of Shivratri is a major event here. For an entire week the temple celebrates hundreds of local deities on elaborately decorated palanquins.
The Syamakali Temple also known as the temple of Tarna Devi, is located high on Tarna Hill. I was built in the 17th century by Raja Syama Sen as homage to the goddess for success after difficult times.
The Rewalsar Lake is a square shaped water body with a coast line of 735 meters. It is an important pilgrimage for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhist. Each religions has their own legends associated with the lake. It is well-known for its floating island. The lake is also associated with Nag cult or serpent worshipping. The waters of the lake is believed to be flowing underground from Rewalsar to 'Nagchala'. The serenity of the lake adds to its spiritual value.
The Prashar Lake is situated in a cup like valley fed by small mountain streams. On the banks of the lake lies a three tier pagoda temple of great scenic beauty. The deep blue waters are considered sacred as the Prashar Rishi meditated here. The grandeur of the settings is blissful. An annual fair is held in the month of June every year, where devotees and other visitors gather from near and far villages.
Shikari Devi Temple
The auspicious temple can reached after a trek. The temple is located at a height of 3,332 metres above sea level. The spiritual ambiance, captivating sunrise and sunset from the temple is worth your time.
Snuggled deep in a charming valley, surrounded by hills, Tatta Pani is a natural hot water spring. Located on the right bank of river Satluj at height of 656 meters, the natural sulphur spring is said to have curative powers. The water level of the spring keeps changing with the fluctuation in the water level of the river.
Places to visit in Mandi
The beautiful lush valley of Sundernagar receives the tired traveler with open arms. The blissful locale is positioned at a distance of 25 km from Mandi on the National Highway. The waters of two giant rivers Beas and Satluj combine here to give birth to Asia's biggest Hydel Project generation electricity for the country. Also visit Devi Temple, Sukhdev Vatika and the temple of Mahamaya.
Barot is 33 km. from Mandi on the Mandi - Pathankot Highway. It is a quaint town with relics of the British Raj, famous for Trout Fishing and a ropeway that attracts tourist. Get away for a day or few hours to picnic in the lovely scenery.
Chidi is a little hamlet in Himachal Pradesh. The apple growing area is blessed with breathtaking beauty. There are also numerous small temples to be visited.
Janjehli, a short distance from Mandi is a paradise for hikers. There are treks up to the height of 3,300 metres. En-route there is a beautiful and well-furnished rest house to stay overnight. Savor the bliss of the mountains in the tranquil paradise.
Kamru Nag Lake
The beautiful Kamru Nag Lake is a thrilling trekking expedition for visitors in Mandi. Stay at the resting resort sited at a height of 3,334 metres above sea level on the Mandi - Karsog road.
Best time to visit Mandi
Mandi can be visited throughout the year but the best time is from April to October. These months the weather is pleasant and perfect for holiday makers. Summer steps in March and continue till May with moderate temperatures. Monsoon starts in June and lasts till September. Heavy rain occurs in Mandi in the season and should be avoided. Winter starts in December and ends in March. Temperatures in Mandi touch freezing point. Heavy snowfall occurs in December and is ideal season to witness white hills.
How to Reach Mandi
Mandi in Himachal Pradesh is an idyllic summer destination which you must visit. This place experiences pleasant summers and chilly winters. This is how you reach Mandi.
The nearest airport to reach Mandi is Bhuntar Airport in Kullu. From Bhuntar, private transportation takes you to Mandi which is about 31 kilometers.
The nearest rail connection to Mandi is Kalka. From the railway station the distance to Mandi is a 70 to 71 kilometer stretch. Private taxi or private bus is available from the station for the hill station of Mandi.
Mandi is sited at crossroad of Himachal’s popular attractions therefore is convenient to reach. Almost each and every part of the state is linked by roads. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses are available in range of budget to luxury options. There are also direct buses from Delhi to Mandi, taking around 11 hours to reach.Private taxis and cabs are also available to reach Mandi by road.