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Himachal Pradesh - Mandi

In the central part of Himachal Pradesh, along the left bank of the river Beas in the foot hills of Shivalik ranges, Mandi at a height of 760 metres (2,495 ft) entails a rich heritage of culture, of both historical and theoligical significance. The historic town of Mandi is built along the banks of the river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre and the sage Mandvya is said to have meditated here. This one time capital of the princely state of Mandi is a fast developing town that still retains much of its original charm and character. Mandi is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving and is often called the Varanasi of the hills. Built of rough stone in a shikara (houseboat) style temples could be seen all over the town on the right and left of the river Beas. Near Mandi the Beas Valley is broad. The area under fruit in Mandi is about 15 per cent of the total area under fruits in Himachal Pradesh. Mandi raw silk has acquired wide fame but the salt mines at Drang and Guma are the special features of the economy. The town has remains of old palaces and notable examples of 'colonial' architecture.

Weather

Since the place is located at a lower altitude of 750m as compared to other regional places, it is less colder in winters than other places. So, visitors can come both in summers and winters.

Festivals

Shivratri is one of the most interesting festivals in Himchal Pradesh. It lasts for a week and deities from all over Mandi district are brought here. Large number of people have darshan at the Bhutnath Temple. The Festival, Tso-Pema, is particularly important in the year of Monkey, which falls every 12 years. Also, the festival of Janamashtami is celebrated with great enthusiasm at the temple of Madho Raj

Mandi at a glance :

Mandi at a glance :  
Population26, 858
Altitude800 meters
Best time to goduring summer season
LanguagesHimachali, Hindi, local Dialect
STD code01905
District Tourism Development Officer, Mandi.Phone: 01905-25036.

How to reach

By Air
Bhuntar Airport of Himachal Pradesh is the nearest, 63 km (flight from Delhi via Chandigarh).

By Train
The nearest railway stations are Joginder Nagar and Shimla by narrow gauge train, Chandigarh and Kalka by broad gauge train which are connected by regular bus services.

By Road
Mandi is approachable by road from Shimla, Chandigarh, Pathankot and Delhi. There are regular bus services linking it to the other towns like Manali, Palampur and Dharamshala.
Distance from Mandi to :  
Chandigarh 200 km
Pathankot205 km
Shimla165 km
Kullu71 km
Delhi 465 km
Manali107 km

Places of Interest

Rewalsar Lake , Prashar , Joginder Nagar , Sunder Nagar , Shikari Devi (2850 m) , Janjehli , Hanogi Ma and Koyla Ma Temple

Rewalsar Lake


About 25 km from Mandi, 14 km from Ner Chowk is the Rewalsar lake, famous for its floating islands of reed. Around a natural lake with a floating island are a Shiva temple-the Lomesh Rishi Temple, Guru Govind Singh's gurdwara and a Buddhist monastery founded by Guru Padmasambhava. A spot that is revered by people of three faiths.

Prashar
This lake lies 40 k.m. north of Mandi. The pagoda-style temple stands in the little green hollow around the Prashar lake, above the town of Pandoh. The views of the mountains are spectacular.

Joginder Nagar
The large hydro-electric project in Jogindernagar is a living tribute to man he has harnessed and tamed the wild and roaring river for his betterment.Here an electric trolley takes the visitor up the steep,rocky face of 2,500 metres-high(8,202 ft) mountain and drops sharply on the other side to Barot,where the reservoir is located. The railway line goes up to the power station,the water rushing down from the reservoir at Barot in the Uhl river through penstock pipes going down nearly a thousand metres(3,280 ft). Bassi power station is five kilometres from Jogindernagar and next to it, is Machinhar where fishing is not permitted as it is considered a sacred spot, but it is a popular as a feeding spot for fish.

Sunder Nagar
Famous for its temples,26 k.m. from Mandi towards Shimla and at a height of 1,174 metres on the raised edge of a fertile valley, the beautiful town of Sundernagar is known for its shady walks amidst towering trees. On top of a hill and visited by thousands of devotees every year, is the Sukhdev Vatika and temple of Mahamaya. The biggest hydro-electric project in all Asia, the Beas-Sutlej project, irrigating nearly one-fourth of the northern plains of India,has brought unprecedented prosperity to Sudernagar. The Beas-Sutlej link colony is the biggest colony in Himachal Pradesh.

Hanogi Ma and Koyla Ma Temple
Hanogi Maa temple in on the way from Mandi to Kullu near Pandoh and Koyla Maa temple near Sunder Nagar in Mandi district

Janjehli
At a distance of 67 k.m. from Mandi,Janjehli is a paradise for hikers, offering treks up to a height of 3,300 metres. After covering 32 k.m. by a motorable road up to Gohar and rest of the journey is on foot. In the midest of thick forest, forests (15 km from Gohar) is Bajahi.

Shikari Devi (2850 m)
It is possible to trek up to Shikari Devi from Janjheli and Karsog. Through woods of assorted trees and shrubs - which include several medicinal herbs - two separate trek routes lead up to this ancient shrine located at the crown of the hill. Hunters in the area once prayed to the Goddess for success in their hunt - and here, perhaps, lies the origin of the name 'Shikari Devi'. The Goddess is worshipped in the form of a stone image. Interestingly, the temple which is said to have been in existence since the time of the Pandavas, has no roof - for local legend has it, that all attempts to build one have been unsuccessful.