The historic town of Mandi (800 m) is built along
the banks of the river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre
and the sage Mandva 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. Today, it is a district
headquarters. Mandi is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their
enormous range of fine carving, it is often called the 'Varanasi of the
Hills'. The town has remains of old palaces and notable examples of
'colonial' architecture. HPTDC runs a hotel here.
The town's antiquity is established by the Triloknath temple
which was built around 1520 A.D. Mandi seems to have derived its name from
the Sanskrit word 'Mandoika' meaning an open hall or shed. It was also well
known to the Tibetans who called it Zahor.
The people of Mandi proudly boast that while Kashi (Benaras) has only 80
temples, Mandi has 81! And it is no idle boast. J.C. French supported their
assertion when he described the town as a miniature Benaras with innumerable
temples, old houses, long flights of steps, the streets steep and winding
and the market place with an aura of medieval picturesque ness. In 1919 one
tourist actually counted 49 places of worship in Mandi. Built of rough stone
in a shikara (houseboat) style they could be seen all over the town on the
right and left of the river Beas.
By air - The nearest airport is at Bhunter 59 km away , flight from
Delhi via Chandigarh).
By Rail - 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.
WHEN TO GO
Mandi can be traveled round the year. But the Best Time To Go Mandi is
during summer season.
WHAT TO SEE
Bhootnath temple - Practically synonymous with
Mandi and located in its very heart this is as old as the town itself
and dates back to the 1520s. In March, the festival of Shivratri is a
major event and the Bhootnath temple is its focus. For an entire week
the town celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on
elaborately decorated palanquins.
Rewalsar Lake - About 25 km from Mandi, 14 km from
Ner Chownk is the Rewalsar lake, famous for its floating islands of
reed. It is believed that all seven of them can be moved by prayer or
breeze. There are three shrines here, a Buddhist Monastery, where
elaborate rituals are performed, a Sikh Gurudwara and a Hindu Temple.
It was from this place that the sage Padma Sambhava, a zealous teacher
of Buddhism, left as a missionary to preach the doctrine of "the
enlightened" in Tibet.
Prashar - This lake lies 40 k.m. north of
Mandi, with a three storied pagoda like temple dedicated to the sage
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).
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. this is attractive town where the balancing
reservoir of the Beas-Sutlej ink canal is located. The road has the
canal on one side and lush green field on the other which makes
drinking along it a real pleasure. The Mahamaya Temple is on the top
of the hill.
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.There is a beautiful and
well furnished rest house to stay overnight, from here Janjehli is a
scant 20 km away through bridle path.
Barot - 40 km by road from Jogindernagar, and
12 km by the haulage trolley, Barot packs an enormous range of out
door activity. The reservoir of the power project is located here, and
there is a trout breeding centremaking it a wonderful place for
angling. Across the river Uhl is the Nargu wild life sanct~ary home to
the ghoral, Himalayan black bear and a variety of pheasants.
Shyamkali Temple - Also called the temple of
Tarna Devi on Tarna Hill which rises above the town. In the 17th
century this was built by Raja Shyama Sen after particularly trying
time when the godess gave him success.
Triloknath Shiva Temple - It is built in the
Nagari style with a tiled roof. The temple at the centre of a group of
sculpted stones shrines, overlooks the river and offers good views.
Inside the temple, Lord Shiva has been depicted as the lord of the
three worlds, at the Panchvakhra he has five faces, expressing his
WHERE TO EAT
There are few good restaurants in the city and you can also try the
restaurants at the luxury hotels.