Mandi – Explore the “Varanasi of the Hills”

Lying along the left bank of river Beas in the foot hills of medium sized shivalik ranges Mandi (760 metres) entails a rich heritage of cultural, historical and mythological significance. Mandi has a beautiful stone carved temples, the important of which are Bhutnath, Triloknath, Panchvaktra and Shyamakali at Tarna hill. Its Shivratri fair is unique in style and attractive in display. Mandi is a fast developing town that still retains much of its original charm and character. Today it is a headquarters. Mandi is the gareway to the Kullu valley and acts as the base for several exciting excursions.

Climate
In winter, temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is hot and cottons are recommended.

How to get there
By Road : Mandi is connected by road and is 203 km from Chandigarh. luxury buses from Delhi and shimla, and bound for Kullu-Manali go via Mandi.

By Rail : The closest rail head is at Pathankot, 210 km away. from Pathankot the narrow gauge railway connects Jogindernagar which is 55 km from Mandi. Pathankot is linked with many big cities through broad gauge.

By Air : The airport at Bhuntar is at a distance of 59 km. Taxis/buses are available from this places to Mandi.

Places in and around Mandi

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.

Syamakali Temple : Also called the temple of Tarna Devi, this is high on Tarna hill which rises above the town. In the 17th century this was built by Raja Syama Sen after a particularly trying time when the goddess gave him success.

Other Famous temples in Mandi Town :
Within the town is a veritable roll-call of shrines. Apart from the emotions they evoke, they also have a wealth of classical architecture and ornate sculpture. Many of these are devoted to Lord Shiva, at the Triloknath temple he is depicted as the lord of three worlds, at the Panchvaktra he has five faces, expressing his five aspects. At the Ardhanarisvara temple, Lord Shiva appears in a composite form with the right half as male and the left half as female – symbolising the male and female principles of cosmic evolution. At the Gyarah Rudra temple, the day the famous ‘Amarnath darshan’ takes place, the temple is decorated to resemble the Amarnath cave.

Prashar Lake : 40 km north of Mandi is this beautiful lake, with a three storied pagoda like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.

Kamlah Fort : On the border with Hamirpur, this fort was built by Rajan Suraj Sen of Mandi in 1625.

Janjheli : 67 km from Mandi this is a scenic place with thick forests and springs. It is also the base of some excellent treks.

Sundernagar : 22 km from Mandi is this attractive town where the balancing reservoir of the Beas-Sutlej link canal is located. The road has the canal on one side and lush green fields on the other which makes driving along it a real pleasure. The Mahamaya temple ia a top a hill.

Shikari Devi : 15 km from Janjheli there is anancient temple here and some marvellous landscapes. Shopping a varitey of traditional handicrafts including silver jewllery and stone carvings can be purchased at Mandi.

Pandoh : 16 km from Mandi, an earth and rock fill dam is located here.

Expensive Hotels and Budgeting Hotels / Lodges :

Hotel Mandav Tel. 35503 Fax. 35551

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