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Mandi in Himachal Pradesh

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The historic town of Mandi is situated 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 is one time capital of the princely state of Mandi is a fast developing town and it still retains much of its original charm and character.

Today it is the district headquarters. 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" The town also has the remains of old palaces and notable examples of colonial architecture. Mandi is the gateway of the Kullu valley and acts as the base of several exicting excursions.



Places to see

Bhootnath temple
Practically synonymous with Mandi and located in its very heart that is as old as the town itself and dates back to the 1520's. In March the festival of shivaratri is a major event and the Bhootnath temple is its focus. For a entire week the town celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on elaborately decorated palanquins.

Syamakali temple
Also called the temple of Tarna Devi or tarna Hill which rises above the town. In the 17th century this was built by Raja Shyama Sen after particularly trying time when the goddess gave his success.

Other temples in Mandi town
Within the town is a varitable roll call of shrines. Apart from the emotions they evoke, they also have a wealth of classical architecture and ornate culture. Many of these are devoted to Lord Shiva, at the Triloknath temple he is depicted as the lord of the 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 femals principles of cosmic evolution. There are several exquiasite temples alsong the college road and the banks of Beas are lined with many more. At the Gyarah Rudra temple the say the famous for Amarnath darshan takes place this temple is decorated to resemble the Amarnath cave. The other places of interest within Mandi are the Rani Amrit Kaur Park, the District Library Building and the Vijay Kesari bridge.



Excursions


Pandoh
is 16 kms from Mandi an earth and rock filled dam is located here.

Sundernagar
It is 24 kms from Mandi is this attractive town where the balancing reservoir of the Beas-Sutlej link cannal is located. The road hs the canal on one side and lush green field on the other which makes driving along it a real pleasure. The Mahamaya temple os on top of the hill.

Prashar lake
40 kms north of Mandi is this beautiful lake with a three storeyed pagoda like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.

Janjehli
67 kms from Mandi . AS scenic place sorrounded by thick forests and springs. It is also the base for some excellent treks.

Shikari Devi
15 kms from Janjehli there is an ancient temple of Shikari Devi.
 
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Himachal Pradesh
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Capital city - Shimla
Ideal time to Visit - March to June.
Spring (May/June)- You would get lots of snow but roads are at worst, lots and lots of tourists and obviously a costly trip with escalated price.
Monsoon (July/Aug) - Ladakh/Lahaul/Spiti is historically there is no rain but traffic is high.
Autumn (Sep/Oct) - Roads are at the best but almost no snow enroute. Weatherwise I like this season personally the most, the weather after monsoon recedes remain crystal clear with least haze/dust/mist and gives excellent visibility for watching peaks.
Winter (Nov-April) - At your own risk without any tourists, excellent bargain and budget trip is likely. Also for special interest tours like say Chaddar trek of Zanskar, this is the time to go.
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Road trip summary to places in Himachal
Road trip summary, time, kms and tolls and other information required to plan your road trip.
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How to reach

By Air - The nearest airport is at Bhunter 59 kms away
By Train -  The broad gauge railhead is at Pathankot, at a distance of 210 kms. From Pathankot the narrow gauge railway connects Jogindernagar which is 56 kms from Mandi.
By Road - From Chandigarh one can drive directly to Mandi via Ropar, Swarghat and Bilaspur, the distance is 203 kms. The drive takes around 5 hours.


Chandigarh - Mandi Road drive

Route - NH 21
Distance - 185 kms
Time -3.5 hrs