A scenic hill retreat, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh is a stunning destination, nestled in the lap of nature. This quaint hill town is known for its spiritual connotations, historical significance, rich Kumaoni culture, and picturesque landscapes. Located close to the meandering River Beas, this hamlet attracts nature lovers, photography enthusiasts, pilgrims, devotees, and culture lovers alike. Referred to as the ‘Varanasi of Hills’, the place oozes unique spiritual vibes that attract pilgrims from far and wide areas. The place is peppered with 81 ancient and incredible Shaivite temples. Most of these temples are carved in stone and have a unique architectural style. Besides religious attractions, the place is bathed with scenic surroundings that add a unique and subtle charm to the place. Misty mornings, dewdrops on leaves, verdant forests, cascading waterfalls and streams, spires of temples, chirping birds, fresh blooms, and more make vacationing in this lovely destination a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Away from the hustle and bustle of urban existence, people love losing themselves in the beauty and serenity of this place. It is the best and most memorable family trip to visit in Mandi.
Mandi is also known for its archaic traditions, making this hamlet popular as the cultural capital of Himachal Pradesh. When visiting this place, explore it leisurely by engaging in interesting activities like trekking, hiking, boating, picnics, and more. Mandi also produces natural products that sell like hot cakes in city markets. Take out some time from your busy schedule and explore lovely panoramic views, serene lakes, visit religious temples and experience the unique culture and traditions prevalent here.
Best Time to Visit Mandi
Mandi is a beautiful hamlet nestled in the foothills of the lower Himalayas. The best time to visit Mandi is from March to May and October to November. Both seasons have something unique to offer to discerning travelers. Summers are the best time to enjoy sweeping views of scenic landscapes all around while winters offer a chance to see powdery snow falling on the ground and blanketing the whole area in white sheets. Chilly weather and falling temperature make the trip to Mandi in winters a memorable experience.
History Of Mandi
Mandi came into existence when two princely states, Suket and Mandi were merged on April 15, 1948. It was the time when Himachal Pradesh also came into existence as a state. Until the mid-20th century, Mandi was majorly situated on the trade route between Yarkant County and Ladakh to Hoshiarpur serving as one of the commercial hubs and trade centers. It is believed that Mandi was founded in 1200 AD by Bahu Sen. And since the beginning, the chiefs of the state have been the Chandervanshi Rajputs who belonged to the Sen dynasty of Bengal.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Mandi
Rugged terrains, verdant landscapes, incredible temples and shrines, an adventure lover’s paradise, fresh breath of air, and more make Mandi one of the most beautiful places in Himachal Pradesh. The sweeping views of towering snow-capped mountains at the horizon spellbinding scenery, and more make Mandi a perfect place for vacation. Have a look at some of the best places to visit in Mandi. Check out!
1. Rewalsar Lake
This lake holds great spiritual significance. If you want to experience something enchanting then you should definitely travel here. Situated at a distance of around 25 km, this place is quite well known for its seven floating islands as well.
2. Kamru Nag Lake
This is one of the most famous trekking paths situated at a height of around 3334 m. The KamruNag Lake lies on the Mandi-Karsog road that serves as an attractive tourist spot specifically for the trekkers.
3. Bhima Kali Temple
Bhima Kali Temple, As the name suggests, the temple has been dedicated to Goddess Bhima Kali. Moreover, here you will also see a lot of statues of Gods and Goddesses. For the people who are spiritually inclined, this place is an amazing option for exploration.
4. Bhutnath Temple
Dating back to the 1520s, this temple is considered as old as the town of Mandi itself. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple sees flocks of tourists visiting here, often. Also, the festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with much grace and fervor.
5. Prashar Lake
The serene lake, surrounded by rolling verdant meadows, Prashar Lake is a sight to behold. It attracts photography lovers, nature lovers alike who love losing themselves in its resplendent beauty. The lake is located at a high altitude, approximately 2730 meters above sea level. Thick cedar forests and tall Dhauladhar ranges tower over the lake creating a picturesque setting. The lake has a small island floating in its middle and a shrine dedicated to Sage Prashar on its banks. People can also enjoy trekking in this area.
6. Dehnasar Lake
Located at a high altitude of 14, 040 ft, this lovely lake stays frozen in the winters. It sources water from melting snow and its setting beside rocky cliffs lends a unique natural feature to it. It is common to experience lashing hail storms, blizzards, and strong storms in this area. Thus, it is recommended to avoid visiting the area in winters.
7. Kamakhya Devi Temple
A well-known temple in Mandi, it is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Built with Pagoda-style architecture, this temple is constructed using wood. The temple witnesses a lot of buffalo sacrifices as it is believed that Goddess Mahishasura Mardini was killed by Goddess Durga and cursed him to become a buffalo. This place is a must-visit as part of Mandi tourism.
8. Pandoh Dam
An incredible structure built above the gushing Bear River, Pandoh Dam was constructed in 1977. In the area where the dam has been constructed, a lake filled with greenish-blue water is created. Adventure lovers can enjoy river rafting with Grade IV and V rapids.
9. Sunder Nagar
Known for its beatific man-made lake, Sunder Nagar is truly a paradisiacal beauty. The lake came into existence as a part of the Beas-Sutlej Project. It has also made the area greener and more beautiful. Pack your bags and spend some time in the lap of nature.
10. Barot Dam
It is another dam in the Mandi area constructed on Rover Uhl. With Dhauldhar ranges overlooking the area and surrounded by thick verdant forests full of tall Deodar and Pine trees, this area looks simply stunning all through the year. Tourists enjoy trout fishing in the lake.
How To Reach Mandi
Stunning lakes, verdant forests, snow-capped peaks of Dhauladhar ranges, and incredible temples make Mandi one of the must-visit destinations in Himachal Pradesh. It is a perfect place for nature lovers, spiritually inclined people, adventure enthusiasts, and soul-seekers. To reach this quiet hamlet, you can use the nearest airport, railway station, and bus services. Here are the details of how to access this destination using diverse modes of transportation.
By Air. Deboard at Bhuntar Airport and from there you can take a private bus or a taxi to reach Mandi which is 60 km away from the town. Flights from all parts of the country arrive at this airport hence planning a trip via airways can be a comfortable, convenient, and faster option. Hire a cab or a taxi to reach the center of the town.
By Train. There is good connectivity of train routes from Joginder Nagar Railway Station from all parts of the country. From Joginder Nagar Railway Station, tourists can take a cab or just a walk to the center of the town. State-run and private buses are also available to help passengers reach Mandi from Joginder Nagar.
By Road. Depending on your geographical location, you can consider traveling to Mandi by road as well. Well-maintained highways make the place easy to access. As per your convenience, you can choose to travel by state-run buses, cabs, or by your personal vehicles as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mandi
Ques 1. What makes Mandi famous?
Ans 1. A scenic hill retreat, Mandi is a stunning destination, nestled in the lap of nature. This quaint hill town is known for its spiritual connotations, historical significance, rich Kumaoni culture, and picturesque landscapes.
Ques 2. What is the best time to visit Mandi?
Ans 2. The best time to visit Mandi is from March to May and October to November. Both seasons have something unique to offer to discerning travelers.
Ques 3. Which is the closest airport to Mandi?
Ans 3. The closest airport to reach Mandi is Bhuntar Airport. The airport is just 60 kilometers away from Mandi.
Ques 4. What are the major tourist attractions in Mandi?
Ans 4. Some of the major tourist attractions in Mandi are Prashar Lake, Barot Dam, Rewalsar Lake, Kamru Nag Temple, and more.
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