Shimla City Guide
A journey by the Kalka-Shimla train takes you to a majestic journey, giving an experience of royalty mingled with the panoramic vista of mountainous landscape. The track is still embellished with all the charisma and life time memories of an era where royal folk traveled in leisure, withstanding every moment of it.
One of the most important cities of Himachal Pradesh, Mandi is located on the banks of river Beas and Suketi. Built in 1278 by Ban Sen of Sena dynasty, Mandi earlier was a part of two princely states named as Mandi and Suket.
Mandi - 'Abode of Temples'
Situated at a distance of 62 km from Dharamsala, Mandi has developed into an important religious center of Himachal Pradesh. With over 81 temples present in the surroundings of Mandi city, it is often called as ‘Varanasi of the hills’. Famous for the sculpted stone temples of Panchvaktra, Ardhanarishwar, Triloknath and Bhutnath, Mandi is traveled by huge number of tourists across India. Apart from the religious status, Mandi also comprises of famous site for trekking and angling. The Barot-Kullu trek is one of the attractive and scenic treks located near this religious town of Himachal Pradesh.
How To Reach
By Air :
Bhuntar airport in Kullu district is the nearest airport located at a distance of 60 km from Mandi. Regular flights are available from Mandi to Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla. Gaggal airport in Kangra district is another airport base that connects Mandi to other parts of Himachal Pradesh and India. Local taxi service is available from airport to Mandi city.
By Rail :
Joginder Nagar is the nearest narrow gauge railhead located at a distance of 55 km from Mandi and the nearest broad gauge railway station is at Pathankot, 210 km from Mandi. Kiratpur is another major railway station located at a distance of 130 km from Mandi and lies on the Manali-Chandigarh national highway. A private taxi can be hired from the railway station to reach Mandi city.
By Road :
Located on the national highway no 20, Mandi is well connected by road to Delhi, Shimla and all the major cities of Himachal Pradesh. It is a12 hour drive from Delhi to Mandi covering distance of 454 km and 1&1/2 hour drive from Jogindernagar to Mandi covering distance of 55 km.
By Internal Transport :
Inside the city, tourists can hire private taxi at a rate fixed by the taxi trade union of the town. Beside that walking is another option to see the city in great detail.
One of the popular holiday destination in Himachal Pradesh, Mandi has got an excellent staying option for the tourists. Apart from the private deluxe hotels there are PWD (Public Works Department) rest houses and forest rest houses too.
Places of Interest
Built by Raja Ajber Sen in 1527 AD, Bhutnath temple is located in the heart of Mandi town. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, a Hindu Deity. In the month of March, famous Shivratri festival is celebrated and whole city falls in the mood of festivity.
Built by Sultan Devi, queen of Raja Ajber Sen in 1520 AD, Trilok Nath temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva with different image. The temple is located at Mandi-Pathankot national highway, which is famous for its three-faced Lord Shiva (Hindu deity) image. The temple is famous for its architecture and beautiful idols of Narda and Sharda, which are also worshipped with main deity of temple.
Built in the Shikhara style of architecture, the PanchVaktra temple is dedicated to five-faced image of Lord Shiva (Hindu deity). The temple is taken over by the Archeological Survey of India, which has declared it as a national heritage.
Excursion From Mandi
Built by the Britishers in 19th century, Kasauli is a small, beautiful hill station of Himachal Pradesh covered with pine forests, orchards and high hills of Indian Himalayas.
One of the picturesque valley, Barog is famous for the mountain ranges that is covered by the long pine trees. Situated on the Kalka-Shimla highway, Barog is a famous excursion sites located nearby Kasauli. Barog is known for the Choor Chandni or Choordhar peak which is also described as 'Mountain of silver bangle' that looks amazing in the moonlight.
Bilaspur, which is located on the bank of Gobindsagar lake is easily accessible through the Chandigarh - Manali national highway no 21. A newly established town of Himachal Pradesh, Bilaspur presents itself as a blend of traditional and modern lifestyle.
Rewalsar (24 km)
One of the very important destination of Mandi, Rewalsar is travelled by the devotees of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists religion. Padam Sambhava, a famous Buddhist missionary started his doctrine of Buddhism from Rewalsar. For Hindu this place has got great importance as sage Lomas performed his prayer to Lord Shiva and Krishna to wash away all his sin. The famous Gurudwara built in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh is also located in Rewalsar and attracts huge number of Sikh devotees throughout the year.
Prashar Lake (40 km)
Located on the high mountains of Mandi, Parashar Lake is named after the sage Prashar, who is said to have meditated. Built by Raja Ban Sen in 14th century, a three storied Pagoda-like temple is also present on the edge of this famous lake. The temple is beautified with wood carvings and slate tiles on the top. A perfect view of the mountain ranges can be had from top of the temple.
Barot (40 km)
Barot is famous for the outdoor adventurous sports like angling and trekking. Trout breeding center located in Barot offers an excellent place for angling and fishing. Tourists can visit nearby wild life sanctuary called Nargu, which is famous for the Ghoral, Himalayan black bear and a variety of pheasants. Apart from these, trekking could be possible in this region. From Barot to Kullu, there is a perfect trek route surrounded by thick forests.
At a distance of 40 km from Mandi, tourists can trek through Barot to Kullu amidst lush green pine forests.
Tourist can go for angling and fishing at trout breeding center, Barot.
Shopping in Mandi
Mandi is famous for its silver jewelry and stone carvings, that can be purchased at reasonable rates from the state government owned shop.