Destinations Covered: Mandi sightseeing – Rewalsar Lake – BhimaKaali Temple – Panchvaktra Temple – Sunken Garden
Mandi Tour Duration: 04 Day / 03 Nights
Mandi was formerly known as Mandav Nagar. It is in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Mandi is located 153 km from the capital of the state, Shimla. Mandi has a large number of temples that comes to around 300. Out of these temples, 81 are stone temples and are widely famed for their rich stone carvings. The deities mainly worshipped in these temples are Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali. To name some important temples, we have Panchvaktra Temple, Ardhnareshwar Temple and Triloknath Temple. These have all been declared as protected monuments and heritage sites by the Archaeological Survey of India. There is also the ancient Bhootnath Temple that dates back to the era1520.
How to reach
By Road: Mandi is connected well by road to all other major towns of Himachal Pradesh. Regular buses ply between Mandi and all these towns. Chandigarh is also well connected by road and takes 5 to 6 hours to reach.
By Rail: The closest railway stations to Mandi are the Joginder Nagar and Shimla railway stations.
By Air: The nearest airport is Bhuntar Airport located in the Kullu District and is situated 60 km away from Mandi Town. This airport is connected by flights to and from Delhi, Chandigarh and Jubber-Hatti (Shimla). The air distance from Delhi to Bhuntar Airport is one and half hours. There is another small airport named Gaggal airport in Kangra district.
Places to visit
Bhutnath temple – This an ancient temple located in the heart of Mandi town. It was built in 1527 A.D. in the historic era by King Ajber Sen. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva
Triloknath temple – This is also a beautiful ancient temple built on the banks of River Beas by the queen of Raja Ajber Sen. This temple dates back to 1520 AD. It is dedicated to the three-faced deity of Lord Shiva. The surroundings are extremely picturesque and id located in Purani or Old Mandi on the Mandi-Pathankot Highway.
Panchvaktra Temple has exceptionally beautiful architecture and is located beside the Beas River at the confluence of the River Beas with River Khad. This temple can be cited as the oldest temple in Mandi and is an outstanding example of architectural marvel standing strong among the 81 temples of Mandi.
Mahamrityunjaya temple is another example of ancient Lord Shiva temple in Himachal Pradesh. This temple uniquely worships Lord Shiva as the Three-Eyed One in which the idol is seen sitting in a lotus posture in meditation. Devotees believe that worshipping Lord Shiva in this form will rid people from illness and bless them with long healthy life.
Tarna Mata Templeis dedicated to Syama Kali, who is an incarnation of goddess Parvathi. It is famous pilgrim site and tis temple is situated atop the Tarana Hills. The temple walls are decorated with paintings of Goddesses. It is situated on the top of a hill and offers splendid view of the town spread below. The dense forest surrounding the temple enhances its natural beautiful further.
Bhimakaali Templeis another famous temple of Mandi and is dedicated to Goddess Bhima Kali as the name suggests. It is located on the banks of River Beas and exhibits various different statues and idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the museum. The temple site is famous for being the place where lord Krishna is believed to have fought the ferocious demon named Banasura.
Rewalsar is located around 24 km from Mandi.This place is surprisingly sacred to all three: Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. This place is famous for being the location from where Padam Sambhava, the famous teacher and Buddhist missionary travelled to Tibet to preach Buddhism. This place is also associated with the Hindu belief that here Rishi Lomas did his penance. Rewalsar has a Gurudwara built in the honour of Guru Gobind Singh.The Bhutanese have their gompas beside the holy lake with floating islands.
Prashar Lake is situated approximately 40 kms North of Mandi in the high mountains where the ancient sage Prashar had meditated. The three storied Pagoda-style built temple beside the lake is dedicated to the sage. The roof is made of slate tiles and exhibits glorious and rich wood carvings. The temple commands a mesmeric view of gorgeous snowy mountain ranges.
Barot is located around 40 kmsby road from Jogindernagar and is a hub of varied outdoor activities. This place also houses theJoginder Nagar Hydel Power Project reservoir that nourishes a trout breeding centre. Thus angling is popular. Just beyond river Uhl is the Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary. It is famous for being the home to Ghoral or the Himalayan black bear.
Shikari Devi is known to harbour trekking paths through dense woods of various trees and shrubs that lead to the ancient shrine of Shikari Devi Temple at the hilltop. The Goddess used to be worshipped by the hunters for successful hunting and hence the name Shikari that means Hunter. The idol is in the form of a stone image and the temple is believed to have been in existence since the era of the Pandavas. The temple has no roofand interestingly locals believe that attempts to cover it with a roof havenever been successful.
Jhatingri is a picturesque spot situated on Ghogar Dhar at a height of 6,600 feet. It is situated at a distance of 12 kms from Joginder Nagar and accessible from Urla in Mandi through the Pathankot National Highway. The surroundings are covered with beautiful deodar and blue pine forests and commands a striking view of the stunningvalleys spread below.
Kasorg Valleyin the sub-divisional head quarter of Kasorg in Mandi district is located at a height of 350 m.It hosts the famous Mamleshwar Mahadev, Kamaksha Devi and Mahunag temples. The spot is characterized by amplenatural mountain beauty with an abundance of apple orchards.
Panjin Thach is located 75 km from Mandi and can be reached via Bali Chowki.There are two extremely beautiful villages nestled in the midst of thick deodars, pines and tosh trees. Known for glorious sceneries, they are also the base camps for adventure loving tourists.
Gadda Gusaini is valley waiting to be explored by adventure loving tourists. Here nature is at its best with the never-ending beauty of green forests and pollution free environment. It boasts of the Madhopur Fort known to have been built by the previous rulers of Mandi district for stocking arms and ammunition. The fort was also sadly used to punish the criminals of the kingdom. The remains of another fort named Tungasi can be still seen here.
Things to do
Trekking: Mandi offers ample opportunities for adventure seekers in the form of popular trekking activities. One excellent destination is Janjehli located 67 kms away. The trekking trail goes up to 3300 metres leading to the Shikari Mata Temple peak. There are several trekking routes in this area and theyprovide enigmatic and exhilarating view of unexplored nature and widespread apple orchards. Dense forests composed of variegated shrubs and Himalayan cedar and blue pines, medicinal herbs and shrubsare a treat to the senses. Alpine oak, spruce, fir along with wild animals like black bear, musk deer and leopard in their natural habitat makes for an extremely adventurous trekking destination. Plenty of bird varieties such as the rare Monal can be spotted here. Trekkers find this place easily approachable via Janjehli, which is connected to Mandi by buses and taxis. Overnight stay can be arranged at the guest house of the Forest department. Another popular trek route goes through the thick forests that connect Barot to Kullu.
Mountain biking: This is another popular adventure activity to be explored in the regions namely Rohanda at a height of 2100 m and Karsog Valley at a height of 1800 m accessible via Mandi-Shimla Highway. It is quite popular among the motorcycling clubs. En route the historical Sayari Dev Templeon the top of Sayari hill offering an all-round mesmerizing view of Sundernagar Mandi valley is a place worth visiting.
Where to stay (Best 5 Hotels)
Hotel Mamleshwar: This state-run HPTDC Hotel is excellently located amidst dense deodar forests and scented apple orchards. Hotel facilities include clean linen and very prompt services. The rooms are elegant with the large open windows providing breath-taking views. There is a woody walkway or an adventurous trekking path running at the back of the property. The off-the crowded-city location offers the primary bliss of the stay in this property.
Hotel Valley View Mandi is around 5 to 6 kms from the town of Mandi. This property as the names suggests offers beautiful views of the valley around. The neat and clean spacious rooms and the well-stocked bar entice its guests. Yummy food and hospitable and polite reception makes your experience delightful. Staff in general is quite helpful. It is a good hotel for a stopover en route to other Himalayan destinations.
The Regent Palms Hotel: Reviewers have titled this hotel as the best one in Mandi. The hotel is located centrally in the city and is close to all facilities. Staffis polite and helpful. It has decent air-conditioning and clean linens and washrooms. Lot of food options close by. The Kargil Park near the hotel is an option for promenade. The food here is quite tasty.
Whitemushroom Rohanda:The highlights of Whitemushroom Rohanda are barbecue facilities and children’s playground. This hotel is located in Mandi around 44 km from Shimla. Free private parking, rooms with TV, Comfortable seating area, kettle in the rooms, free toiletries and free Wi-Fi are the best features of this hotel. The 24-hour front desk at the property is quite accommodating and useful.
Snow City Farms is an excellent choice as a village home stay. It is located at an approximate height of 1100 metres amidst agro farms and Mango orchards. This home stay option offers an ideal peaceful and quiet stay among lush green agro fields and forests. It shall definitely be a different kind of experience for the busy city dwellers especially to be spending few quiet days close to nature and relax and unwind in an earthy style.
How to go around
Mandi is a beautiful laid back historic town that is built along the banks of the Mountain River Beas. This place has acquired its name from the fact that in the ancient times Sage Mandvya is believed to have meditated at this place. The religious connotation is still there because the old stone temples that have intricate carving still exists and continuously attract a lot of tourists throughout the year. It is because of these temples, Mandi is referred to as the Varanasi of the Hills. The region is well connected by buses. Inter-city tours can be undertaken by buses and amply available local taxis as well as private cabs.
Fests & Fairs
Maha Shivratri: This festival is celebrated in the month of February. It is celebrated grandly in all the temples. People fast in large numbers. The idols of Lord and Mata Parvati are prepared with cow dung and offered puja. Songs are sung in the praise of the God and Goddess. This is a very important festival of Western Himalayas. The whole Mandi town is decked up and the local hill people adorn themselves in traditional attires and participate in the celebrations. The Shivratri fair and festival is held every year for seven days during February or March in continuation to a tradition that started in way back in the year 1526.
Nawala: This festival is a thanksgiving festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. The people of the districts of Kangra, Chamba, Mandi and Kullu participate in huge numbers. Devotional songs of praise are sung to appease Lord Shiva. This festival is a very popular festival of Himachal Pradesh.Innumerable people in and around Mandi take dip in the holy waters of Rewalsar Lake, Tattapani hot springs and Prashar Lake.
Lossar: Lossar is primarily a tribal festival and is popular not only in Mandi but also in all the Tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh that includes the regions of Manali, Shimla, Dharamshala, Solan and Baijnath. Also during the same time the marriage of the local princess with Shri Padamsambhaba is celebrated in the old Buddhist Shrine. The events attract a large number of devotees, tourists and travellers who are interested in ancient Indian culture and tradition. Lossar marks the start of New Year and is celebrated in the last week February with extravagant mask dance, Cham dance, boisterous dramas, traditional orchestra that forms the essence of Buddhist culture.
Mandi has hot summer temperatures and cold winter temperatures and receives rainfall at the end of summer season. The lower regions enjoy comfortable rainfalls whereas higher altitudes receive plenty of snowfall. The temperature range throughout the year is around 6.7 °C to 39.6 °C. The summer temperature ranges between 18.9 °C and 39.6 °C and winter temperatures variesbetween 6.7 °C and 26.2 °C. June, July and August are the rainy months.
Mandi Itinerary (4D/3N)
Day 1Mandi sightseeing: Bir visit including the Bir Monastery and the adrenalin junkies can have a thrilling go at the paragliding venture. Also, cover Shikari Devi and Prashar Lake.
Reach Mandi to the land of Himachal and get fresh for a day trip to the enchantments of the land of Himalayas.
Visit the Bir Monastery with beautiful artwork and very well maintained and decorated. When in Bir also try your hand at adventure of paragliding.
Visit the Shikari Devi Templelocated in Janjheli in the midst of a magically beautiful land covered with forest and gifted with breath-taking natural beauty. Try a trek arcoss the magical woods to reach the enchanting temple site.
Next stop is the Prashar Lake on a fold of a majestic mountain top. Explore the scenic trek across small quaint gullies, charming hamlets and dense forests.
After the first day full of beauty and enchantment return to the peace of the overnight stay at a choicest hotel in Mandi.
Day 2 Rewalsar Lake, BhimaKaali Temple, Panchvaktra Temple and Sunken Garden,
Day2 will begin at Mandi with a planned itinerary under the able guidance of the tour representative.
Visit the beautiful Rewalsar Lake with water, woodlands hills. It is a sacred site for Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs alike.
Pay homage in the beautiful BhimaKaali Temple located on the banks of River Beas with exquisite artworks and a nice spacious playground for children.
Visit the famous Panchvaktra Temple, which is the oldest temple in Mandi built on the banks of River Beas.
Proceed next to the Sunken Garden in the midst of a busy hub with glittering shops to complete your quota of Mandi shopping. The garden is small but well maintained.
After the entire day of sightseeing covering the beautiful spots of Mandi retire to the hotel for an overnight stay. Catch up with the beauty of the place and have some serene moments of happy togetherness. After a leisurely dinner catch up with sleep.
Day 3 Visit to Pangna-Karsog Valley and the Kamlahgarh Fort
Start of your Day 3 in a frenzy and prepare for a visit to some mystic caves and dense deep woods of the Deotshidh Forest.
- Start the day with a sojourn to the Pangna-Karsog Valley with some exclusive temples, surrounding hills, serene atmosphere surrounded by hills, panoramic ancient fort, free from pollution and crowd.
Next destination is the Kamlahgarh Fort on the peak at JanitriDhar. It is a distinct place of interest for people who are interested in the ancient history of India.
Day 4 Departure from Mandi and homeward journey
Wake up to a new day and wind up from Mandito reach back home. Time to bid adieu to the serene valley of Mandi! Our representative will see you off from the lovely Mandi Valley.