About Mandi

Country: India | State: Himachal

Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest City to Mandi: Chandigarh (186 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Mandi: November to May

Peak Season: December to January & March to May

At a distance of 23 km from Sundar Nagar, 24 km from Rewalsar, 70 km from Kullu, 107 km from Manali, 126 km from Dharamshala, 138 km from Shimla, 156 km from Bilaspur, 186 km from Chandigarh, 207 km from Pathankot, 235 km from Dalhousie, and 431 km from New Delhi, Mandi (formerly known as Mandav Nagar), also known as Sahor, is a major town and district headquarters of Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh. Lying on the banks of River Beas, it is one of the best offbeat places to visit near Chandigarh.

Situated at the junction of Kullu and Dharamshala, The town of Mandi is a gorgeous mountainous region filled with surreal landscapes and innumerable ancient shrines. It is often referred to as 'Varanasi of Hills', or 'Choti Kashi', or 'Kashi of Himachal' as the town has as many as 81 temples spread across its area. Offering the stunning views of the snow-capped mountains, the lush forests, and the swiftly flowing Beas, Mandi is a delightful place for those who want a rejuvenating, quiet holiday. This quaint hill town is serving as a gateway to some famous valleys such as Kullu, Manali, Spiti, and Lahaul.

Founded by Bahu Sen in 1200 AD, Mandi state has had a very fascinating history since its inception. Ajbar Sen assassinated Mandi in 1526 CE and transferred his capital from Old Mandi to present Mandi. Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied Mandi in 1839 but Ranjit Singh died in the same year and it was beginning of the disintegration of Sikh powers. The present Mandi district was formed with the merger of two princely states - Mandi State and Suket (Sundernagar) in the year 1948 when the State of Himachal Pradesh was established.

Packed with a thick green cover of pine and deodar trees, the town of Mandi has spellbinding scenery, spiritual vibes, and a fresh breath of air that makes this little town one of the most sought after destinations for honeymoon couples and pilgrims. There are over 80 stone temples besides the river ghats and among the town's streets that are decorated with religious motifs and well-chiseled idols of gods and goddesses. Prashar Lake, Barot Valley, Rewalsar Lake, Shikari Devi Temple, Bhimakali Temple, Bhootnath Temple, Triloknath Temple are some of the top places to visit in Mandi as part of Himachal Tour Packages.

Often considered as the cultural capital of Himachal Pradesh, this quaint hill town is known for the International Mandi Shivaratri Fair, held every year in February-March. Also known as the Mandi Festival or Mandi Fair, this 7-day long fair is particularly famous as this special fair transforms Mandi town into a venue of grand celebration when all the gods and goddesses of more than 200 villages in the Mandi district assemble here, starting with the day of Shivaratri. The festival is centered on the protector deity of Mandi 'Mado Rai' (Lord Vishnu) and Lord Shiva of the Bhootnath temple in Mandi. Exhibitions, local handicrafts stalls, sporting events, and cultural programs are held to complete the festive moments of the fair.

Kullu Airport in Bhuntar is the nearest airport which is about 58 km from Mandi. It has well-connected flights from Delhi while Chandigarh Airport is the nearest major airport. About 58 km, Joginder Nagar Railway Station is the nearest railhead to Mandi and has trains from Pathankot only. Hence, travelers can take a train to Chandigarh Railway station that is 187 km from Mandi and then take a cab or take a connecting train to the Joginder Nagar Railway Station. Mandi is well connected by road from the neighboring cities and towns like Delhi, Chandigarh, Pathankot, Sunder Nagar, Kullu, Manali and Dharamsala through regular state bus service.

The town of Mandi experiences extremely cold winters and pleasant summers. Hence, March-May is the best time to visit Mandi as the weather permits you to indulge in various adventure activities. If you want to witness snowfall, visiting Mandi during the winter season that stretches from November to February, when the hill station is blessed with an immense amount of snow that makes the place so pristine and tranquil.

...read more

Other Info
Internet Availability: Average
STD Code: 01905
Languages Spoken: Mandiali, Hindi & English
Major Festivals: Mandi Shivratri Fair
Notes/Tips:
None

How to Reach Mandi

By Air

Nearest Airport: Kullu - Bhuntar Airport / Kullu Manali Airport (58 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Joginder Nagar Railway Station (58 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Mandi Bus Station (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Mandi

Pilgrimage

#1 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 24 km from Mandi, Rewalsar Lake is a mid-altitude lake situated at Rewalsar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Also known as Tso Pema Lotus Lake, it is one of the most sacred lakes of Himachal Pradesh and among the most-visited tourist places in Mandi.

Situated at an elevation of about 1,360 m, Rewalsar Lake lies on a mountain spur and is protected by a variety of dense vegetation. The lake is known for the tiny island of floating reed that drifts over the water. The lake is held sacred by Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists alike. Legend has it that, the king of Mandi tried to kill Guru Padmasambhava when he got to know that his daughter Mandarava is running off with him. The king tried to ruin their love by cursing them to die in a fire. By using his supernatural powers, Padmasambhava transformed the funeral pyre into a lake, out of which arises a blooming lotus that supports the unharmed Mandarava and Padmasambhava.

It was also from this spot that Padmasambhava .....

...read more

Heritage | Pilgrimage

#2 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 2 km from Mandi Bus Station, Triloknath Temple is a sacred Hindu temple situated on the banks of Beas River in Mandi. Located in Purani Mandi across the Old Victoria Bridge, it is one of the oldest temples and among the most-visited tourist places in Mandi.

Mandi is not just a popular touristy place of Himachal Pradesh, although a unique one known for its spiritual significance. It is often referred to as 'Varanasi of Hills', or 'Choti Kashi', or 'Kashi of Himachal' as the town has as many as 81 temples spread across its area. One such ancient shrine is that of Trilokinath which was dedicated to Lord Shiva. As per the history, the temple was built in the year 1520 AD by Sultan Devi, queen of Raja Ajber Sen.

Known for its shikara architectural style, there is a square garbhagriha in the temple which houses the three-faced image of Lord Shiva. The shrine also has sculptures of Goddess Narda and Goddess Sharda, along with that of a few other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. .....

...read more

Heritage | Pilgrimage

#3 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 1 km from Mandi Bus Station, Panchvaktra Temple or Panchbakhtar Temple is a sacred Hindu temple situated in Mandi. Situated at the confluence of Beas and Suketi rivers, it is one of the oldest temples and among the most-visited tourist places in Mandi.

Mandi is not just a popular touristy place of Himachal Pradesh, although a unique one known for its spiritual significance. It is often referred to as 'Varanasi of Hills', or 'Choti Kashi', or 'Kashi of Himachal' as the town has as many as 81 temples spread across its area. One such ancient shrine is that of Panchvaktra Temple which was dedicated, Lord Shiva. It is one of the protected monuments in Mandi town, which comes under the Archaeological Survey of India.

Panchvaktra Temple is a supreme shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The foundation date of the Panhvaktra temple is still unknown but was restored under the reign of Sidh Sen's kingship (1684-1727) as it was damaged due to floods.

Dedicated to the .....

...read more

Backwaters

#4 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 20 km from Mandi, 50 km from Kullu, and 88 km from Manali, Pandoh Dam is an embankment dam on the Beas River in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Situated near Pandoh Town, It is one of the popular dams in Himachal and among the famous Mandi Tourist Places.

Under the Beas Project, the construction of the Pandoh Dam was first proposed in the year 1957 by the Punjab Government but it was approved in the year 1963. The dam was completed in 1977 and its primary purpose is hydroelectric power generation. Managed by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), this dam diverts the water of Beas river through a 38 km long canals and tunnels to generate power at the Dehar Power House before being discharged into the Sutlej River. The powerhouse has an installed capacity of 990 MW.

The dam is set amidst the picturesque hills, dotted with dense woods and the place offers a wonderful opportunity to capture some breath-taking scenes. The place has also gained popularity .....

...read more

Pilgrimage

#5 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 1 km from Mandi Bus Station, Bhimakali Temple is a Hindu temple located in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. Situated on the banks of River Beas, it is one of the famous places of pilgrimage in Mandi.

Bhimkali Temple is an important religious site in Mandi. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhima Kali, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. It is believed that this is the sight where Lord Krishna fought with the demon Banasura. It is said that the head of the routed king Banasura was buried in the facade of the entry gate of the temple. The temple was built by the Yadava clan who ruled the land during that time.

The architecture of the Bhimakali temple is the main attraction of this religious site. It is a rich amalgamation of different religious sects mainly Hinduism and Buddhism in its building structure. The wooden carving of this marvelous structure depicts the story of goddess Bhima Kali. There is a huge museum inside the temple which exhibits the exclusive images of .....

...read more

Adventure | Backwaters

#6 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 51 km from Mandi, 65 km from Kullu, and 103 km from Manali, Prashar Lake, or Parashar Lake is a beautiful lake situated near Bagi village in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most stunning lakes in Himachal and among the must include places in Mandi Tour Packages.

At an altitude of 2730 m, Prashar Lake is snuggled against the foothills of the mighty Himalayas. The oval-shaped lake has many tales associated with it. One legend says that after the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas were returning with Lord Kamrunag. When they reached the mountains, Kamrunag loved the tranquility of the mountains and wanted to settle down there. So Bheem rammed his elbow on the ground and formed this crater, which later became the lake. Another story rooted in Himachali folklore claims that the lake was the site where Rishi Parashar have meditated.

Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and looking down on the fast-flowing Beas River, Prashar Lake has a perimeter .....

...read more

Pilgrimage | Adventure

#7 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 91 km from Mandi, Shikari Devi Temple is a Hindu shrine located near Janjehli in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the popular places of pilgrimage in Himachal and among the must-visit places in Mandi for trekking enthusiasts.

Situated at an elevation of 3359 m, the Shikari Devi temple is located atop Sikhari Devi Peak, the highest peak of the Mandi district. It is believed that the temple has been existing since the time of Mahabharata. The temple is dedicated to Shikari Devi, the Goddess of hunters. In the archaic days, the hunters or shikaris of the region would worship the Goddess in the temple to seek blessings for a successful hunt. Hence, the temple got its name, Shikari Devi. Besides, the temple also has a great significance in the holy book Markandeya Purana as sage Markandeya is believed to have meditated in this beautiful temple.

The temple is on a flat cemented square platform and the goddess is idolized in the form of a stone image. .....

...read more

Nature

#8 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 37 km from Joginder Nagar, and 63 km from Mandi, Barot Valley is a beautiful river valley situated at Barot village in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most peaceful valleys in Himachal and among the top tourist places to visit in Mandi.

Situated at an altitude of 6,000 feet, Barot Valley was initially developed for a hydel project over the Uhl river that has now become a rising tourist spot for travelers who have a craving for mountains. The valley offers great opportunities to travelers who want to quench their thirst for adventure. Barot is also referred to as a resting point of Kullu - Joginder Nagar trekking route and a starting point of trails like Bara Bangal, Palampur, and Bir-Billing. These all treks pass through dense forests of tall Deodar and Chile trees and were once the busiest shepherd routes of local people around Kangra Valley.

Another major attraction of the valley is Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary. Situated on the other side .....

...read more

Pilgrimage | Adventure

#9 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 12 km from Joginder Nagar, 66 km from Dharamshala, and 68 km from Mandi, Bir is a village located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is rightfully considered the heaven for Paragliding and among the must-visit places for adventure enthusiasts as part of Mandi Tour Packages.

Bir Billing is famous as the Paragliding capital of the world and attracts paraglider pilots from all over the world. The first Paragliding World Cup of India was hosted in Bir Billing in the year 2015. Since then, the village continues to host periodic international competitions and events. The paragliding launch site is in the meadow at Billing (14 km north of Bir), at an elevation of 2400 m, while the landing site and most tourist accommodations are in the village of Chowgan on the southern edge of Bir. The flying season is from September to October, with some flying also done in November.

Bir Billing is also famed for its soulful Tibetian monasteries set amidst scenic and .....

...read more

Heritage | Pilgrimage

#10 of 17 Places to Visit in Mandi

At a distance of 1 km from Mandi Bus Station, Bhootnath Temple is an ancient temple located in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. Situated in the heart of the town, it is one of the famous places of pilgrimage in Mandi.

Bhootnath Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was constructed in 1527 CE during the rule of Raja Ajber Sen, a ruler of Mandi. He dreamt of a cow whose udders were showering milk at a particular spot in the woods. The next day, he went to the site and discovered a Shivalinga after hours of digging. A temple was built in honor of Lord Shiva and the Shivalinga was installed in the sanctum of the temple.

Bhootnath Temple is an enticing edifice built in the typical Shikara style of architecture. It is exquisitely carved in a serpentine manner and houses the idol of Nandi Bull in the courtyard. The other Hindu religious figurines like Lord Vishnu, Goddess Durga, Lord Hanuman, etc. can be seen inside.

Maha Shivaratri is a sacred festival that is .....

...read more