Pilgrimage to 'Mandi': The location of faith, adventure and nature

This article takes you to the place called 'Mandi' in Himachal Pradesh. Every corner of Mandi is decked up with natural beauty along with cultural aspects. There are so many such untouched places of tourist's importance, which, when seen once, would attract you repeatedly. Let us wade through this place through this article.

Mandi city is situated at the bank of River Vyas. The place is replete with temples. Being present there 81 Shiva temples, the place is known as little Kashi and Varanasi of mountains. Rishi Mandav has performed pooja here. This reason is why the place is also known as Mandav Nagar.

Mandi city was established by king Ajbar Sen in 1527Here, the palaces of kings and other buildings present the unique example of the then architectural designs. The oldest building of Himachal Pradesh is existing still in the city. It is assumed the name Mandi was given to this city because this was the commercial hub until the mid of 20th century. Similar is the attraction of a Pilgrimage to Ghrineshwar- the 12th Jyotirlingam, its folklores and the stories related to it.

Today, there is Indira Market, which was known formerly as Sankan Garden. This was the pond of the then king, which presented an exceptional example of water storage reservoir. A bell house there, which was built by the king Siddhasen as recompense for treacherously murdering his brother in-law Prithwipal. The ancient watch of this bell tower attracts the tourists the most.

On the eastern flank is situated the historic 'Seri Manch', which is witness to cultural, political and literary events. On the southern flank, there are stairs that will take you to the 'Tarana Temple situated at the longest mountain height. The historic Chauhatta Bazaar is situated in the northern direction as also the 'Bhootnath Mandir', which is the center of attention of deep faith and devotion. There are several such archaeological temples here worth visiting which have been for centuries revered and worshipped. As for that, there are around 300 olden-newer temples in Mandi alone. It would not be out of context here to suggest you to make a trip to 'Twang'- the confluence of inimitable culture which you will love the most.

Adjacent to the Mandi Bus stand is the Gurdwara, where the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Govind Singh had spent some of his life's time. The people of Mandi speak Mandyali language. The 'Mandi Dham' is quite famous where tourists throng through the globe over. Sepu Badi' is the special dish of this place.

In the city of Mandi on the banks of the River Vyas, you can see working still in the same manner the 'Jhoola Pul' built in 1877 that connects the Jawahar Nagar with Mandi. On the Manali Highway at a distance of 17 km from Mandi, you can see the 'Pandoh Dam' built over the Vyas River that carries the water of Vyas River up to the Bhakra Nangal dam. The 'Barot Valley' of Mandi is one of the most popular place of Mandi.

The main attraction of this place is the 'Kamalah Fort' of Kamalah village of Sarakaghat. This fort, situated at a height of 4772 feet from the sea level was built by the king of Mandi Suraj Sen in 1625.

Rewalsar Lake in Mandi

This lake is situated at a distance of 24 km from Mandi. Famous through out the world for its floating Islands, this lake is combined place of three religions- Hindus-Sikhs and Buddha. From time infinity, this place has been the sacred religious spot of the Hindus. It was here that the Buddha Guru Padmasambhav had performed yajna. The footprints of the 10th Guru of Sikhs had fallen here. 7 km away from this lake, if you go up towards the mountains, you could see the cave that is dedicated to Padmasambhav. Here, you can see the big idol of Padmasambhav also. At a distance of about a kilometer from this place, there is one temple of Mata Naina Devi where people in thousands throng daily to bow their heads.

Parashar Lake

The beauty of this lake is worth seeing. Situated in the north of Mandi at a distance of 49 km, this lake is dedicated to Rishi Parasar. He had worshipped on this place. When Rishi Parasar struck his trident on the surface of the earth for water, water current sprang out from below the earth taking the form of a lake. Nevertheless, not even a drop of water could wet the ground where the Rishi was sitting in meditation. This circular shaped piece of land to this day swims from one corner to the other in the lake. When ice solidifies during the winters around this island and the lake, the lakes looks stunningly beauteous. Along with the lake, the three-storey temple of Parashar is built in the pagoda style.

Kamarunag Lake

In the Sundarnagar area of Mandi, this lake is dedicated to Dev Kamarunag. According to the story that goes with this place, Kamarunag King was the Ratna Yaksha who was very powerful. He had revealed himself in the shape of Kamarunag in his past birth. Pandava established him on this place as their 'Aradhyadeo' after the end of the Mahabharata war'. Kamarunag is worshipped as the God of rain. On the Sundarnagar-Karsos Marg, at a distance of 62 km from Mandi, one has to climb a distance of around 6 km to see the lake.


Karsog valley is situated at 125 km distance from Mandi in the siuth-west flanksat a height of about 1404 meters from sea level. It is situated in the Pir Pranjal mountainous range. The Kargos valley is such a virgin valley quite untouched where the beauty of ancient traditions and rituals, unique culture, ancient temples and apple gardens will win your heart. There is abundance of surroundings replete with cedar trees, walnut gardens and medicinal herbs strewn around this place. Its distance from Shimla is 106 km. Decked up with the stair like fields, this valley looks to eyes as a unique creation of a painter. Here, the people are faithful and dedicated. Their proofs are the Kamakhya temple, Mahunang, Nag dhamuni, Mamaleshwar Mahadeo, and the splendorous idol of Goddess Mahamaya.

Main places worth seeing

The chief beaty spots worth giving visits are Chindi, Tatapani famous for hot water springs), Pangana (the historic village), and Kunhu Dhar. Pangana for long years was the capital of Suket kingdom, which was established as Sundarnagar. The 50 feet high idol of Goddess Mahamaya stands erect here who was supposedly the family God of Suket kings. Its architectural design is bedazzling. There is the most famous temple of Mamaleshwar Mahadeo where tourists from across India and abroad come for darshan. This temple is said be older even than the Pandava period. Two things of this temple would perplex you- a drum of 1 and ½ feet of diameter and the grain of kanak weighing 150 gram.

How to reach there

Delhi to Mandi is 475 km, 200 km from Chandigarh, 143 km from Shimla. Reguar bus services ply round the clock. Joginangar is the nearest rail station on small line at a distance of 50 km from Mandi. The Buntu airport in Kullu district is at a distance of 60 km from here.

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