The historic town of Mandi (800m) is situated along the banks of river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre, and the sage Mandava is said to have meditated here. Mandi is renowned for its 81 temples and their enormous range of fine carving. Mandi is known as the 'Kashi of the Hills'. The town also has remains of old palaces and notable examples of colonial architecture. Mandi is the gateway to the Kullu valley and acts as a base for several exciting excursions.
ACCESS The nearest airport at Bhunter is 59 km. The broad-gauge railhead is at Pathankot at a distance of 210 km. From Pathankot the narrow gauge railway connects Joginder Nagar, 56 km from Mandi. From Chandigarh one can drive directly to Mandi via Ropar and Bilaspur, the distance is 203 km The drive takes around 5 hours. Luxury / Volvo coaches from Delhi and Shimla bound for Kullu - Manali travel via Mandi.
CLIMATE In winter, temperatures can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is hot and cottons are recommended.
PLACES OF INTEREST
BHOOTNATH TEMPLE : Practically synonymous with Mandi and located in its very heart, this is as old as the town itself and dates back to the 1520s. In March, the festival of Shivratri is a major event and the Bhootnath temple is its focus. For an entire week the town celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on elaborately decorated palanquins.
SYAMAKALI TEMPLE : Also called the temple of Tarna Devi, this is high on Tarna Hill which rises above the town. Built In the 17th century by Raja Syama Sen after particularly trying times when the goddess gave him success.
OTHER TEMPLES IN MANDI TOWN : Within the town is a variable roll call of shrines. Apart from the emotions they evoke, they are also a wealth of classical architecture and ornate sculpture. Many of these are devoted to Lord Shiva, at the Triloknath Temple He is depicted as the lord of the three worlds, at the Panchvaktra He has five faces, expressing His five aspects. At the Ardhanarisvara Temple, Lord Shiva appears in a composite form with right half as a male and the left half as a female symbolizing the male and female principles of cosmic evolution. There are several exquisite temples along the College road, and the bank of the Beas is lined with many more. At the Gyarah Rudra Temple, the day the famous Amarnath darshan takes place, the temple is decorated to resemble as Amarnath Cave. The other places of interest within Mandi are the Rani Amrit Kaur Park, the District Library Building and Vijay Kesari Bridge.
PANDOH : 16 km from Mandi, an earth and rock fill dam is located here.
SUNDERNAGAR (1175m) : 24 km from Mandi is this attractive town where the balancing reservoir of the Beas - Sutlej link canal is located. The road has the canal on one side and lush green field on the other which makes driving along it a real pleasure. The Mahamaya Temple is on top of the hill.
PRASHAR LAKE (92730m) : 40 km north of Mandi is this beautiful lake, with a three storied pagoda style Temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.
JANJHELI (2200m) : 67 km from Mandi this is a scenic place with thick forests and springs. It is also the base of some excellent treks.
SHIKARI DEVI (2850m) : 15 Km from Janjheli there is an ancient temple here and some marvelous landscapes.
SHOPPING : A variety of traditional handcrafts including silver jewelry and stone carvings can be purchased at Mandi.
Located on a mountain spur, an hour's drive from Mandi brings you to this jewel like lake. With water, woodland and high hills, it presents a variety of natural beauty and the spot is sacred for Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. It was here that the great Indian teacher and tantric, Padmasabhava left for Tibet. Known to the Tibetans as Guru Rimpoche - the Precious Master. It was under Padmasambahava's influence that Mahayana Buddhism spread over Tibet. There are islands of floating reed on Rewalsar Lake and the spirit of Padmasabhava is said to reside in them. It is here that the sage Lomas did penance in devotion to Lord Shiva, and the Sikh Guru Gobind Singh also resided here for one month.
ACCESS Rewalsar is 24 km by road from Mandi. Taxis and buses are available at Mandi.
CLIMATE In winter, the temperature can hover around freezing point when heavy woolens are required. During summer, the climate is mild and light woolens/cottons are recommended.
PLACES OF INTEREST
MONASTERIES : At opposite ends of the lake there are two Tibetans monasteries. The Bhutanese also have one.
GURUDWARA : This Gurudwara was built in 1930 by Raja Joginder Sen of Mandi. It commemorates Guru Gobind Singh's visit, when he sought to evolve a common strategy with the hill rulers against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
TEMPLE : At Rewalsar there are three Hindu temples. These are dedicated to the sage Lomas, Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva.
MINI ZOO : The forest department maintains a small zoo at Rewalsar. Above Rewalsar, Seven Lakes are also of interest.
Built on a slight rise, with a commanding view of both the lake and the valley below, Himachal Tourism runs Tourist Inn at Rewalsar. Its presence enables every visitor to truly savor the beauty and ambience of this enchanting spot.
ADDRESS : Tourist Inn, Rewalsar (H.P.) - 175001. Tel.: (01905) - 240252
CLASS : Budget Hotel
NOTE : During May-June all rooms will be sold on Continental Plan (CP) by adding Rs. 100/- per room per day on double occupancy on the mentioned tariff.
For short excursions and picnics, once the summer capital of Raja Bilaspur, is ideally situated 40 km off Bilaspur on the Bilaspur - Chandigarh NH 21. This is an ideal spot for stopover. In the night twinkling lights in the plains of Punjab are worth seeing. The temple dedicated to Laxmi Narayan is located here.
ACCESS : The nearest airport, broad gauge railhead is at Chandigarh, (86 km). Bilaspur is 40 km. Regular Taxis and buses are available from Bilaspur.
CLIMATE : In winter the temperature is mild when heavy woolens are required. Summer is pleasant and cottons are recommended.
The hotel is located on NH-21, which is 40 km short to Bilaspur on the hill top as the name suggests. It is a perfect halting place for tourists traveling from plains This is a modern hotel with all conveniences and amenities that makes for a quiet gateway. The restaurant and fast food counter at the hotel is popular as a journey break in point to catch a nourishing meal or a refreshing drink before one moves on along the route.
ADDRESS : Hotel Hill Top, Swarghat, Distt. Bilaspur (H.P.) - 174 011. Tel:(01978) - 284112.
CLASS : Deluxe Hotel
The old Bilaspur town was founded by Rishi Ved Vyas. The place is famous for Gobind Sagar lake which offers a variety of water sports in collaboration with the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali. Year-around activities include boating, water skiing surfing, Rowing etc.
ACCESS : The nearest airport is at Shimla (86 km) and broad gauge railhead is at Chandigarh, (86 km). Mandi is 69 km. Regular Taxis and buses are available from Bilaspur.
CLIMATE : In winter the temperature is mild when heavy woolens are required. Summer is hot and pleasant and cottons are recommended.
PLACES OF INTEREST
VYAS GOOFA : The name of sage Vyas is well known in this part and in fact he must have frequently roamed about in this area, from Thaneshwar to Rohtang wherein river Vyas emerges and there is a pond called Vyas Kund. It is situated in the foot of new township. It is believed he meditated in this cave.
KANDROR BRIDGE : This bridge is 285 meter long and suspended over a ravine that is 60 meter high. The bridge is considered an engineering feat.
MARKANDA : This is a famous shrine, 20 km from Bilaspur named after renowned Rishi Markandaya. A fair is held annually on Baishakhi day. Water from natural spring here are reputed to have curative effects on some skin diseases.
FORTS : The Bilaspur district has many facts of ancient time which are worth visiting. Some of these are Bachhretu Fort, 64 km from Bilaspur, Baseh Fort 70 km, Kot - Kahlur Fort 40 km from Bilaspur and Rattanpur Fort 21 km.
The hotel is located on NH-21, which is 86 km from Chandigarh on the bank of Bilaspur Lake as the name depicts. It is a perfect halting place for tourists traveling from plains and on the way to Manali, Shimla or Dharamsala. This is a modern hotel with all conveniences and amenities that makes for a quiet gateway. The restaurant at the hotel is popular as a journey break in point to catch a nourishing meal or a refreshing drink before one moves on along the route.
ADDRESS : The Lake View, Bilaspur, H.P. Tel: 01978-222838 Fax.No.: 01978-224538 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CLASS : Deluxe Hotel