- HIMACHAL

Places to visit in Mandi

Mandi District of today is the conglomeration of mainly Mandi and Suket States of the past. The river Beas flowing first roughly from east to west and then in a northwesterly direction in the principal river of the District. The District is no less important to the  Tibetans and they call it Zohar because of the interesting association with the great Buddhist teacher and missionary, Padmasambhava,  (750-800AD) for he went to Tibet from here to preach the doctrines of Buddhism at the request of the Tibetan King.

Mandi town itself is a very old town built around a sunken garden, first of its type in this side of the country. Old bazaars, and exquisitely sculpted stone temples of Panchvaktra, Ardhnariswar, Trilkinath and Bhootnath attract the eyes of nay beholder. Shyamakali temple at Tarna hill is a 17th century shrine and its surrounding present a panoramic view of the town. Mandi has one of the oldest degree colleges in the state and a big playground ‘paddal’ in front of it. The festival of ‘Shivratri’ and a football tournament during rains are the great attractions of the town when paddal hums with activities.

Bhootnath Temple: This temple is in the midst of the town. Its construction in Shikhar Style was started by Raja Ajbar Sen in the year 1527, the year in which Mandi also started coming up.

Shyamakali Temple: Raja Shyam Sen (1664-79) got a temple of Goddess Kali built on top of Tarna hill here. Besides the magestic idol of Kali, the surroundings of the temple are easy on the eyes.

Rewalsar Lake: This lake, 24km away from Mandi town, rests on a mountain spur and is protected by a dense vegetation. Hindus , Sikhs and Bhuddists hold the spot sacred alike . Guru Rimpoche, Padmasambhava,lived here and went to Tibet from here to start Mahayan Buddhism in Tibet at the invitation of the Tibetan King. Guru Gobind Sighji stayed here from a mont in 1738 and Raja Joginder Sen got built a Gurudwara here in 1930. There are three Hindu Temples here dedicated to Krishna , Shiva and Rishi Lomas.

Prashar lake: This beautiful lake with deep blue waters is 46km away from Mandi and considered sacred because Rishi Prashar had mediated here. A three tiered pagoda like temple dedicated to Rishi against the background of snow draped peaks is attractive. Tiny island of reed float over the lake here which is the main attraction.

Jogindernagar: A town 55km away from Mandi is ideal for a quite holiday in the Hotel of HPTDC. It is the access point from 40km away Barot were one can fish for trout in the water of river Uhl and visit Nargu Wildlife Sancturay. Not to miss is a herbal museum and a herbal garden maintained by the Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy.

Sundernagar: It used to be the Capital of Suket State and is hardly 24km from Mandi towards Shimla. The water of Beas and Sutlej project have given it a man made lake. The temple of Mahamaya and Sukhdev Vatika on the nearby hill are  other attaractions.

Janjheli: The unspoiled village of Janjheli could be the starting point for various treks. It is only 67km from Mandi.

Jhatingari: 12km from Jogindernagar, it is a place surrounded by thick forest. The remains of the dwelling of the former rulers of Mandi are here. A PWD Rest House looks after the comforts of tourists.

Barot: It is a quite place 40km from Jogindernagar via Jhatingari and 12 km by haulage trolley. The reservoir on river Uhl for the Hydel Powrer Stations at Jogindernagar adds to its charm.

Shikari Devi Temple: It is a temple without roof. All attempts to cover the Goddess with roof have failed. A trek to this ancient shrine is enchanting.

Source: Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh