All You Need To Know About Travelling to Mandi, Himachal Pradesh

Photo of All You Need To Know About Travelling to Mandi, Himachal Pradesh by Namrata Das Adhikary

If Manali is the postcard for Himachal Pradesh, Mandi is surely it's hidden beautiful cousin. Veiled by the beauty of the Himalayas, this quaint little town has a raw appeal and oozes out an old-world charm that is hard to find in neighbouring hill stations. Legend has it Sage Mandav paid an arduous visit to the town and meditated by the serene banks of the River Beas. It comes as no surprise then that Mandi offers a fine blend of spirituality, tranquillity and of course, breathtaking sceneries.

Often, travellers describe Mandi as the 'Varanasi of Hills', and with good reason. With over 81 beautiful temples, each with intricate carvings, Mandi indeed gives off a spiritual vibe unlike any other hill destination. Thus, it is also known as 'Chhoti Kashi'. But Mandi isn't just limited to pilgrims and religious enthusiasts, as there's plenty to explore and unravel here. From traditional markets to local shops, from festivals to fairs, Mandi has got it all!

Best time to visit Mandi

Mandi is a breathtaking destination with a year-round pleasant climate. However, the best time to visit Mandi falls between the months of March and November. During these months, the weather remains comfortable and is perfect for sightseeing.

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Photo of All You Need To Know About Travelling to Mandi, Himachal Pradesh by Namrata Das Adhikary

The temperature in Mandi during summers (April-May) ranges from 17°C to 20°C, making it an ideal season for exploring the city. Monsoon season (July-September) brings heavy rainfall, making it a great time for rejuvenating and spending quality time with loved ones. Winters (October-February) in Mandi can be quite chilly. However, snowfall is not a common occurrence, but the weather is still pleasant for exploring the city. Spring is not observed in Mandi, but it is still a treat to visit during this time to witness its ancient traditions and cultures.

How to reach Mandi:

This charming town is easily accessible through air, rail, and road. The nearest airport, Bhuntar, is located in Kullu and has regular flights from cities like Chandigarh and Delhi. You can easily hop on a cab or taxi from the airport to reach Mandi. If you prefer traveling by train, the nearest railway station is Joginder Nagar, which is about 55 km away. But hold onto your seats, because plans are in the works to extend the Kangra Valley Railway to Mandi soon! And the road trip enthusiasts, you'll be glad to know that the roads from Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana are well-connected to Mandi, with regular bus services available (HRTC interstate buses or otherwise). And trust me, the journey is just as beautiful as the destination, with stunning views of nature all the way.

Places to visit in Mandi:

1.Prashar Lake

Tucked amidst the magnificent snow-capped mountains with the glistening waters of Beas River nearby, Prashar Lake is a sight that will steal your heart. The three-storeyed pagoda temple standing tall on its banks only adds to the ethereal beauty of this place. But what makes it truly unique is the presence of a floating island in the centre, giving it an almost mystical feel.

2. Dhauladhar

Also known as the White Range, the Dhauladhar peak beckons adventure enthusiasts from all over the world for its challenging trekking routes. Amidst the lush forests and verdant meadows, this peak stands tall at 5639 metres, with the famous Hanuman ji Ka Tibba being the highest point.

3. Rewalsar Lake

Also known as Tso Pema Lotus Lake, Rewalsar Lake is a sight to behold. With its unique shape and surrounded by lush greenery, this lake is considered holy by many religions. From Hindu temples to Buddhist monasteries, this place is a perfect blend of different cultures and traditions.

4. Dehnasar Lake

Perched at a staggering height of 14,040 ft. above sea level, Dehnasar Lake is every nature lover's dream destination. The stunning landscapes, surrounded by snow-clad peaks, make for a perfect trekking spot. However, the lake is only accessible during the summer season as it is frozen during winters.

5. Bhutnath Temple

With its vibrant and captivating aura, the Bhutnath Temple is a must-visit for anyone seeking spiritual enlightenment. This ancient Shiva temple comes to life during the festival of Shivratri, with colourful celebrations and enthusiastic devotees flocking to pay their respects to the gods.

6. Shikari Devi Temple

At a height of 3332 metres, this temple dedicated to Shikari Devi or the hunter goddess is a must-visit for anyone seeking both spiritual solace and incredible views. The stone structure of the goddess surrounded by snow-capped peaks will surely leave you awe-struck.

7 Pandoh Dam

One of the main attractions in Mandi, the Pandoh Dam serves as a major source of hydroelectricity. The picturesque view of the dam against the backdrop of the Beas River and surrounding mountains is a treat for the eyes. Adventure junkies can also enjoy river rafting in the dam's waters.

8. Tattapani

Looking for some thrills and adventure? Look no further than Tattapani, a quaint village on the banks of the Sutlej River. This place offers a variety of activities such as river rafting, trekking, skiing, camping, and more. Don't forget to visit Shiva's cave, a popular spot for religious travellers.

9. Barot

A peaceful and serene village in Mandi, Barot is the perfect escape from the chaos of city life. Surrounded by pristine nature, this place offers breathtaking views and a chance to indulge in adventurous activities like trekking. A visit to Barot is sure to leave you feeling rejuvenated and in-sync with nature.

Things to do in Mandi:

1. Walk Through The Historical Streets of Mandi

Draped in an ancient charm, Mandi is one of Himachal Pradesh's hidden treasures. Promising a journey of cultural discovery, take a stroll through the town's historical streets and marvel at the stunning architecture that dates back 500 years.

2. Embark on a Fishing Adventure in Barot

For all the angling enthusiasts out there, a visit to Barot is a must. Whether you choose to cast your line in the tranquil morning waters or chase the setting sun, the camps in Joginder Nagar offer the perfect setting to hone and flaunt your fishing skills. Just be sure to pack some spare clothes in case you get splashed!

3. Soak Up the Sun at Sunken Garden

If you're someone who can spend hours admiring the beauty of nature, then the Sunken Garden is a must-visit for you. This 500-year-old garden boasts a stunning display of vibrant plants and flowers, making it the perfect spot for a leisurely sunbathing session.

4. Get Up Close and Personal with Wildlife at Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in Barot village, the Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for nature lovers. With a diverse range of animals such as birds, musk deer, barking deer, and more, this sanctuary is a wildlife photographer's dream come true. So don't forget to bring your camera along and capture some incredible shots.

5. Trek to Prashar Lake for Spectacular Views

A visit to the incomparable Prashar Lake is an absolute must for every traveller in Mandi. The trek to the lake promises breathtaking views of the surrounding Dhauladhar range and a chance to immerse yourself in the serenity of the picturesque village. Book a trekking tour and create unforgettable memories in this scenic destination.

6. Seek Thrills with River Rafting in Tattapani

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Photo of All You Need To Know About Travelling to Mandi, Himachal Pradesh by Namrata Das Adhikary

For all the adrenaline junkies out there, Tattapani is the place to be. Brace yourself for an exhilarating 40-minute ride as you navigate the mighty Satluj river amidst stunning landscapes. And that's not all, the village also offers a plethora of other adventure activities like paragliding, skiing, and zorbing.

7. Camp Under the Stars and Revel in Nature's Bounty

Who wouldn't want to camp under the vast expanse of the starry sky? In Barot valley, you can experience this dreamy escape surrounded by verdant greenery. It's the perfect opportunity to bond with friends and bask in the tranquillity of nature. So gather your companions and head out for an unforgettable camping experience.

8. Treat Your Taste Buds to Exotic Delicacies

No trip is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Mandi boasts a wide spectrum of delectable flavours, with momos and thukpa being the star attractions. Head to the topchen restaurant for an authentic Tibetan dining experience and savour every bite while immersing yourself in the rich culture of the region.

With its mystical legends, beautiful temples, breathtaking scenery, and endless opportunities for adventure, Mandi truly is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you're seeking spiritual enlightenment, a thrilling adventure, or just some time to connect with nature, Mandi will leave you enchanted and craving for more.

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