" अजि सब आया एक ही घाट से, उतरा एक ही बाट..
बीच में दुविधा पड़ गयी, हो गए बारह बाट..
घाटे पानी सब भरे, अवघट भरे न कोय..
अवघट घाट कबीर का, जो भरे सो निर्मल होए .." -कबीर
Yes you heard that right "Varanasi in Himalayas". There is Varanasi in the great Himalayas ranges too. Nested in the north-west Himalayas at an average altitude of 850 meters (2,790 ft.), experiences pleasant summers and cold winters. Mandi, "The Varanasi of Himalayas" or "Choti Kashi" of India or "Kashi of Himachal as there are 81 temples in Mandi whereas 80 temples are there in Kashi (Banaras or Varanasi). Spiritually enlightening and amazingly photogenic, Mandi is decorated with shimmering lakes, pious temples and breathtaking landscapes. The city has a remarkable collection of religious sites that draws inspiration from a variety of religious denominations. The historically eminent, spiritually significant and amazingly panoramic Mandi is spread out along the banks of River Beas. Lying on the banks of River Beas, Mandi also displays some old palaces and exquisite form of colonial architecture. With a blend of warm and cold weather, the city housing the lakes and gardens provide for its travelers a breath of fresh air. Serving as a gateway to some famous valleys such as Kullu, Manali, Lahaul and Spiti. Mandi the Varanasi of Himalayas, has no dearth of places that can provide relief to both the mind and soul.
The distance of Mandi from national capital New Delhi is 435 km (270 miles) approx.
Mandi is connected from Chandighar via NH205 and NH154 which is 184 km (115 miles) approx.
Distance from Pathankot is 220 km (137 miles) approx.
HOW TO REACH :-
Mandi is very well connected by Road and air by through all the places of North India. You could reach Mandi through road, rail and air any medium.
By Road :-
Mandi is very well connected by road through all of north India, and all the major town of India. All buses traveling to Manali from New Delhi or Chandighar stops there. Or you can hire a taxi from New Delhi or Chandigarh buy that costs you more than HRTC bus. There are frequently Volvo AC or Non AC HRTC buses from New Delhi and Chandigarh.
From New Delhi it takes almost 11 hours and costs you 1250 rupees approx. (HRCT HIMSUTA AC VOLVO) and 575 rupees approx. (HRTC ORDINARY).
From Chandighar it takes almost 7 hours and costs you 700 rupees approx. (HRTC HIMSUTA AC VOLVO) and 340 rupees approx. (HRTC ORDINARY).
By Air :-
Mandi is also connected by air, the nearest airport from Mandi is Bhuntar airport Kullu. Which is about 60 km (38 miles) from Mandi. From Bhuntar airport you can hire a taxi or travel by bus.
By Rail :-
Nearest broad gauge railway station is Chandighar, which is 184 kms. From there you have no other choice left either you can travel by HRTC bus or hire a taxi.
But if you are a hardcore train lover you can travel by train to Pathankot from New Delhi. From there a narrow gauge mountain railway junction joints Pathankot to Joginder Nagar which is 165 kms (103 miles) long and takes more than 8 hours. The distance from Joginder Nagar to Mandi has to be covered by road which is 55 kms (35miles).
But I advise you not to travel by train. It’s Slow and Time consuming. Traveling by road is faster and better, because first - it's fast and second - it's cheap.