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Location: Himachal Pradesh
Altitude: 800 Meters
Mandi Tourist Attractions: Shivratri Festival
Best Time To Visit: May to October
The historic town of Mandi (800 m) is built along the banks of the river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre and the sage Mandva is said to have meditated here. This one time capital of the princely state of Mandi is a fast developing town that still retains much of its original charm and character. Today, it is a district headquarters.
Mandi is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving, it is often called the ‘Varanasi of the Hills’. The town has remains of old palaces and notable examples of ‘colonial’ architecture.
The Shivaratri Bhutnath celebrations in the Bhutnath temple attract tourists every year in large numbers. There are also two lakes near Mandi, which provide a good breather for the visitor. About 5 kms from the main town is the Tarana hills and on the top of the hill is Rani Amrit Kaur Park. From here one gets very good view of the nearby areas. The park has enclosed the Syama Kali temple, which was, built somewhere in the 17th century.
In the days of yore, the pious sage, Mandavaya, performed long and severe penance and practised unthinkable austerities on his body, on the right bank of the river Beas, near the present town, which, then took his name.
Rail: The nearest railway stations are Joginder Nagar and Shimla by narrow gauge train, Chandigarh and Kalka by broad gauge train which are connected by regular bus services.
Road: Mandi is approachable by road from Shimla, Chandigarh, Pathankot and Delhi. There are regular bus services linking it to the other towns like Manali, Palampur and Dharamshala.