Mandi

Mandi district (earlier known as Mandavya Nagar) is one of the central districts of Himachal Pradesh state in northern India. Mandi town is the headquarters of Mandi district. The town has mythological and historical significance and boasts of a unique temple architecture. It is referred to as Chhota Kashi as there are many ancient temples in the city and on the banks of river Beas. The Beas flows through the town and hills, which makes this town more scenic. It has a serene ambiance though the modern development has made its inroads here in infrastructural developments.The town is an important commercial hub of the state. It is a major transit route to Kullu-Manali and other adjoining places from NH-21 (Chandigarh-Manali highway) and NH-20 (Pathankot-Mandi highway). Sundarnagar is one of the emerging towns of the district.

Attractions:

Chauntra Valley: A small village close to Mandi, the village lies enroute to the famous paragliding spot of Bir. Of recent, a small Tibetan settlement and a Tibetan University have come up, making this place a budding tourist attraction.

Rewalsar Lake: A great pilgrim centre at an altitude of 1,350 meters, where coexist three different shrines of different religions, Rewalsar Lake at Mandi holds such a miracle. A Hindu temple, a Buddhist monastery and a Sikh gurdwara situates here in a wonderful accord. This lake, which is famed for its hovering island, has an imposing shoreline of 735 meters. A place which has got a great historical value, it holds numerous legends about its sanctity. Hindus believe that this place is closely associated with the Pandavas and others feel that this was the abode of Padmasambhava. Whatever be the truth, this place is frequented by large number of Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs alike.

Sunken Garden:  A verdant green garden with a thriving shopping complex Sunken Garden in Mandi is a spectacle of hill architecture. A pagoda-type structure with a clock tower is the major attraction in the garden. Behind this amazing structure there lies a heinous story of the erstwhile Mandi king, who killed his own son in law and buried him in the present day Sunken garden. A small lake in the earlier times, Sunken garden was converted in to the present form by the last Raja of Mandi, Joginder Sen. This 500 year old garden and its adjoining structures retains its royal ambience even today. All cultural and other activities in and around the city is organized in this garden.

Ardhnareshwar Temple :Lord Shiva in the composite form of half man and half woman is the principal deity of this unique temple. Such temples are very rare in the India and the deity here signifies the beautiful ideology of Ardhnareshwar. Apart from the feeling it generates, this temple exhibits the richness of traditional architecture with elaborate carvings. It is remarkable to notice that the female is depicted in the left portion of the deity. The myth behind this fabulous shrine might be the principle that women are the integral part of men’s life. A unique temple, which displays exceptional architectural elegance, is now a protected monument under the ASI. The holy darsan of this ancient temple evokes a great emotion in the minds of the devotees.

Bir Monastery: Between the villages of Bajinath and Mandi, is a small settlement of Tibetans. There are many monasteries here which are an epitome of the great Buddhist influence in this region. The most popular among them is the Nyingma monastery, which is known for its interiors and various thangka paintings which adorn the walls.

Prashar Village: A scenic village near Mandi, the main attraction here is the Parashar Lake. The high mountains of this pretty place houses the Parashar Lake, which is named after the saint Prashar. The lake is nourished by the tiny brooks of the mountains and the bluish water of the lake would create a rejuvenating feeling to the visitor. In addition to its aesthetic beauty, the lake holds a 14th century temple that was built by Raja Ban Sen. A three storied building with pagoda like structure, the temple expresses exquisite carvings in wood. A wonderful sight of the peaks can be viewed from the acme of the temple. The banks of the lake stages an annual fair which grabs large number of gathering from the neighbouring areas.

Trekking: Nestled in the lap of the highest mountain peaks of the Himalayas, Mandi offers tremendous opportunities of trekking to the challenge loving people. Its verdant valleys, snowcapped mountains and thick jungles are the perfect spots of a memorable trek. Trekking in Mandi needs great stamina and courage. Exploring the wilderness of this great Himalayan region gives one a revitalizing feeling. Summer is the best season to go for trekking since it provides a salubrious climate. But professional trekkers often take the dangerous task of trekking in the winter since the mountains and its surroundings show the beauty at its zenith.
Before attempting for a trek, the trekker must get accustomed to the rough environs. One should be aware of the coarse weather of this hilly terrain, as the climate conditions are very loutish. Before going into Himalayas, one should get permissions from the authorities. Besides this, one must abide by the guiding principles of HPTDC, and do not spoil the tranquility of the nature.

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