Pandoh Dam Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
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 Mandvya 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. Because of this, it is often called the "Varanasi of the Hills`. The town also has the remains of old palaces and notable examples of colonial architecture. Mandi is the gateway to the Kullu valley and acts as the base for several exciting excursions.
Practically synonymous with Mandi and located in its very heart, this is as old as the town itself , and dates back to the 1520s. In March, the festival of Shivratri is a major event and the Bhootnath temple is its focus. For and entire week the town celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on elaborately decorated palanquins.
15 km from Janjheli there is an ancient temple here and some marvellous landscapes.
22 Km from Mandi is this attractive town where the balancing reservoir of the Beas-Sutlej link canal is located . The road has the canal on one side and lush green fields on the other which makes driving along it a real pleasure. The Mahamaya temple is atop a hill.
Also called the temple of Tarna Devi, this is high on Tarna Hill which rises above the town. In the 17th century this was built by Raja Syama Sen, after a particularly trying time, when the goddess gave him success.
Other Temples in Mandi Town
Within the town is a veritable roll-call of shrines. Apart from the emotions they evoke, they also have a wealth of classical architecture and ornate sculpture. Many of these are devoted to Lord Shiva, at the Triloknath temple he is depicted as the lord of the three worlds, at the Panchvaktra he has five faces, expressing his five aspects. At the Ardhanarisvara temple, Lord Shiva appears in a composite form with the right half as male and the left half as female - symbolising the male and female principles of cosmic evolution. There are several exquisite temples along the College Road, and the banks of the Beas are lined with many more. At the Gyarah Rudra temple, the day the famous 'Amarnath darshan' takes place, the temple is decorated to resemble the Amarnath cave.
67 km from Mandi this is a scenic place with thick forests and springs. It is also the base of some excellent treks.
16 km from Mandi, an earth and rock fill dam is located here.
40 km north of Mandi is this beautiful lake, with a three storeyed pagoda like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.
The closest airport from Mandi is Bhuntar, which is around 59 km away.
The closest railhead is in Kiratpur which 125 km away from the town of Mandi.
From Chandigarh one can drive directly to Mandi via Ropar and Bilaspur, the distance is 203 km, - the drive takes around 5 hours. Luxury buses from Delhi and Shimla, and bound for Kulu - Manali go via Mandi.