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Himachal Pradesh: Mandi and Places to see near it
Mandi is situated at the confluence of the Beas and the Sutlej rivers, at a height of 800 meters. Mandi means market, and Mandi serves as the main market in the area, for a long time, though its importance has diminished from bygone eras. It was built by the Rajputs from the year 1520, and used to be the capital in those times. It also serves as the gateway to Manali and Kulu valley. Consider spending a nigh en route to Manali at this beautiful hill station. All buses of Himachal ply through Mandi, as it serves as the true center point of the state. Below are the distances from Mandi to other destinations of Himachal:
Manali: 107 kms 4 hours
Shimla: 150 Kms 5.5 hours
Chandigarh via Ropar and Bilaspur: 201 kms 7 hours
Dharmashala: 147 kms 6 hours
Pathankot: 208 kilometers
Bhuntar airport: 59 kms 2.5 hours
Riwalsor : 28 kms
Delhi: 438 kms
Destinations: The Tarana mountain at Bus stand houses the Mata Tarana, a Kali mandir built by Raja Shyam Sen in 17th century. It is beautifully carved, adorned with gold. The deity is made of black stone. You can take a bus or auto to the temple. Just beside is the Rani Amrit Kaur park.
Check out the Triloknath temple and Bhutnath temple of Lord Shiva.
Situated at a distance of 5 minutes from the bus stand is the Ardh Narishwar temple. The deity assumes a form of half woman and half man.
There is also a Amarnath replica temple.
The chief attraction of Mandi is however, apart from its shopping options, the Rewalsar Lake. The rectangular lake is 735 meters long. It is guarded by green mountains surrounding it. The reflection at the lake waters of the mountains is heavenly.
There is a monastery here. A festival called Tso-Pema is held here every 12 years. The next date of the festival is at 2016 A.D. The monastery holds the foot impression of Guru Padma Sambhaba or Rimpoche.
In 1865, Guru Govind Singh had resided here for 12 months, to gather his forces against Aurangzeb. The King of Mandi had built a Gurudwara in 1930 in his memory.
There are also Shiv temple, Krishna temple, Romosh temple and monastery. There is also a santuary here where you can see Himalayan bears and deers.
40 kilometers from Mandi, at a height of 2730 meters is Prashar lake. Take a bus from Mandi and reach Baggi. From Baggi, you will have to walk up for 8 kilometers to reach this small but picturesque lake. You can also hire a car for 700 to 1000 rs. There is a FRH beside the lake to stay.
While going from Mandi to Kullu, you can check out Pandoh dam, right from the window of your vehicle. A hydel power plant is on construction here.
En route, 22 kilometers from Mandi is the Sundarnagar lake. There is a Mahamaya temple at the apex of the mountain. You can also see the Beas Sutlej river link project. You can also do boating at the lake. There is a guest house, Hotel Midway Tourist Resorts here to stay.
Bilaspur: It is on the Chandigarh Mandi highway, 128 kilometers from Chandigarh. It is famous for Govind Sagar, created by the Bhakra Nangal dam. Most of the old Bilaspur have been submerged by the Govind Sagar, and new Bilaspur have come up beside it. The Naina Devi temple, and the temples of Laxmi Narayan and Radha Shyam are notable here. You can take the rope way to reach the Naina Devi temple, which at the top of a peak, 4000 feet high. You can also take the mono rail. The view of Govind Sagar from the temple is spell bounding. HPTDC has a hotel to stay at Bilaspur, refer to their website. 18 kilometers from Bilaspur is Tattapani, where there is a spring of hot water. HPTDC has hotels here too.
The Great Himalayan National Park:
This is the latest national park of India and covers an area of 760 square kilometers of rich Himalayan slopes. The height varies from 1700 meters to 5800 meters. The places like Kalpa, Kaza, Manali, Kullu surround the park. There are rivers like Jiva and sewan that flows through the park. There are glaciers too. The north of the park is Seing wildlife santuary, South has Tirthan wildlife sanctuary. East is bordered by PIN Parvati national park, while the West has an eco development zone.
This park is possibly the only park where a week of trekking is conducted inside the park, by the Govt. Refer to http://greathimalayannationalpark.com/ for more details.
Sairopa is another good place for nature lovers. It is 47 kilometers from Aut of NH 21. There is a tourist center, ranger office, forest bungalow and a tourist guest house here. Contact GHNP, Shamshi, Kullu, HP phone: 01902- 265320. It is also a geteway to the The Great Himalayan National Park.