Mandi or Mandav Nagar as it was earlier known is situated in the district of Himachal Pradesh and is also known as the Kashi of the Hills as well as Land of Gods. This is a beautiful city which is truly blessed, apart from being blessed with pure natural beauty, the city also has historic significance. Mandi is a very holy town which is located on the banks of River Beas. At an elevation of 1044 meters this little town is located amidst the Himalayan range, encircled by many beautiful peaks like Ghugar Dhar, Dhar Kot and Sikandar Dhar. The town also shares it boundaries with Kullu, Shimla, Hamirpur, Kangra , Sohan and Bilaspur.
Mandi: Choti Kashi
We can call this town Dev Bhumi or the land of gods as there are nearly 81+ known temples; this is one factor that makes this place popular as Choti Kashi. The name Mandi came much later, as earlier this town was known as Mandav nagar. This name has some beliefs associated with it, it is said that Great Sage Rishi ‘Mandav’ used to mediate in this city and with his devotion the rocks present their actually turned black.
But with passing time the name changed to Mandi. The name Mandi means market, and the factor which gave this town this new name was because of this city actually being a major market earlier.
Mukund Badi: Popular Delicacy of Mandi
This is one of the most favourite dish of Mandi, which is essentially a rice meal. It is also known as Sepu Badi, this dish tops the menu of any traditional marriage functions of the town. According to local’s beliefs no dham can be complete without this dish. This traditional dish is made by making a very fine mixture of two lentils, Urad and Chana (soaked overnight). Then it is poured into a platter and boiled in water post which is cut into pieces. The cut pieces are then fried in ghee and added to a yogurt based gravy. This dish is a must try, and now it is easily available in local shops too.
Places to Visit In and Around Mandi
The local language used in Mandi is Mandeali and the local people of Mandi are known as Mandyalis. This town is a very important centre for trading which is positioned on the Pathankot-Kullu road. Also a doorway for the most popular valleys of Himachal Pradesh, like Manali, Lahaul, Kullu and Spiti. Raw silk, salt mines and fishing are other things which make this city very popular.
Here are few places around Mandi which are a must visit;
For adventure enthusiasts this is a perfect place, as Janjehli is a paradise for trekkers. Located 85 kilometers from Mandi, the trek gives you a totally out of the world experience. In between thick forest and beautiful hills, travellers can also stay at this place for a night as it has many good rest houses.
2. Sunder Nagar
Situated at an elevation of 1174 meters, Sunder Nagar is a holy place. It has many temples known as Sukhdev Vatika and Mahamaya temples which are visited by many devotees all throughout the year. Sunder Nagar also has the Asia’s largest Hydel Project Generation Electricity which is a result of the joining of the two gigantic rivers the Satluj and Beas. Also,it has a beautiful fertile valley which is a worth watch for every traveller.
3. Rewalsar Lake
This lake has a shoreline of 735 meters; the Rewalsar Lake is immensely popular for its unique Floating Islands. It is a beautiful lake and also gives an essence of the Buddhist culture and tradition. This lake is a true jewel, because of its pure water and scenic beauty.
4. Prashar Lake
Lying in a cup-shaped valley this lake is a very attention-grabbing place to be. It is located at about 50 kilometers from Mandi and carries a history with it. But this blue water lake is much more than just history. Hemmed in by the Dhauladhar ranges one might forget everything for some time, it’s just natural beauty away from all the hustle and bustle. This place is a popular tourist spot and has been attracting travellers from around every corner of the country.
Love eating apples? Then this little village will make you fall in love all over again with its true blessed beauty. Chindi is a popular place which is also well-known as the apple growing land.
These are just few of the picks for the places to visit in Mandi, but this town has a lot to offer. Be it lakes, forest, valleys or forts there is something definitely waiting for you.