Where to travel
This short mixed tour of Mandi in Himachal Pradesh features both religious and secular attractions. Within easy walking distance, the architecture changes from the Indian to the European, showing a stark contrast in philosophies representing different periods of the history. The color scheme of the attractions changes from grey to pure white to bright warm hues. Rich carvings in different materials not only narrate many mythological stories but also showcase unique craftsmanship.
Who will enjoy this short adventure trip idea?
- Art and architecture lovers
- Travelers looking for cultural adventures
- Staunch believers
What to see
Bhima Kali Temple
Bhima Kali Temple, located on the end of Bhuili Bridge over the Beas River, sits on the slope that was once occupied by the Jogin Shrine. The sanctum surrounded by richly carved wooden enclosure features silver idol of Bhima Kali. The temple has enough parking slots and lots of maintained open spaces for unwinding. The temple affords views of Mandi and Bhuili towns and the verdure Beas.
The Victoria Suspension Bridge (Victoria Jubilee Bridge), an example of the European architecture, was built to commemorate the Proclamation Darbar held at Delhi in 1877. Captain Hoskyns, R.E. built the airy and light iron bridge spanning the Beas River. Currently only light vehicles can use the bridge that falls on national highway (NH) 20.
Ekadash Rudra Temple
Ekadash Rudra Temple, painted in bright colors such as blue, pink, yellow, white and vermillion, is a landmark located near the Victoria Bridge. The temple features ekasdash (eleven) rudras (gods) encircling shivling (Shiva’s phallus in yoni) in sanctum and ten incarnations of Vishnu in the niches. The main temple is surrounded by four small temples dedicated to four gods and goddesses: Durga, Ganesh, Surya and Vishnu. The temple is therefore called Panchdeva Complex.
Bhootnath Temple, the sixteenth century stone temple near DC Office, is also dedicated to Shiva. The shikhar style temple consists of sanctum and a rectangular hall. The sanctum houses shivling and mahayoni. The sanctum entrance is decorated with elephants, vidyadharas (deities), and gandharvas and kinnaras (musicians). The decorations also include other animals, celestial nymphs and geometrical motifs. Originally the main door was of silver but today a steel door guards the god.
At the end of your tour, relax in Clock Tower complex, a popular hangout of Mandealis. The tower amid a well-maintained public park is hemmed with Indira Market.
When to go
But July-September is a rainy season.
How to reach
Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate – Mandi: 475 kilometers
Chandigarh – Mandi: approximately 250 kilometers
Shimla – Mandi: about 180 kilometers
Himachal Road Transport Corporation (H.R.T.C.) runs regular buses from Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla to Mandi.
Delhi – Mandi: The bus fare starts from INR 835 per passenger (Volvo bus), INR 622 per passenger (deluxe bus), INR 430 per passenger (semi deluxe), INR 430 per passenger (ordinary bus).
Chandigarh-Mandi: A bus ticket for this 4-6 hours journey (depending on driver’s intention and speed) costs INR 365 (AC bus) and INR 220 (ordinary bus).
Shimala – Mandi: The price of a bus ticket amounts to INR 250 (deluxe), INR 185 (semi deluxe) and INR 165 (ordinary). Book the bus ticket.
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Kullu Manali (Bhuntar) Airport is about 60 kilometers from Mandi Town. However, currently there are no flights.
Nearest railway station: Joginder Nagar Railway Station (JDNX)
JDNX-Mandi: approximately 50 kilometers
The narrow gauge rail track runs between Pathankot (PTK) – Joginder Nagar (JDNX). Get more information about the Kangra Toy Train that runs on this route.
Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department (H.P.P.W.D.) rest house
The department offers basic accommodation for INR 200 per night. Contact the department for room booking.
Himachal Pradesh Forest Department rest house
The forest rest houses provide budget rooms. Book the accommodation.