Mandi district is one of the central districts of the state of Himachal Pradesh. This town is located on the banks of river Beas. Mandi derives its name 'mandi' or 'market' as it was a major trade route from Ladhakh. It is a major transit route to Kullu-Manali and other adjoining places from NH-21 and NH-20. Raw-silk and the rock salt mines at Drang and Guma are the special features of Mandi.
Places to stay
Some of the good budget hotels in Mandi are Munish Resorts (Tariff – Rs. 1200), Hotel Manjul Mandi (Tariff – Rs. 1450) and Hotel Visco Resorts (Tariff – Rs. 1600).
People in Mandi converse in Mandyali and Mandyali.
The famous festival celebrated in Mandi is the Mandi Shivaratri Fair (February). It is an annual fair that is held for seven days starting with the Hindu festival of Shivaratri)
Places to Visit
Mandi is renowned for old stone temples and their range of fine carving. Because of this, it is called the "Varanasi of the Hills." Places to see in and around Mandi include Bhootnath Temple (900 meters from bus stand), Rewalsar Lake (23 kms from bus stand), Joginder Nagar (56 kms from bus stand), Sunder Nagar (24 kms from bus stand) and Sunken Garden (550 metres from bus stand).
How to Get There
The nearest airport to Mandi is a small domestic airport at Bhuntar (75 kms).
The closest railhead to Mandi is in Kiratpur (125 kms).
Mandi is approachable by road from Shimla, Chandigarh, Pathankot and Delhi. Himachal Pradesh State Road Transportation (HRTC) and private operators run busses from major cities to Mandi. Some of the private bus operators that offer good experience for passengers include Raj Himachal Holidays, Heera Himachal Holidays, Himachal Volvo Tour and Mangalam Travels. Making use of bus booking online offers are the best way to save money while travelling.
Bilaspur is a city in the central Indian state of Chattisgarh and also happens to be the administrative headquarters of a district with the same name. The state capital, Raipur, is at a distance of 113 km. The vast Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a part of the district, is located at a distance of 78 km.
Places to Stay
There are a couple of good budget hotels in the city. Some of the options which are worth a try are Hotel Anand (Tariff – Rs. 500), Hotel Shivnari (Tariff – Rs. 600), Hotel Deep (Tariff – Rs. 700), Hotel Raja (Tariff – Rs. 900) and others.
The official language of the area is Hindi.
The important festivals celebrated are Holi in March, Hanuman Jayanti and Dusshera in September-October and Diwali in November.
Places of Interest
Bilaspur as a city, however, will always keep you on your toes as a tourist. Some of the places which are worth a visit are Mahamaya Mandit in Ratanpur, Kanan Pendari Zoo, Mungeli Maa Mahamaya Mandir, Rani Sati Mandir, Amarkantak (a beautiful place from where the rivers Narmada and Son originate) and others. The Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, popularly known as ATR, located within the district’s limits at a distance of 78 km is a must-visit.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is the Raipur Airport at a distance of 128 km.
The city has its own railway station, the Bilaspur Junction Railway Station, which is one of the major stations in the area.
Mostly state transport buses cater to the needs of passengers in the region. A few smaller private operators are active too. You can book bus online from various bus booking websites