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.
Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is known as the hub of India’s tourism sector. It is also among the top 10 preferred entrepreneurial locations in India. Shimla is famous for its apples, natural beauty and architectural buildings. The city has a large number of temples and palaces. Shimla was declared the summer capital of India during British rule.
Places to Stay
Shimla offers a wide variety of options for budget travelers near the main bus stand like Hotel Gulmarg Residency – 3km (Tariff – Rs. 1200-1500), Dreamland Hotel – 2.8km (Tariff – Rs. 600-800), Rajdoot Hotel – 0.2km (Tariff – Rs. 800-1100) and Samrat Regency Hotel - 0.4km (Tariff – Rs. 900-1200).
The Summer Festival held in the month of May is a cultural function with performances. Ruhru Fair, held in April on the banks of river Pabbar is a religious and cultural fair. The Winter Sports festical, running between months December and February, experiences ice skating and ice hockey. The famour MTB (mountain biking festival) is held in Shimla each year.
Tha official language of Shimla is Hindi.
Places to Visit
Jakhoo Hill, highest peak there, offers a great view of Shimla is 2km from main bus station. The Tara Devi Temple, located on top of a hill is 11km from main bus station. Shimla State Museum is located 5km away from the main bus station.
How to Get There
The Jubbarhatti Airport is located 23km from Shimla.
Trains operate from Shimla Railway Station to Kalka and connecting trains can be taken from there onwards.
The Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation operates buses from all cities in the state to Shimla. City Land Travels and Laxmi Holidays are some of the major bus operators here. Booking bus tickets online is the easiest mode of getting your tickets.