One of the major benefits of living in a cosmopolitan city like Gurgaon is that you find lots of likeminded people and travelling with them is sheer fun.
Last week on Wednesday morning, four of us decided to go to the mountains and visit Dev Bhoomi, Himachal Pradesh.
We assembled at HUDA Metro Station and headed out to Delhi where another of our friends was supposed to join us.
Route : We took the following route
1st stop : Our first night halt was at Mandi, where we reached at 10.30 pm. A friend of a friend, who was travelling with us, had arranged our accommodation at IPH guest house at village Bijani at Mandi on top of a hill.
It was raining when we reached the guest house but still could not stop from admiring the Mandi town below and were totally bowled over when the guest house attendant agreed to serve us dinner on the guest house lawns.
Mandi incidentally is one of the largest cities of Himachal Pradesh with a total area of 23 sq kms and is currently the 2nd largest economy in the state next to Kangra.
It is the 3rd largest by population in state, after Shimla and Solan and serves as the headquarters of Mandi District and Zonal Headquarters of central zone including Districts namely Kullu, Bilaspur, and Hamirpur.
It is also called “Varanasi of Hills” or “Choti Kashi” or “Kashi of Himachal” mainly because Mandi proudly boasts of 81 temples while Benaras has only 80.
It also boasts of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
It was in 1527 that Ajbar Sen established Mandi as the seat of the a princely state. Another historical fact about the city is historical suspension bridge called Victoria Bridge, built in 1877 which connects Jawahar Nagar (Khaliar), Old Mandi (Purani Mandi) to the main city. It is also famous for the International Mandi Shivaratri Fair.
It is approximately 185 km from Chandigarh, and 441 km from New Delhi.
(For our next stop read Dev Bhomi – Day 2)