The historic town of Mandi (800 m) is built along the banks of the river Beas. It has long been an important commercial centre and the sage Mandva is said to have meditated here. This one time capital of the princely state of Mandi is a fast developing town that still retains much of its original charm and character. Today, it is a district headquarters. Mandi is renowned for its 81 old stone temples and their enormous range of fine carving, it is often called the 'Varanasi of the Hills'. The town has remains of old palaces and notable examples of 'colonial' architecture.
PLACES OF INTEREST
About 25 km from Mandi, 14 km from Ner Chownk is the Rewalsar lake, famous for its floating islands of reed. It is believed that all seven of them can be moved by prayer or breeze. There are three shrines here, a Buddhist Monastery, where elaborate rituals are performed, a Sikh Gurudwara and a Hindu Temple. It was from this place that the sage Padma Sambhava, a zealous teacher of Buddhism, left as a missionary to preach the doctrine of "the enlightened" in Tibet. Lying in a mountain hollow, the lake is held sacred to all three communities, boating facilities are available.
This Lake lies 40 k.m. north of Mandi, with a three storied pagoda like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar.
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