25 Feb 2016

Famous Maha Shivratri Fair in Mandi - Himachal Pradesh

Mandi Shivratri Fair is an international fair that is celebrated annually for a week in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh on Shivratri. This festival starts on the day of Shivratri & ends after seven days. The Mandi Shivratri fair is celebrated according to the Hindu calendar. Shivratri of Mandi is very popular festival also known as International Shivratri. Large number of God & Goddess are invited in this festival through its 81 temples. Mandi is also known as Varanasi of the Hills. Mandi town is located on the bank of Beas River. It is also known as Cathedral of temples.There are 81 temples of different gods & goddesses. Several legends are linked to the celebration of this event

The historical Shivratri fair of Mandi , which was started by Raja Ajbar Sen in Purani Mandi around 400 years ago, revolves  around Mado Rao (Lord Vishnu)temple & Bhootnath temple(Lord Shiva) of Mandi.

This fair is particularly famous as this special fair transforms Mandi into a venue of grand celebration for gathering of all gods & goddesses. It is said that more than 200 deities assembles here from starting day of Shivratri. During the festival large number of gods & goddesses come to the ground where this festival takes place. All these gods are brought in palkis via Brahmin or Kshatriya and no vehicle is used for transportation. Many of these comes from remote locations which are at a long distance from Mandi town. Gods from other district of Himachal’s also participate in Shivratri festival. It is accepted that every deity that is brought to this festival firstly visits to the Mado Rao temple & pay their obeisance to the Lord Vishnu & then proceed to the palace in a colorful procession called Shobha Yatra to honour the ruler ( the regent of the Lord Mado Rai). The ruler thereafter pay obeisance to Lord Shiva at the Bhootnath temple where the main festival of Shivratri is held.  There is a pageant of gods held every day with folk bands, dancers & devotees in Paddal Ground.

Apart from deities gathering, there are various activities held in the fair such as sports,dance, cultural programs & trade activities. It is said that the festivities promote handcrafted jewellery of the region. There are so many stalls in the fair of local products such as wool, opium, honey, walnut & ghee(butter oil). This fair has also a very high commercial value. During the entire Mandi Shivratri Fair, religiosity is the main theme.  

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4 Feb 2016

Top 5 Most Popular Destinations to Visit in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh A Northern Indian state in Himalayas . Himachal Pradesh is also known as "Dev Bhoomi". Himachal Pradesh is famous for its natural beauty & no doubt,  It is one of the most beautiful tourist place in the world. Himachal Pradesh surrounded by Himalayas . Himachal Pradesh is boarded by Jammu & Kashmir on north , Punjab on west , Uttar Pradesh on the south & Uttaranchal on the east. Himachal Pradesh is known for its trekking, climbing & skiing and scenic mountain towns. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh .Himachal Pradesh is also known as " State of Apple". Himachal Pradesh is located at the higher altitudes around 6500 meters above the sea level.

Summers stay from April - June with a comfortable climate whereas winters are chilly because of heavy snowfalls. Himachal Pradesh has several hill stations which are the most appropriate destination to find respite from the scorching summer heat.

Here is the list of some popular destinations of Himachal Pradesh:-

1. Kullu Manali - Manali is a high altitude Himalayan resort town in India's Northen Himachal Pradesh . It is one of the best Honeymoon destination. Manali is situated on the banks of Beas River. Chandigarh is the nearest airport approximately 252 km's away . Nearest rail head is also in Chandigarh, 270 Kms away. Kullu is 570 Kms from Delhi via road.


In Manali local sight seeing's are Hadimba Temple , Vashisth Temple , Rohtang Pass , Solang Valley & Golaba . Manali is also famous for Rafting, Paragliding & Camping. Paragliding & Skiing can be enjoyed at Ssolang valley or Rohtangpass area. Rafting can be enjoyed in Manali at Pirdi near Kullu.

Vashisth Temple Manali

Manali's Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering And Allied Sports is regularly conducting skiing courses on Solang slopes. Rope way can also be enjoyed at Solang valley. By taking a ride in the ropeway to Mt. Phatru at an elevation of 3200 meters & enchanting its breath breaking views is definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

Read Also: Bijli Mahadev Temple

The Solang valley is also blessed with a natural ice shivling which forms in winter and remains till late summer at Anjani Mahadev.

2. Shimla – Shimla is the capital of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is a beautiful hill station. Shimla is also Known as “Queen of Hills”. Shimla derives its name from “Goddess Shyamla “, who is supposed to be an avatar of Goddess Kali. This beautiful hill station was discovered by British, who immediately fell in love with Shimla. Shimla has a pleasant weather all over the Year, so can be visited at any time.

Shimla airport is at Jubbarhatti 23Kms (i.e.14Miles) from the main city. There are no regular commercial flights to the city. Nearest major airport is Chandigarh Airport about 116Km away. In Shimla, local sightseeing’s are The Ridge, The Mall, Christ Church, Jakhu Temple, Scandal Point , Tara Devi Temple, Lakkar Bazar, Bhimkali Temple, Kufri, Chail, Sankat Mochan Temple, Kali Bari Temple , Golf Course Naldehra & St. Mary Church. Skiing ,ice skating, mountaineering & paragliding can also be enjoyed at Shimla.

Also Visit: Jakhu Temple Shimla

Kalka Shimla Railway is also known for Dramatic views of hills & surrounding villages.

Shimla is a very peaceful & beautiful hill station. Shimla is covered with natural beauty. It is also a best place for honeymoon. Climate of Shimla is very pleasant throughout the year. Shimla is also full of greenery which is very useful to refresh the mind.

3. Dharamshala & MacLeod Ganj :- Dharamshala is situated in Distt. Kangra of Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala is the district headquarters. Dharamshala is 18 Kilometers from Kangra. Dharamshala is covered with dense pine & deodar forests. There are numerous streams , attractive surrounding & nearby snowline, fresh air. It is a very peaceful place. Dharamshala has everything for perfect holidays.

Gaggal is the nearest airport i.e. 13 Km away. Pathankot is the nearest railway station i.e. 85km away & the toy train station is 17 km at Kangra.

There are so many local sightseeing in Dharamshala. Ice skating , paragliding & trekking can be enjoyed in this beautiful hill station. The main attraction of Dharamshala is Triund . Triund is the jewel of Dharamshala.
Kangra has many ancient temples like Brijeshwari , Chamunda, Jawalamukhi & Bhagsunath. Kangra fort is also the main attraction of Kangra. Kangra art museum , Kotwali Bazar, St. John’s Church, Naddi, International Cricket Stadium,Mcleod Ganj Market, Bhagsu Water Fall, Mcleod Ganj Monastery, Dalai Lama Temple & Dharamkot are the main places of Kangra to visit.

4. Chamba Dalhousie :- Dalhousie is a hill station in Chamba Distt. at Himachal Pradesh. It covers  an area of 14 sq. km. and is built on five hills – Kathlog , Patreyn, Tehra, Bakrota & Balun. It is surrounded by snow capped peaks. It is situated on an elevation of 2400 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by numerous vegetation – pines , deodars & flowering.

Dalhousie is 52Km from Chamba. The nearest railway station is Pathankot i.e. 80 Km away. Gaggal airport is the nearest airport in Kangra is at the distance of 135Km.

Dalhousie has charming colonial architecture, including some beautiful churches. It is situated on the bank of river Ravi. The spectacular snow-covered Dhauladhar mountains are also visible from this beautiful hill station.
The major attraction of Dalhousie is Chowgan, Dainkund, Khajjiar, Bakrota Hills, Dalhousie Cantonment, Village Lohali, Gandhi Chowk, Tibetan Market, Panchpula, Sadar Bazar, Kalatop & Kalatop forest.

Khajjiar is the one of the major attraction of Chamba. It is also known as Mini Switzerland of India. Khajjiar is 23 Km from Chamba. At Khajjiar most interested places to visit are Dhauladhar Mountains, Khajjiar Lake & Khajjinag temple. In the temple, there is life size wooden images of the five Pandav brothers. Trekking & horse riding can be enjoyed at Khajjiar.

5. Kasauli :- Kasauli is a small hill station in Distt. Solan at Himachal Pradesh. Kasauli reflects the influence of colonial rule. The views from here are spectacular. The upper & lower malls run through Kasauli’s length and one can enjoy longs walks. A mixed forest of pine, oak & huge horse-chestnut encircles the town. Its colonial ambiance is reinforced by stretch of cobbled road, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards.

The closest railway station is Kalka i.e. 37 km away. The closest airport is at Chandigarh i.e. 65Km & Shimla i.e. 73 km.

Also visit: Jatoli Temple Solan
The major attraction of Kasauli’s is Monkey Point, Baptist Church, Central Research Institute, Christ Church, Gurudwara Shri Nanak Ji, Kasauli Brewery, Kasauli Club, Nahri Temple, Baba Balak Nath Temple , Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir & Dagshai .