IIT Mandi is currently split into two campuses. The old (temporary) campus is in the Mandi town and the new campus is being built in Kamand which is about an hour's drive into the hills from Mandi. We are staying in the guest house which is in Mandi (used to be the old PWD guest house that has been taken over by IIT). Saurabh's classes are in the Kamad campus where he goes thrice a week.
Mandi is a beautiful and historic town. Something that immediately strikes you is how clean the town is (in fact, not just Mandi but all of Himachal from what we have seen so far). Plastic bags are no where to be seen - all shopkeepers make their own paper bags from newspapers. Roads are very clean. In general, Himachal is known to be one of the model states in the country from the point of human development indicators and good governance. There is plenty of water (yet high awareness about judicious use of water), electricity supply, good implementation of government schemes in education, public health, sanitation, employment guarantee etc. And to add to this, the state offers unparalleled natural beauty.
Mandi is also known as Chhoti Kashi and has countless temples. I'm especially fond of the small hilltop temples that are numerous and apparently on every hillock here. Each of them appears to have its own history, beautiful trails in the hills leading up to it and gorgeous views from the top.
Here are pictures of some of the things we enjoy close to our guest house.
A view of the Mandi town and the Beas river. Our guest house is nestled on a hill situated between two rivers - Beas and Suketi Khad
The road outside our guest house
A view of the academic block of IIT Mandi (borrowed from Vallabh govt college) from the guest house
Children's playground and the Bhima Kali temple- these are across the river from the guest house. We have been visiting these often in the evenings
The playground is huge and has numerous rides. No playground in Mumbai can match this (imagine, no wait for any ride!)
View from the Bhima Kali temple in the evening
The serene temple right in our backyard. It is a short 15 minute trek from our guest house up the same hill where we are. We've already been here thrice during the day time. Great place for the kids to play and have a picnic.
And ofcourse, one of the biggest attractions for the kids - Vishal bhaiya! My colleague from CTARA who now works in IIT Mandi and spoils the boys no end