By:Meetanjali Sood Kalra
Karsog in the subdivision of Mandi is a small town bordering Shimla. The place can be easily reached from Shimla by road and taking a stop over at Tattapani can calm a long journey.
Karsog with its splendid beauty and spiritual calm looks like the natural home of gods. The crisscrossed steps of apple and peach orchards that surround the entire valley makes the whole landscape look very charismatic. The town is also one of the most picturesque locations of Himachal. Temples like Mahaleshwara Mahadev, Kamaksha Mata, Churag, and Mahunag make an interesting outing to the place but the most visited and talked out attraction around Karog is the village of Chindi, which has tourists across the country and throughout the year. The best time to come here is between April and July as summers here are mostly mild and winters have sunny afternoons with colder nights. People come here to relax and be away from the hustle and bustle of fast paced cities. Chindi not only has peaceful ambience but also is truly a nature lover’s treat.
The temple of Mamleshwar Mahadev at Mamel is just few kilometers away from Karsog and dates back to the period of Mahabharata. The temple is said to have founded by Pandavas and has an architecture mix of wood and slate. The main attraction of this temple is the statue of Lord Shiv and Parvati, which is made of Asht Dhatu, a metal. The temple has a great significance among the locals, as just alongside this statue there is a wheat grain, which is said to weigh more than hundred grams and just about few years back around eighty Shivlings were found underneath the walls of the temple.
There are many other tourist spots around Karsog like the Kamaksha Devi Temple and Mahunag Temple that bifurcates from Dharmour. The temple was named Mahunag by Raja Karan and is also one of the most visited temples of the region. A little away towards the village of Kau is the famous temple of Kamaksha Mata and is a good example of carving skills of the locals. The festival of Dushera is celebrated on a large scale with in the premises of the temple and many buffaloes are sacrificed here every year in honor of mother goddess.
Driving towards Mandi comes the village of Pangana, from where the rulers of Suket have said to rule the entire region until their capital was shifted to Sundernagar. Dense cover of forest and acute scenic views surrounds the village and the most remarkable landmark of Pangan is the centuries old Devi Kot temple. The statues of goddess Mahamaya and princess of Suket, Chardavati are still standing in the compound of this temple.
The famous temple of Shikari Devi is just few kilometers away from Karsog and is an open-air temple in the middle of dense forest and beautiful scenery. The goddess is worshipped and visited by people from around the country. The hill of Shikari Devi stands here as a divider of Karsog and Janjehli which is one of the highest peaks and a trekking destination of Karsog valley. The Janjheli trek is an interesting one where one can encounter the most serene beauty of nature. The hiking route to Jhanjeli starts from Bajahi, which could also be used as a transit as there is a rest house here. The entire journey to Jhanjeli could be a fascinating and refreshing break for anyone and can be covered in seven to eight hours. Another treks to Magru Galu, Rampur and Gadagush could be interesting too.