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About Mandi

Mandi formerly known as Mandav Nagar also known as Sahor is a major city and a municipal council in Mandi District in Himachal Pradesh, India. Mandi is situated about 153 kilometres north of state capital, Shimla. The city of Mandi, experiences pleasant summers and cold winters.

Mandi was established in 1527 by Ajbar Sen as the seat of the Mandi State, a princely state till 1948. Foundation of the city was laid on the establishment of Himachal Pradesh in early 1948. Today, it is usually known for the International Mandi Shivaratri Fair. The city also has the remains of old palaces and prominent examples of ‘colonial’ architecture. The city had one of the oldest buildings of Himachal Pradesh.

Mandi is one of the largest city of Himachal Pradesh with a total area of 23 km2. It is presently the 2nd largest economy in the state next to Kangra.  According to the 2001 Indian census, Mandi city has a population of 60,387. Mandi is the third-largest by population in state, next to Shimla and Solan. Mandi, in the state is having second highest sex ratio of 1013 females per thousand males.

As a tourist place, Mandi is often referred to as "Varanasi of Hills" or "Choti Kashi" or "Kashi of Himachal". People of Mandi proudly boast that while Benaras (Kashi) has 80 temples, Mandi has 81. Mandi is the most fastest developing city of Himachal Pradesh with the 2nd largest economy in the state and the most important major city of central part of Himachal which is located on cross junction of National Highway-20, 21 and 70. It acts as a gateway to Kullu, Lahaul, Leh Ladakh, area of Jammu & Kashmir.

Climate of Mandi

The climate of Mandi is composite having hot summers and cold winters. Mandi usually experiences rainfalls during end of summer season. Mandi city falls in the lower most climatic zone of the Himalayas. These regions enjoys a Wet-sub temperate climate of the foot hills (450-900m) as against the Dry-cold alpine climate with snow fall at higher elevations (2400- 4800mts). Temperatures naturally range from 6.7 °C (44.06 °F) to 39.6 °C (103.28 °F) over the course of a year. The average temperature during summer is between 18.9 °C (66.02 °F) and 39.6 °C (103.28 °F), and between 6.7 °C (44.06 °F) and 26.2 °C (79.16 °F) in winter. Monthly rainfall varies between 25.4 millimetres in November to 228.6 millimetres in August. It is usually about 58.3 millimetres per month during winter and spring and about 101.6 millimetres in June as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 832 millimetres .

Culture of Mandi

The people of Mandi are informally called Mandyalis. Mandeali language is commonly used at local level for communication. Sepu Wadi is the official and main cuisine of Mandi.Dham(Lunch) is generally organised in local marriages, parties and functions.

Clothing in Mandi was Kurta-Pyjama for Boys and Sari-Suits for girls but with the Western Culture arriving to India, Mandi's youth have started wearing Western styles. However, still there are large numbers of people who wear the traditional clothing of Himachal Pradesh. Banthra is the main folk dance performed in theatrical shows in Mandi and is the official folk dance of the District.

Mandi is also famous for the Mandi Shivaratri Fair, a fair which was held for seven days in the month of March every year. The celebration of Shivratri of Mandi is said to have started in the year 1526 to memorialize the foundation of present-day Mandi. Before this, the capital of Mandi was on the right bank of the river Beas, which is now known as Old Mandi (Purani Mandi). Mandi hosts a half marathon every year.

Once when the tenth guru of the Sikhs was on a visit to Mandi, the king of Mandi invited him to stay at the royal palace. The guru accepted the invitation to stay in Mandi but not with the king. He put up outside the town in a quiet place, which had once been the hermitage of a rishi (Indian sage). The guru was touched by the king’s devotion and prophesized that Mandi would ever remain safe and if any enemy tries to harm it, bolts from heaven would crush the invader. He considered Mandi the safest place on the planet.

History of Mandi

Princely state of Mandi was founded by Bahu Sen in 1200 AD. But Ajbar Sen was the one who founded historical city of Mandi in 1526 AD. The present District of Mandi was formed with the merger of two princely states Mandi State and Suket (Sundernagar) on the 15 April 1948, when the State of Himachal Pradesh was established. Ajbar Sen assassinated Mandi, it led to beginning of modern period of Mandi history. Old Mandi capital was deserted and the site of present capital was attained. Some historians put the selection of present capital in the year 1527 AD. The statue of Madho Rai, the presiding deity of Mandi and personification of Lord Vishnu is said to be made by Goldsmith Bhima, in 1648. Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied Mandi in 1839 but Ranjit Singh died on 27 June 1839. It was beginning of breakdown of Sikh powers in the hills and British power pppeared as most powerful. In 1849, Princely states of Mandi, Suket and Chamba were put under the control of Superintendent 'Cis-Satluj States'. Lala Lajpat Rai visited Mandi during 1906 to organize the revolutionary activities. Revolt occurred in Mandi State against the repressive, corrupt and arrogant administration of Raja Bhawani Sen and his Wazir Jiwa Nand Paddha. This revolt was led by Shobha Ram in 1909. A famous revolutionary of Mandi, Hardev Ram joined revolutionary band of loyalists in 1913. He went to Shanghai, Japan and America where he met Dr. Mathura Singh and Lala Hardayal. Another revolutionary of Mandi Bhai Hirda Ram started participating in revolutionary activities in 1914. He joined Kartar Singh Sarba, Bhai Parma Nand Ras Behari Bose, Sant Baba Wasakha Singh Dadehar, Pingle and Mathura Singh.

In 1915, on the request of Sarla Devi, wife of Bhai Hirda Ram, the Viceroy converted his death sentence into life imprisonment. In the same year, Nagchala Dacoity in Mandi state took place. In Mandi conspiracy case, Mandi revolutionary Sidhu Kharara was sentenced for seven years in 1917. Mandi Legislative Council was constituted in 1933. Swami Purna Nand of Mandi was elected as president of "Himalayan Hill states regional Council" was founded in 1945 & Pt. Padam Dev became its general secretary. The session of "Himalayan Hill states regional Council" was held at Mandi from March 8, 1946 to March 10, 1946. It was also attended by INA activists Dhillon, Sehgal and Shahnawaj. So finally, Mandi came into existence on April 15, 1948. Suraj Sen ruled over Mandi at time of Damdama Mahal of Mandi. Until the mid 20th century, Mandi was on the trade route between Yarkant County and Ladakh to Hoshiarpur and the Indian plains, served as commercial hub and trade centre.


Mandi is built on the banks of the Beas River, at the convergence of the Suketi Khad stream. Ghugar Dhar , Dhar Kot and Sikandar Dhar are some of the famous hills and mountains which were founded near the city. Mandi is located in the north-west Himalayas at an average elevation of 1,044 metres (3,425 ft).  It lies on the Midlands of the Himalyan range. There is great variation in the climatic conditions of Himachal due to extreme variation in elevation. The climate varies from hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern areas to alpine, cold and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges with more elevation.

Religious Places of worship in Mandi

Mandi has more than 300 old and new temples. Because of the large number of temples and its location along River Beas, Mandi is also known as 'Chhoti (Small) Kashi'. Most of the temples are devoted to Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva. There are many classical temples which the Archaeological Survey of India has declared 'protected monuments' due to their historical significance, the primary ones being:

1) Ardhanarisvara temple
At the Ardhanarisvara temple Lord Shiva appears in a composite form with the right half as male and the left half as female - symbolizing the male and female principles of celestial evolution. There are some exquisite temples along the College Road, and the banks of the Beas are lined with many more.

2) Triloknath Temple
Triloknath Temple is located on the right bank of the Beas River.

3) Mata Kuan Rani Temple
Mata Kuan Rani Temple consists of a slate-roofed temple over a deep well which is dedicated to the 'Princess of the Well' and celebrates the time when, according to legend, Mandarava, the Princess of Sahor (Mandi), became a companion of Padmasambhava. The king became angry and condemned them both to death in a fire which raged for seven days. After the smoke cleared there was a lake with a lotus in it, 'Rewalsar' or Tso Pema .

4) Panchvaktra Temple
Panchvaktra Temple  is located at the convergence of Suketi and Beas rivers the Panchvaktra temple houses the five-faced image of Lord Shiva. Panchvaktra Temple  was built in Shikhara style of architecture; this temple has been taken over by Archeological Survey of India and declared as national heritage monument.

5) Bhootnath Temple
Bhootnath Temple almost identical with Mandi. it is  located in its very heart, this is as old as the city itself, and dates back to the 1520s. In March, the festival of Shivratri is a major event and the Bhootnath temple is its focus. For and entire week the city celebrates the arrival of hundreds of local deities on highly decorated palanquins.

6) Vishvakarma temple
Viśwákarman is the incarnate influence and the abstract form of the creator God according to theRigveda. He is the presiding deity of all architects and craftsmen. He is believed to be the "Principal Architect of the Universe ", and the root concept of the later Upanishadic Brahman / Purusha.

7) Bhima Kali Temple
Bhima Kali Temple is situated on the bank of Beas river near Beas Sadan on Mandi Pathankot National highway.

8) Syamakall Temple
Syamakall Temple also called the temple of Tarna Devi is situated about 2–3 km from centre of city, this is high on Tarna Hill which rises above the city. It was founded Raja Syama Sen in the 17th century after a particularly trying time, when the goddess gave him success. Other Temples in Mandi within the city is a absolute roll-call of shrines. Apart from the emotions they suggest, they also have a wealth of classical architecture and elaborate sculpture.

9) Gyarah Rudra temple
At the Gyarah Rudra temple famous 'Amarnath darshan' takes place, the temple is decorated to resemble the Amarnath cave.

10) Tarna Temple, also called Shyama Kali temple - Tarna Temple was founded by king Shyam Sen at the top of hill named as Tarna Hill, at an elevation of 300 feet above sea level. Tarna temple houses the image of Godess Kaali, Lord Shiva and others. There about 305 stairs path to the temple from main bazar.

11) Shikari Mata temple - Shikari Mata temple  is situated at a distance of 10 km from janjehli. The temple is all about Goddess "Shikari Devi" and people visits here in masses to accolades for their well being. Its a striking and scenariatic place with mountains seems to avoiding each other but the clouds more often use to get them in touch.

Gurudwara at Mandi
Mandi has an historical Gurudwara in honour of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru, who spent some time in Mandi. The people and the ruler greetd him with great warmth and supported the Guru in his war against the oppressive rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb; it is said that the city has the Guru's blessings. The Gurdwara is also unofficially referred to as Gurudwara Palang Sahab, because the Guru's Bed 'Palang' is still preserved here.

Tourist Attractions in Mandi

Sunken Garden (Indira Market)
It is a
lush green garden with a flourishing shopping complex Sunken Garden in Mandi is a display of hill architecture. A pagoda-type structure with a clock tower is the major attraction in the garden. Behind this wonderful structure there lies a terrible story of the erstwhile Mandi king, who killed his own son in law and buried him in the present day Sunken garden. 

Kamlah Fort
This fort stands on terrifying terrain but it can be trekkers’ delight. Kamlah-Fort was named after Kamlah Baba who was a local saint, the fort stands on uneven ranges of Sikandar Dhar. The fort stands at an elevation of 4772 feet. The main entrance to the fort is almost complex. The fort remained unconquerable for centuries; but it fell in 1840, into the hands of Bentura, Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s general. It was restored to Mandi kings in 1846.

Rewalsar Lake
Rewalsar Lake is well-known for its floating islands of reed. It lies in a mountain hollow. It is believed that all seven of them can be moved by prayer or breeze. Boating facilities are  also available here. There are three shrines here, a Buddhist Monastery, where complex customs are performed, a Sikh Gurudwara and a Hindu Temple. It was from this place that the sage Padma Sambhava, a enthusiastic teacher of Buddhism, left as a missionary to preach the doctrine of "the enlightened" in Tibet. The lake is held holy to all three communities

Prashar Lake
Prashar Lake lies 49 km north of Mandi, with a three storied pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage Prashar. The Lake is located at an elevation of 2730 m above sea level., The lake is held sacred with deep blue waters to the sage Prashar and he is regarded to have meditated there. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and looking down on the fast flowing river Beas, the lake can be approached via Drang.

Victoria Suspension Bridge
It was founded in 1877 A.D. which separates Jawahar Nagar (Khaliar), Old Mandi (Purani Mandi) from Main City.

Sundernagar is famous for its temples which is located at an elevation of 1,174 metres on the raised edge of a fertile valley, the town of Sundernagar is known for its shady walks amidst towering trees. On top of a hill, is the Sukhdev Vatika and temple of Mahamaya. The biggest hydro-electric project in all Asia, the Beas-Sutlej project, irrigating about one-fourth of the northern plains of India, has brought unique prosperity to Sudernagar. The Beas-Sutlej link colony is the biggest colony in Himachal Pradesh.

Janjehli is located at a distance of 80 km from Mandi City, Janjehli is a heaven for hikers, offering treks up to a height of 3,300 metres. After covering 32 km by a motorable road up to Gohar and rest of the journey is on foot. In the midst of thick forest, forests (15 km from Gohar) is Bajahi. Chindi and Karsog are also nice places for meditation. Janlehli is also famous for adventure activities like-trekking, skiing, night safari and mountneering etc.

How to reach Mandi

By Rail
Kiratpur is the nearest railway station to Mandi, which is about 125 km away. Kiratpur is well connected to all other Indian cities via Chandigarh.

By Road
State owned bus services are available which connects Mandi to other cities in and around. Mandi is well connected to other tourist destinations near by in Himachal by private deluxe bus services.

By Air
Bhuntar is the nearest airport to Mandi, which is about 59 km away from Mandi. Bhuntar is connected to Delhi by air. Delhi is the major nearest airport, which is about 460 km away from Mandi. Delhi airport is linked with all major cities in India and many cities abroad.



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