The historically eminent, spiritually significant and amazingly panoramic Mandi is spread out along the banks of River Beas. A commercial hub and a former capital of the princely state, the heritage town retains its historic charm and character. The town was founded in circa 1526 AD and at the creation of Himachal Pradesh on 15 April, 1948, it made the district headquarter by merger of the princely states of Mandi and Suket.

Beside the river ghats and among the town’s streets are over 80 stone temples that are decorated with religious motifs and well-chiselled idols of gods and goddesses. The temple of  Bhootnath, Trilokinath, Panchvaktra and other important temples have ordained Mandi as the ‘Varanasi of the Hills’ or ‘Choti Kashi’.

Bhoothnath Temple: Mandi's most famous temple, Bhoothnath temple is believed to be the shrine around which the township was founded. A tale narrates that one day a cattle grazer noticed that a cow with a full udder was releasing milk spontaneously on a piece of rock. Word spread around the valley. Shiva, lord of the Himalayas, appeared in the dream of Raja Ajbar Sen, the ruler of the area. The lord made a revelation to the king that the piece of rock was holy and was representative of Shiva Linga as a manifestation of ‘Bhoothnath' - destroyer of evil. A temple in the Shikara architecture style was constructed at the site and the relic has been housed in it since then. 

Trilokinath Temple: Manifest as the all-powerful lord presiding over the three worlds of heaven, earth and hell, which is depicted in the three headed idol at the Trilokinath Temple, this is one of the most important temples of Mandi.

Panchvaktra Temple: As one who holds the five elements, earth, water, air, fire and ether together, the five-headed Shiva at Panchvaktra Temple is a highly revered shrine. Located at the confluence of Suketi and Beas rivers, the temple has very scenic surroundings. 

Ardhnarishvara Temple: Portrayed in a complex humanist form, the idol at Ardhnarishvara Temple represents Shiva in a composite half-male and half-female form as being the bearer of all creativity.

Tarna Devi Hill: Overlooking Mandi township in the valley, atop Tarna Hill, is the 17th century Syamakali Temple, dedicated to goddess Kali. Being a consort of Lord Shiva, the goddess is worshipped for her ferocity in dealing with evil.A week-long festival of Shivratri, held every year in February-March, is when the entire town wears a decorative look. Over 200 village deities (devtas) with their followers from near and far visit Mandi for Shivratri, where stalls laden with local merchandise are set up; exhibitions, sporting events and entertaining cultural programmes in the evenings are held to complete the festive moments of the fair.

The town of Mandi is well connected by road from all major cities.