Mandi formerly known as Mandav Nagar, also known as Sahor, is a major town and a municipal council in Mandi District in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated 153 kilometres (95 mi) north of state capital, Shimla. Located in the north-west Himalayas at an average altitude of 850 metres (2,790 ft), the city of Mandi, experiences pleasant summers and cold winters. Mandi is connected to the Pathankot through National Highway 20 which is almost 220 km(140 mi) long and to Manali and Chandigarh through National Highway 21 which is 323 km(201 mi) long. Mandi is approximately 184.6 km (114.7 mi) from Chandigarh, the nearest major city, and 440.9 km (273.9 mi) from New Delhi, the national capital. According to the 2011 Indian census, Mandi city has a population of 26,422. Mandi district is currently the 2nd largest economy in the state next to Kangra. Mandi, in the state is having second highest sex ratio of 1013 females per thousand males. It serves as the headquarters of Mandi District and Zonal Headquarters of central zone including Districts namely Kullu, Bilaspur, and Hamirpur. As a tourist place, Mandi is often referred to as "Varanasi of Hills" or "Choti Kashi" or "Kashi of Himachal". Also, Mandi is the starting point for the famous trek of the region Prashar lake trek. From Mandi, trekkers go to Bagi village, which serves as the base village for Prashar lake. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is a premier institute located in the city. This one time capital of the princely state of Mandi is a fast developing city that still retains much of its original charm and character. The city 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 widely known for the International Mandi Shivaratri Fair. The city also has the remains of old palaces and notable examples of ‘colonial’ architecture. The city had one of the oldest buildings of Himachal Pradesh. The name "mandi" (and the former name "Mandav Nagar") has its roots from Great Sage Rishi 'Mandav' who prayed in this area, and the rocks turned black due to the severity of his penance. Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the common word mandi which means "market" in Hindi. It may possibly be connected with the Sanskrit root mandaptika, meaning "an open hall or shed,". While the city's name has always been pronounced in the local language, the anglicized version "Mandav Nagar" was the official name until it was changed to "Mandi". This change is now the most widely used name for the city.Mandi is renowned for its 81 ancient old stone Shaivite temples and their enormous range of fine carving. Because of this, it is also often called the "Varanasi of the Hills". The present District of Mandi was formed with the merger of two princely states, Mandi State and Suket State, on 15 April 1948, when the State of Himachal Pradesh was established. 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. Local transport in Mandi is generally by auto-rikshaw, bus or private vehicles. Tourist taxis are also an option. The taxi station is located right in front of Seri Stage. Auto-rikshaws are the main means of transport in Mandi and are available almost 24 hours.The nearest airport to Mandi is the Bhuntar Airport, about 75 km from Mandi city. Mandi is connected to Pathankot through National Highway 20 which is almost 220 km (140 mi) long and to Manali and Chandigarh through National Highway 21 which is 323 km (201 mi) long. Munish Resorts, Visco Resorts and Regent Palms Hotel are the most famous resorts in Mandi. Some other hotels are Raj Mahal, Amar Atithi, Ashoka Holiday Inn, Hotel Evening Plaza, Mandav Hotel(HPTDC), Surbhi Hotel, Hotel Yamini. Most people come to Mandi through Delhi or Chandigarh. From Delhi The distance between Delhi and Mandi is about 475 km. This distance can be covered in approximately 12 hrs by bus. The alternative to reach Mandi from Delhi is to travel by train up to Kiratpur Sahib by Delhi-Una Himachal express (4553). From Kiratpur, there is a bus. All the buses going from Delhi and Chandigarh to Mandi have to pass through Kiratpur. Also, you can take NH 1 to Ambala and NH 22 to Chandigarh before taking NH 21 to Mandi. From Chandigarh From Chandigarh there are buses to Mandi and Manali. The buses from Delhi pass through Chandigarh and some buses start from Chandigarh itself. The distance between Chandigarh and Mandi is 200 km. This distance can be covered in approximately 6 hrs by bus. By taxi, it may take around 5 hrs. By Air The nearest airport to Mandi is the Kullu Airport at Bhuntar, about 75 km from Mandi city. This is a small domestic airport; only small aircraft fly to Kullu. Flights to Kullu are restricted only from Delhi, and Shimla. From Delhi, flights to Kullu take about 90 minutes by Indian Airlines or Kingfisher Airlines. By Rail There is currently no railway, but one is proposed. There is a proposal to extend the Kangra Valley Railway to Mandi, and connect it to a new Bilaspur-Mandi-Leh Railway. The nearest railway station currently is the Jogindernagar Railway Station almost 50 km from the city; this is the current terminus of the Kangra Valley Railway. 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 dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Goddess Kali. There are many classical temples which the Archaeological Survey of India has declared 'protected monuments' due to their historical significance, the primary ones being: the 'Panchvaktra Temple', situated at the confluence of River Bea and Suketi Khad, 'Ardhnareshwar Temple', which is one of very few temples of its kind in India. 'Triloknath Temple' is located on the right bank of the Beas River. The Mata Kuan Rani Temple, consisting 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 consort 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 (Tibetan: 'Lotus Lake'). 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 welcomed him with great warmth and supported the Guru in his war against the tyrannical 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. There are two mosques in Mandi city,one is in jail road and other is in Ramnagar (mangwayi).In both the mosques along with five times namaz (prayer), namaz-e-juma (Friday prayer) and namaz-e-Eid is also offered. There is also a mosque (Madina Mosque) near IIT Mandi North campus in the "Salgi" village, 16 km from main Mandi City.

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