Mandi is also known as “Chotti Kashi” due to its similarity with Varanasi in respect of Ghats on the bank of Beas River and temples of Lord Shiva near the Ghats. The place is often described as cultural capital of Himachal Pradesh due to its rich culture, traditions and temple architectural heritage. In ancient times Mandi was not only a business centre on the old silk route to Tibet but also a centre for cultural exchange. Mandi, the abode of Baba Bhoot Nath, was known as Mandavya Nagari as Mandav Rishi mediated on a rock, known as Kolsara, in the Beas river. The famous International Shivratri Fair is celebrated every year during months of February/March.
Dieties from different corners of the District throng this town during the fair. People of Mandi are known for their liveliness and distinct life style embedded in faith and traditions. There are many temples in Mandi Town like Triloki Nath Temple at Purani Mandi, Raja Madhav Temple in DC Office Complex, Bhoot Nath Temple at famous Chouhata Bazar, Tarna Shayamkali Temple on Tarna Hills overlooking Mandi Town, Panchvaktra Mahadev Temple on the confluence of Suketi and Beas River, Ardhanareshwar Temple at Samkhetar Street, Bhimakali Temple at Bheuli. In addition many other temples of archaeological and religious importance can be visited. Historical Ghantaghar, Indira Market, Victoria Bridge and Gurudwara are other famous places of interest in the Town. It is a base camp to visit tourist places such as Prashar, Barot, Joginder Nagar, Kamlah Fort, Shikari Devi, Kamrunag, etc.