Mandi district popularly known as Mandavya Nagar in the ancient times is one of the districts of Himachal Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Mandi city. For the first time Mandi district was emerged after the merger of the two princely states likewise Mandi and Suket on 15th April, 1948. Some of its natives also believe that the term Mandi is taken from the Hindi term 'mandi' meaning 'market' since it was a significant trade route from Ladakh to some locations in Punjab such as Hoshiarpur and many more. There are some interesting mythological stories associated with the district. During the days of yore, the sacred rishi named Mandavaya performed penance for a long period and practiced austerities on his body on the bank of the river Beas, situated near the Mandi town. The Beas valley near to Mandi has a number of striking vales such as those of Uhl and Ran Khad. The story depicts the mesmerizing natural sceneries that are surrounded by hills, clad in pines. The place is famous for its large number ancient temples and beautiful carved stone. The fruit tree cover almost about 15% of the total area of Mandi district under fruit tree cover in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The raw silk of Mandi has acquired wide fame and the rock salt mines at Drang and Guma are special features of the district’s economy. With abundant deposit of rock salt and limestone, possibilities are being investigated for the existence of magnasite coal and china clay.
Kangana Ranaut, an eminent Indian film actress who has established a career in Bollywood and famed as one of the highest-paid actresses in India was born on 23rd March, 1987 at Bhambla, in the Mandi district. She has been conferred with several prestigious awards including three National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards in four different categories.
Geographically, the district lies at 31°71'N latitude, 76°93'E longitude and 760 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 44.95% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,950 sq kms and it is bounded by Kangra on the north-west, Hamirpur and Bilaspur on the west, Arki tehsil of Solan district on the south, Shimla district on the south-west and Kullu district on the east. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1709.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 17 sub-districts, 5 towns and 3,338 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 9,99,777 out of which 4,98,065 are males and 5,01,712 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1007 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 10.92% including 11.21% were males and 10.64% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 98.16% of the total population. As per 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.15%. The population density in the district is 253 (persons per sq. km.). In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 10,078 out of which 5,127 were males and 4,951 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 6,005 out of which 3,454 were males and 2,551 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agriculture. Furthermore, Mandi is the one of the most rapidly growing cities of the Himachal Pradesh. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, pulses, millets, tea, sesame seed, groundnut, sunflower oil and herbal products. Its Balh Valley is renowned for producing wheat, paddy and other vegetable crop in a large number. The irrigation facility of the district is a boon for its agricultural sector. The HP government established a milk processing plant in the district named H.P. State Co-Operation-Milk-Federation at Chakkar, 8 km. from Mandi. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from this milk processing plant helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is also rich in mineral resources. It has abundant deposits of salt and limestone. But it is scantly industrialised since it has only a few agro-based industries. In the year 2015-2016 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 11,53,890 lakh at current price in the year 2011-2012. In the year 2015-16 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 9,99,807 lakh at current price in the year 2011-2012. In the year 2015-2016 the Per Capita Income was in Rs. 96,052 at Current Price in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are DAV Centenary Public School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Mandi Public School, Indus World School, Vijay Government Senior Secondary School, Government Senior Secondary School(Girls), Sarswati Vidya Mandir, Sai Public School, St. Xavier Residential School, DAV Sr. Secondary School, Anglo Sanskrit Model School, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 81.53% including 89.56% are males and 73.66% are females. The district has a literates of 7,23,747 out of which 3,93,669 are males and 3,30,078 are females.
Kaul Singh Thakur, a veteran India politician and the current Health and Family Welfare minister in Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was born on 23rd November, 1945 at Sambal in the Mandi district. He has also served as the Pradesh Congress President of Himachal for two times. He is a member of the Indian National Congress party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Dev Balakameshwar temple, located at a distance of almost 13 km. from Mandi is an ancient temple. Every year a large number of pilgrims from far off places come to this temple in order to offer their prayers. Rewalsar laken in the district, famed for its floating islands of reed is believed that the position of all these seven islands can be changed by prayer or breeze. It is bounded by three shrines likewise a Buddhist monastery, a Sikh gurudwara and a Hindu temple. Barot, situated 66 km. away from Mandi is a picnic spot full of green lashes, beautiful mountains and mesmerising picturesque. It is a perfect destination for nature’s lovers. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Kotli, Dharmpur, Janjehli, Sunder Nagar, Joginder Nagar, Prashar Lake and many more.