Legend has it that the Great Sage ‘Mandav’ prayed in this area, and the rocks turned black due to the severity of his penance, so the town was referred to as Mandvya Nagari in his honour. Mandi has at least 81 ancient Shaivite temples.
Other authors believe that the name ‘Mandi,’ is simply derived from the common word mandi which means “market” in Hindi “and it may possibly be connected with the Sanskrit root mandaptika, meaning “an open hall or shed, . . .” It was, until the mid 20th century, on the trade route between Yarkand and Ladakh to Hoshiarpur and the Indian plains.
Mandi has an average elevation of 750 metres (2,461 feet). It is built on the banks of the Beas River, at the confluence of the Suketi Khad stream.
The River Beas where it runs through the city of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
The present District of Mandi was formed with the merger of two princely states Mandi State and Suket on the 15th April 1948, when the State of Himachal Pradesh was established.
The climate of Mandi is composite having hot summers and cold winters.
As of 2001 India census, Mandi had a population of 56,873. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Mandi has an average literacy rate of 84%, higher than the national average of 65.38%: male literacy is 86%, and female literacy is 82%. In Mandi, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age. Mandi has a mixed population of Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians.
 Area Profile of Mandi Town
As of Census of India 2001
Number of Households – 10,251
Average Household Size(per Household) – 4.0
Population-Total – 56,873
Population-Urban – 56873
Proportion of Urban Population (%) – 100
Population-Rural – 0
Sex Ratio – 888
Population(0-6Years) – 7,595
Sex Ratio(0-6 Year) – 874
SC Population – 7,820
Sex Ratio (SC) – 914
Proportion of SC (%) – 18.0
ST Population – 162
Sex Ratio (ST) – 905
Proportion of ST (%) – 1.0
Literates – 50,476
Illiterates – 6,397
Literacy Rate (%) – 93.0