Culture & Heritage
The people of Mandi are informally called Mandyals & Mandeali language is generally used at local level for communication. Sepu Wadi is the official and main cuisine of Mandi which is served in Dham(Lunch) organised in local marriages, functions and parties.Himachal Darshan Photo Gallery is situated at about 4 km from Mandi near Sauli Khad on the Chandigarh-Manali National highway. This art gallery contains a beautiful collection of photographs of exotic locations of the entire state and reflects the social & cultural heritage of the people of Himachal Pradesh. District Library is located in Emerson House(District Court .Clothing in Mandi was Kurta-Pyjama for Boys and Sari-Suits for girls but with the Western Culture arriving to India, Mandi’s youth have started wearing Western styles. However, there are still large numbers of people who wear the traditional clothing of Himachal Pradesh. Banthra is the main folk dance performed in theatrical shows in Mandi and is the official folk dance of the District.
Mandi is also famous for the International Mandi Shivaratri Fair, a fair held for seven days in the month of March every year. The celebration of Shivratri of Mandi is said to have started in the year 1526 to commemorate the foundation of present-day Mandi. Before this, the capital of Mandi was on the right bank of the river Beas, which is now known as Old Mandi (Purani Mandi). Mandi hosts a half marathon every year.
Once when the tenth guru of the Sikhs was on a visit to Mandi, the king of Mandi invited him to stay at the royal palace. The guru accepted the invitation to stay in Mandi but not with the king. He put up outside the town in a secluded place, which had once been the hermitage of a rishi (Indian sage). The guru was touched by the king’s devotion and prophesized that Mandi would ever remain safe and if any enemy tries to harm it, bolts from heaven would crush the invader. He considered Mandi the safest place on the planet.