Mandi is situated 145 km away from Shimla, and is often referred to as "Choti Kashi" or "Varanasi of Hills" or "Kashi of Himachal". Mandi is the base for the trekking as well. To start the Prashar lake trek, move to Bagi village from Mandi and then start the trekking. It is the first heritage city of the state. The international Mandi Shivaratri Fair is the center of attraction. The city has the buildings of the colonial architecture. The sex ratio of the district is 1013 females per thousand males and 2nd highest as of now.
It serves as the zonal headquarters of the Kullu, Bilaspur, and Hamirpur and headquarters of Mandi District. The former name is Mandav Nagar and the name is taken from the Great Sage Rishi 'Mandav'.
Nearest airport is Bhuntar airport which is 75 km from Mandi. Pathankot and Mandi are connected by National Highway 20. Auto-rickshaws are the main means of tourist’s transportation. The region is accessible throughout the year through the road and air. There is no rail route available yet but one is proposed.