A brief history of Mandi district


The present District Of Mandi was formed with the merger of two princely states Mandi and Suket on 15th April 1948, when the State of Himachal Pradesh came into existence. Ever since the formation of the district, it has not witnessd any changes in it’s jurisdiction.

333.jpgThe chiefs of Mandi and Suket are said to be from a common ancestor of the Chandravanshi line of Rajputs of Sena dynasty of Bengal and they claim their descent from the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. The ancestors of the line believed to have ruled for 1,700 years in Indarprastha(Delhi), until one Khemraj was driven out by his Wazir, Bisarp, who then took

over the throne. Khemraj, having lost his knogdom, fled eastward and settled in Bengal, where 13 of his successors are said to have ruled for 350 years. From there they had to flee to Ropar in Punjab, but here also the king, Rup Sen, was killed and one of his sons, Bir Sen, fled to the hills and reached Suket.The State of Suket is said to have been founded by Bir Sen, an ancestor of the Sena Dynasty of Bengal. The seperation of Mandi from suket took place about the year 1200 AD. Upto that time, it was the single state of Suket. The then reigning chief Sahu Sen had a quarrel with his younger brother Bahu Sen, who left Suket to seek his fortunes elsewhere. Bahu Sen after leaving Suket settled at Manglan in Kullu, where his descendents lived for 11 generations. Then then chief, Kranchan Sen was killed fighting against the Kullu Raja and his Rani, who was pregnant at that time. fled alone to her father who was the chief of Seokot, who had no son. Here she gave birth to a baby boy who was named Ban, the tree under which he was born. Ban had hardly crossed the age of 15 when he defeated the chief of Kilti who used to plunder travellers.On the death of the chief of Seokot, Ban succeeded to the chiefship of Seokot. He, after some time killed the Rana of Sakor and took posesssion of his lands. he then changed his residence to Bhiu, on the banks of Beas and a few miles from the present Mandi town.

A view of the Shikari temple of Mandi district after heavy snowfall.hm1.jpg

Mandi emerged as a seperate state in the begining of the sixteenth century. Down the line of descendants of Ban came Ajbar Sen, nineteenth in descent from Bahu Sen, who founded Mandi Town in 1527 AD, the capital of the erstwhile state of Mandi and the headquarters of the now Mandi District. Ajbar Sen was the first great ruler of Mandi. He was probably the first to assume the designation of Raja. He consolidated the territories that he had inherited and added to them new ones that he wrested from the hands of his neighbours. He built a palace here and adorned it with four towers. He also built the temple of Bhut Nath and his Rani constructed that of Trilok Nath.

Down the line of descendants was Raja Sidh Sen, who succeeded Raja Gur Sen in 1978 AD. Mandi had never been so powerful before his reign and after that never was. He captured great areas from the adjoining areas. it was during his reign that Guru Govind Singh, the tenth guru of the sikhs visited Mandi in the close of the 17th century. He had been imprisoned by Raja singh, the chief of Kullu, from whom he had sought assistance against Mughal troops and his followers believe that Guruji escaped by using miraculous powers. Raja Sidh Sen, who is also considered to be a posessor of great miraculous powers, entertained his with great hospitality. He built the great tank before the palace. He also built the temples of “Sidh Ganesha” and “Trilokinath”.

The entire history of both the states of Mandi and Suket is littered with wars with among themselves and other adjoining states. These two states had always been rivals and generally enemies, but there was no great result of their warfare. The fertile valley of Balh was the common ground of desire and dispute.

On 21st February 1846 the chiefs of Mandi and Suket visited Mr. Erskine, Suprintendent of the Hill States for the British Government, owing their allegiance to the Britishers and securing their protection. on 9th march, 1846 a treaty was concluded between the British Government and the Sikh Durbar whereby the whole of the Doab area between the Beas and the Sutlej was ceeded to the British Government, and this included the ststes of Mandi and Suket also.

On 1st November 1921, both the state of Mandi and Suket were transferred from the political control of Punjab Government to that of Government of India till 15th August 1947, India’s Independence Day.


Population 900987 Census 2001
Male 447221
Female 453716
Rural 840029
Urban 60958
Sex Ratio 1014 Female/Male
Density of Population 228 Person/Sq. Kms.
Literacy Rate 75.86
Male 86.67
Female 65.36
Geographical Area    
Forest Area 173421
Cultivated Area 161181
Unculturable Land 24988
Land put to non-agri uses 101843
Parti Land 11313

Courtesy: http://www.indianngos.com/

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  1. says: Lt Col S K Vaidya

    Educative. Really the history of our town is hardly known to any one. There is a lot which could have been added incl the latest improvements in the town and Distt. Overall a commendable effort. Keep it up. All the best.

    1. says: Amal

      An apple on a stick….you make me laugh! I hope when/if I’m pregnant one day, I’m as cute as you! :-)That is such a cvtaeire way to use POM juice. I definitely couldn’t think of a cvtaeire way to use it!

  2. says: Jagdish Kapoor

    People of Mandi are everywhere and they should know their history . We should be thankful the person who has taken so much pain.We should also proud that we belong to such nice placeand also help the person who belongs to this nice state.

  3. says: Ajay

    Mandi (old name Mandav Nagar). Legend has it that the Great sage ‘Mandav’ prayed in this area, and the rocks turned black due to the severity of his penance, the town was referred to as Mandvya Nagari in his honour.
    Mandi has more than 300 old and new temples. Because of large number of temple sand its location along River Beas Mandi is also known as ‘Chhoti (Small) Kashi’. Most of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali. There are many classical temples which the Archaeological Survey of India has declared ‘protected monuments’ due to their historical significance, the primary ones being:’Panchvaktra Temple’, situated at the confluence of River Beas and Suketi khad, ‘Ardhnareshwar Temple’, which is one of the very few temples of its kind in India. ‘Triloknath Temple’ located on the right bank of river Beas.

    Mandi has a historical Gurudwara in honour of Guru Gobind Singh, who spent some time in Mandi. The people and the ruler welcomed him with great warmth and supported Guru in his war against the tyrannical rule of Aurangzeb; it is said that the Town has Guru’s blessings. The Gurdwara is also unofficially referred to as Gurudwara PalangSahab, because Guru’s Bed ‘Palang’ is still preserved here.
    Places of interest : Sunken Garden ( Indira Market ) ,
    Tarna Temple, also called Shyama Kali temple ,
    Bhima Kali Temple ,
    Panchvaktra Temple ,
    Kangri Dhar ,
    Rewalsar Lake ,
    Prashar Lake ,
    and Kamlah-Fort . ( Mandi has a historical Gurudwara in honour of Guru Gobind Singh, who spent some time in Mandi ).
    Mandi is also famous for the Shivratri an International fair held for seven days in the month of March every year. Mandi hosts a half marathon every year.
    Ajay from The Hague, Netherlands.
    [email protected]

  4. says: Mitter Singh Thakur from Salahar

    Mandi is Heaven guys. . . .
    Mandi is renowned for everything study,fashion,agriculture,art gallries,muesuem,Indira Market,Lake,canel,vally,forest,inocent people, but the most famous thing is Mata Shikari temple. . . . . .

  5. says: sanjay mandyal

    historical data is incomplete anangpal sen matrenal grandfather of famed prthviaj chauhan was last sen king of delhi was descendent of khemrj.prthviraj chauhan succeeded him on delhi throne .with defeat of prthviraj in battle of tarain sen royality migrated to bihar bengal where they ruled till1600s when last hindu ruler of bihar was chased out of bihar killed in bengal by mugal genrel shujat khan his .laxman sen ‘s son rup sen fled to present day ropar then setup as roop pur after his name .

  6. says: Rajkumar

    But as the history goes, the sen dynasty of Bengal started from Samanta sen who migrated from Karnataka (Chikamagalore area) to West Bengal with his followers who spoke a dravidian tongue(of course kannada) and followed South Indian costumes and culture.They gradually adopted the language and culture and customs of Bengal so much so that his grandson Ballal Sen was accepted as the leader of Bengali society. Again, Rup sen, a Bengali speaking Sen Price moved to Punjab and his son Bir sen to himachal pradesh and in course of time they forgot Bengali and adopted Hindi language,customs and culture of Himachal Pradesh as their own. All this shows Pan Indian integrity.(These are excerpts from book-The Sens of Himachal Pradesh by Dr. B Chakravarthy published in 1999).

  7. says: Navdeep Sen

    what a great history of a great state . further the Ajbar Sen built the golden tarna devi temple of mandi in which the interior is of gold . and in the name of last king joginder sen the name of joginder nagar comes into existance .as it was in the center of himachal and all the trades were managed from here .the last king of the mandi had also worked as the ambessdor of india in brazil.


    Really told by Vijay Mandi was earlier known as Mandavya Nagar dedicated to the name of great Rishi Mandavya&it is more ancient than that of Mandi&Suket states.Mandavaya Rishi is especially mentioned in Bhagwat purraana &Shri mat Devi Bhagwat purraana ,one of the Rishi who cursed Dharamraj to take the rebirth in human yoni as Bidhur in Mahabharata.It is very much mentioned in Devi Bhagwat purraana that it is also known Shakti peeth among 108 Shakti peeths & known as Mandavya peeth of BhagwatiMandvi.

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