Located on the banks of river Beas and Suketi Khad, Mandi is centred on a sunken shopping complex called Indira Market, with terraced steps on the north side. Mandi with 81 temple dotting across the small town is known as the 'Kashi of the Hills'. Mandi is the gateway to the Kullu valley and is a place where the main roads from Shimla Dharamshala and Kullu converges.
Mandi because of the large number of temples and its location along River Beas is also known as 'Chhoti Kashi'. Most of the temples in Mandi are dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Goddess Kali. Some of the temples in Mandi like 'Panchvaktra Temple' 'Ardhnareshwar Temple' has been declared as protected monuments by Archaeological Survey of India.
Janjehli valley, 65 Km from Mandi is an offbeat location near Mandi which can be used as the base for treks to places like Shikari Devi, Chindi, Karsag and Shoja.
Approximately 50 kms from Mandi Prashar lake and temple is a great trekking trail in Mandi. Prashar lake located at a height of 2730 m is held sacred and there is a temple dedicated to Prashar who was the grandson of Maharishi Vashisht on the banks of the lake. The 3 tier pagoda like temple would remind one of Hadimba temple in Manali. The trek to Prashar lake starts at Baggi and the trekking trail is approximately 8.5 kms long. Prashar lake trek is a good winter trek when the area around the lake would be covered in snow.
Padmasambhava lived and meditated in Rewalsar and a 12m high statue of Padmasambhava has been erected on the hillside at Rewalsar. Sarkidhar a village set in a valley higher up has seven holy lakes and on top of the hill is the temple of Naina Dev-Ji.