We’ve started a new series called “Know Your District” in which we are giving all the related information one should know either to enhance their knowledge of Himachal Pradesh or preparing for any Competitive Exams.
Last Updated : 19-07-2020, 15:02
Suket State was one of the Princely states of India during the period of the British Raj. The capital of the state was Pangna. Formerly it belonged to the States of the Punjab Hills and currently, it is part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The present-day Mandi district was formed with the merger of the two princely states of Mandi and Suket.
- The picturesque hill station of Mandi (800 m above sea level) is shrouded in history and owes its name to the sage Mandava. Popularly known as the ” Varanasi of the Hills” or “Chhoti Kaashi” .
- The 2001 Census has recorded a population of 9.01 lakhs.
- The people of Mandi follow an agrarian economy and cultivate rice, pulses, millets, tea, sesame seed, groundnut, sunflower oil, and herbal products.
- The total population of Mandi is 9,99,518 according to the census of 2001 (Wikipedia). Among which 4,96,787 are male and 5,02,731 are female.
- Tehsils : Mandi, Chachyot, Thunag, Karsog, Kotli Jogindernagar, Padhar, Ladbhadol, Sundernagar, Sarkaghat, Balh, Aut, Nihri, Sandhol, Dharampur, Baldwara and Balichowki.
- Sub Tehsil : Pangna, Chattari, Makreri.
- Gram Panchayat: 473
- Loksabha Constituency: Mandi, Hamirpur
- Assembly Constituency: Karsog, Seraj, Nachan, Sundernagar, Balh, Sarkaghat, Dharampur, Jogindernagar, Drang, Mandi Sadar.
- Language: Hindi, Mandyali, Punjabi, and Pahari.
- Main River: Beas, Satluj.
The area had been under the control of Ranas or Thakurs. The only place that has an early mention in literature is Rewalsar and it is mentioned in the Skanda Purana as a sacred place of pilgrimage.
- Karnpur, a small village is said to have been founded by Karan, a hero of the Mahabharata.
- A temple at Gumma points to the locality where the Pandavas sheltered themselves when they attempt to burn them down failed.
- According to the Tibetan tradition, Padam Sambhav (750-800 AD), the great Buddhist Patriarch, who was summoned by king Tisong-De-Tsen of Tibet for preaching Buddhism, hailed from Zahor, which represents the country round about Rewalsar.
- The 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 Indraprastha(Delhi), until one Khemraj was driven out by his Wazir, Bisarp, who then took over the throne.
- Khemraj, having lost his kingdom, fled eastward and settled in Bengal, where 13 of his successors are said to have ruled for 350 years.
- The separation of Mandi from Suket took place about the year 1200 AD. Up to that time, it was the single state of Suket.
- Mandi emerged as a separate state in the beginning 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.
- Ajbar Sen was the first great ruler of Mandi. He was probably the first to assume the designation of Raja.
- He 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 1678 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.
- Raja Sidh Sen 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 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.
The present District Of Mandi was formed with the merger of these 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 witnessed any changes in its jurisdiction.
REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITIES IN MANDI
Lala Lajpat Rai visited Mandi during the year 1906, to conduct the revolutionary activities. While there was a Revolt that occurred in the state of Mandi against the corrupt and profane administration of the ‘King Bhawani Sen’ and his fellowmen called ‘Wazir Jiwa Nand Paddha’. This revolt was later held by the Shobha Ram in the year 1909 AD.
Hardev Ram (an important revolutionist of Mandi) was associated with the revolutionary band of the nationalists in the year 1913 AD. This person went to different countries such as Shanghai, Japan, and America to meet Mr. Lala Hardayal and Dr. Mathura Singh.
During the year 1915, due to the request made by Mrs. Sarla Devi (wife of Bhai Hirda Ram), the punishment of the Viceroy was changed from the death sentence into life imprisonment. At the same time, another person called the ‘Nagchala Dacoity’ took place in the town of Mandi. In Mandi’s confederacy case, ‘Sidhu Kharara’ (a Mandi revolutionary) was put to death for about 7 years during the year 1917.
FAIR & FESTIVALS
The people of the district celebrate various festivals almost round the year. As Hindus constitute the major population of the district, all Hindu festivals like Dussehra, Diwali, Holi, Baishakhi and Shivratri, etc. are celebrated with great pomp and show. Some of the important fairs and festivals being celebrated in the district are briefly hereunder:
Prashar fair is held near the lake of same name located at a distance of about 40 kms. from Mandi town in the month of June.
Kau/Kao fair is held in the honour of Kamaksha Devi at Kau village located at a distance of 6 kms. from Karsog in the month of June.
Kuthah fair is held in honour of Tangwasi deity at Kuthah village located at a distance of 12 kms. from Thunag in the month of May.
Markandya Rishi Fair: Again in the month of May, a fair is held at Bali Chowki in the honour of Markandya Rishi.
Hurang Narain Fair: In the month of July/August, a fair is held in Hurang village in Chuhar valley in the honour of deity Hurang Narain. This fair is known as Narkhan fair and held for three days after every five years.
Chuhar valley Fair: In the month of April, a fair is held in the honour of the deities of Chuhar valley at Jogindarnagar.
Nalwari Fair: However, a cattle fair is also held in the month of March at Sundarnagar. This fair is known as Nalwar fair. In this fair traders and farmers, mostly from Kullu and Kangra districts, come to buy and sell bullocks and other cattles. The fair is organized near Lindi Khad. Nalwar fair is known as a very old cattle fair of Mandi district.
Shivratri Fair: This fair is held in the month of Phalguna (February/March) on the Krishna Chaturdashi or the 14th day of waning moon and continues for eight to ten days. According to the legend, the Shivratri fair of Mandi was started by Raja Ajber Sen 300-400 years ago at Purani Mandi. There was no other temple of Lord Shiva except that of Trilok Nath built by Raja Ajber Sen.
Mamail Fair: The fair is held to commemorate the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana and attended by the villagers of the surrounding areas. The temple of Mamleshwar at Mamail is at a distance of 2 Kms. from Karsog. Vijay Dashmi fair is held there every year on the 11th day of the bright half of the lunar month in Asavina (October). According to the local legend, Lord Parshu Ram placed 80 Shivlingas in various parts of Karsog tahsil and the 81st was the image of Mamleshwar Mahadev which emerged itself from the ground.
Mahunag Fair: Bakhari is a small hamlet in Mahu Panchayat circle about 13 kms. from Churag on Shimla-Karsog road where the temple of Mahunag is situated at a height of about 2,000 metres. A fair is held on a rectangular piece of land surrounded by tall pine trees, about 2 kms. away from the temple, known as Bagra Dhar on the 2nd and 3rd Jaistah (May) every year. According to a legend, one day, a person was ploughing his field in village Shaindal when the poignant knob of his plough struck an image, which came out.
Rewalsar Fair: Riwalsar fair has a great religious importance and is celebrated on the 10th day of every new year according to the Tibetan calendar. Tibetan year starts sometimes in February/March. Riwalsar fair is also known as Tsechu/Chessu fair which literally means 10th of Dawa Thangpo (1st month). The Buddhists from various parts of the country come to this place to celebrate the birthday of their Guru Padma Sambhav.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Mandi is also known as “Chotti Kashi” due to its similarity with Varanasi in respect of Ghats on the bank of Beas River and temples of Lord Shiva near the Ghats.
- The place is often described as the cultural capital of Himachal Pradesh due to its rich culture, traditions and temple architectural heritage.
- In ancient times Mandi was not only a business centre on the old silk route to Tibet but also a centre for cultural exchange.
- Mandi, the abode of Baba Bhoot Nath, was known as Mandavya Nagari as Mandav Rishi meditated on a rock, known as Kolsara, in the Beas river.
- The famous International Shivratri Fair is celebrated every year during months of February/March.
- There are many temples in Mandi Town like Triloki Nath Temple at Purani Mandi, Raja Madhav Temple in DC Office Complex, Bhoot Nath Temple at famous Chouhata Bazar, Tarna Shayamkali Temple on Tarna Hills overlooking Mandi Town, Panchvaktra Mahadev Temple on the confluence of Suketi and Beas River, Ardhanareshwar Temple at Samkhetar Street, Bhimakali Temple at Bheuli.
- The historic bell house was built in the middle of the city in 1939. The three-storey pagoda style architectural heritage is located in the center of a commercial complex known as Indira Bazar. A lot of bells ring on the first floor.
- A small park known as Subhash Garden, resting around the Gharat home and famous temple of Goddess Siddhi Kali has also been developed.
Victoria Bridge is the first bridge of the town which connects Purani Mandi and Mandi town. It was built by the King of Mandi, Raja Vijayi Singh Sen with help of Britishers in the year of 1877. This bridge had been constructed like the Hanging Victoria Bridge on Tames River in England. This is constructed on the style of the Jhulla bridge and still operational for small vehicles.
- In Mandi, there is a Gurudwara in front of Paddal ground with NH-21 which is an important religious place. Guru Nanak Dev Ji visited Mandi and Guru Gobind Singh Ji stayed for more than six months in Geely.
- The construction of the gurdwara of the Mandi was started by Raja Ajabar Sen in 1527 AD and was later rebuilt by King Jogindra Sen, Rani Amrit Kaur, and the Chief Secretary of the Mandi State, Dinsha Nath.
- Guru Gobind Singh Ji had gifted many things to the king of Mandi, which he donated to the gurudwara.
- Guru Gobind Singh Sahib’s sacred bed, holy ram, sacred gun, holy gun Kapi, and holy flute (still) are still preserved in the gurudwara.
- There is also a rock which is called the Kolasara in Beas river, on which Guru Gobind Singh used to meditate daily during his stay in the Saheb Mandi.
PHOTO ART GALLERY
- About 5 Km from Mandi town on NH-21 towards Kullu a photo art gallery exists and tourists visiting the area can drop in for some time to have a glimpse of history and important places of Himachal from the photographs and artifacts displayed in the art gallery.
TRIVIA and FACTS
- The people of Mandi are informally called Mandyals & Mandeali language is generally used at the local level for communication.
- Sepu Vadi is the official and main cuisine of Mandi which is served in Dham(Lunch) organized in local marriages, functions, and parties.
- 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 tenth guru of the Sikhs considered Mandi the safest place on the planet.
- Mandi shares borders with Shimla, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Solan, Kangra, and Kullu. There is no other district with such accessibility.
- Balh valley of Sundarnagar block and Sandhol areas along the Beas river of Dharmpur block and Jogindarnagar valley are the only major areas in producing cereals in the district which cater to the demand of sizeable population of the district.
- There is an agricultural workshop functioning at Bhangrotu where facilities for designing and testing of improved agricultural implements also for service and repair of all types of farm machinery are available.
- There are four potato development stations and five seed multiplication farms in the district.
The lift irrigation has been introduced and shallow wells have been dug by employing German rigs supplied under the Indo-German Agriculture Projects in the valley areas.
- Apple orchards are located predominantly in Karsog, Chachyot and Thunag.
- The most common delicious varities of apple grown in the district are royal rich-e-red, red and golden.
- The plum varieties found in the district are sentaroza and merycoza.
- Unmarketable surplus fruits of the district and adjoining areas are utilized in two canning cum fruit preservation plants at Panarsa and Jarol.
- Apple juice processing plant at Jarol is proving a boom to the horticulturists in providing ready markets for their surplus apples.
- An olive station is functioning at Karsog.
- Exotic trout fish was introduced in the district from Kullu.
- These species are found in Uhl, Lambadag and Tirthan.
- The fisheries resources of the rivers are very rich and Mahasheer fish is found in river Satluj near Dehar and Barbustor, Labeo diplostomus (Gid) Labeo dyochelous (Kuni) and Oreigus Sinuatus (Himalayan Barbel) for the main food fishery are found in both the rivers of Beas and Satluj and their tributaries.
- A trout hatchery is maintained well stocked at Barot on river Uhl.
- Two jersey cattle breeding farms at Kamand and Karsog have been functioning to supply improved breed animals and two feed and fodder development centres are functioning at Kamand and Sinog.
- A dairy plant at Chakkar has been set up by the Animal Husbandry Dept. in collaboration with the Indo-German programme, which sells quality milk ghee and table butter.
- One sheep breeding station for pure merino sheep started at Nagwain to improve the breed of sheep under Indo-German programme is functioning in the district.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM MANDI
JAI RAM THAKUR
- Jai Ram Thakur (born 6 January 1965) is an Indian politician, who is the 14th and the current Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.
He was elected the BJP legislative party leader on 24 December 2017 afterthe defeat of Chief Ministerial candidate of BJP, Prem Kumar Dhumal in the assembly elections held in November 2017.
- He is a 5th time MLA in Himachal Pradesh Assembly winning continuously since 1998 and has previously served as a Cabinet Minister in the BJP Government of Himachal Pradesh.
- He was the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj from 2009-2012. He is elected to Himachal Pradesh Assembly from Seraj Assembly constituency of Mandi district.
- He won his first election in the year 1998 from now delimited constituency of Chachiot (Seraj)
- Rishi Dhawan (born 19 February 1990) is a medium-fast bowling all-rounder who bats in the middle-order.
- Dhawan has played for Kings XI Punjab in the 2008 IPL. He was signed-up by the Mumbai Indians in 2013. In February 2017, he was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders team for the 2017 Indian Premier League for 55 lakhs.
- He made his One Day International debut for India against Australia on 17 January 2016. He made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club on 18 June 2016.
- He was the leading run-scorer for Himachal Pradesh in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy, with 519 runs in eight matches.
- Kangana Ranaut born 23 March 1987 is an Indian actress and filmmaker who works in Hindi films.
- The recipient of several awards, including three National Film Awards and four Filmfare Awards, she has featured six times in Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list.
- In 2020, the Government of India awarded her with the Padma Shri.
- Born in Bhambla, a small town in Himachal Pradesh.
The Mandi conspiracy was carried out in 1914-15 under the influence of the Gadhr party. Meetings were held in Mandi and Suket states in December 1914 and January 1915 and it was decided to murder the Superintendent and Wazir of Mandi and Suket, to loot the treasury, blow to up the bridge over Beas river. However conspirators were caught and sentenced to long terms in prison.
Reference from: Himachal Govt, Wikipedia and other sites
Read more: Know your District – Solan