Mandi Shivratri fair is one of the international fair held each year on Mahashivratri day in Mandi and continues for a week. On this festival, people bring hundreds of Gods and Goddesses in their Rath. People carry them on shoulders and assemble in Paddal, the venue of the fair. The gathering of the deities in beautifully decorated palanquins amid sounds of trumpets and drums transforms Mandi town a venue with great fun and folic.
Here are some photographs of Mandi Shivratri Fair2016
Mandi, located on the Chandigarh-Manali national highway-21, is dotted with more than 80 temples built in typical hill architecture.
The prominent temples are those of Bhutnath, Triloki Nath, Jagannath, Tarna Devi and Jalpa Devi.
The rulers of Mandi state were devotees of Lord Shiva.
Legend has it that ruler Sen (1499-1534) saw in his dreams a cow offering milk to an idol of Lord Shiva. His dream became reality because, according to legend, he actually once saw a cow make a milk offering to an idol.
That was when the ruler constructed a temple in 1526 – the Bhutnath temple – dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The foundation of Mandi town was laid at the same time, and Sen later shifted his capital here.
The administration has since been inviting deities to the Shivratri festivities here, ever since the rule of princely states came to an end. The administration also offers an honorarium to the “kardars” (attendants of deities) for participating in the festival.
Every year, the festival attracts scores of tourists. Many researchers studying local gods and goddesses also arrive at this time.