The district is endowed with economic resources viz agricultural land growing of cereals, pulses, off season vegetables etc. enriched forest products, various types of roofing slate, salt and ore mines and perennial rivers and streams for generating powers.
The Irrigation projects have also been set up for ample supply of water to the fields.
The district is well connected with road transport and narrow gauge railway lines.
The main agricultural products are wheat, paddy, barley, maize, peas, potato and off-season vegetables besides the production of apple, temperate fruits, sub-tropical fruits, nuts and dry fruits and citrus fruits.
The famous lakes of Rawalsar, Prasher and Kamru Nag are located in the district.
The ‘Mandials’ are a shrewd and business-minded people.
Being situated on the trade route from Tibet to plains in the early period, the people of this district are well awakened.
Mandiali is the principaldialect in the district.
The staple food of the people is wheat, maize and rice.
They have three meals a day; morning meal is locally called kalwar or ‘nuhari’. Lunch is called dupehri, whereas dinner or super is called biali.
The houses are constructed by using raw materials like soil, rocky stone, local wood, stone coated with cement, slate and tin. Houses are constructed of two or three storeyed.
Economically well to do households have started to build the houses by using cement, corrugated sheets and bricks.
Special dishes or feast menu differ according to caste, class, status and economic conditions of the households.
They celebrate various social and religious fair and festivals. In general, the social and cultural life of the people has been quite pleasant.
The district exports guns, which are locally made to the other districts of the state.
The milk production is another characteristic of the district. A diary plant at Chakkar with its five chilling centers at Bhambala, Sidhiani, Kunnu, Kotli and Katanla are functioning in the district.
The milk is supplied to the other districts of the state. The excess milk produced is converted into ghee and table butter during the slack season.
The first powerhouse in the state on the hydroelectric energy was commissioned at Jogindarnagar as Shanan Power House in 1933.
Contribution of the district
This district has given many saints, scholars, and preachers.
It is believed that the name of Mandi was derived from Mandav Rishi who devoted his time to meditation at Kilsar, a place about one and a half kilometres to the east of present Mandi town.
Rishi Lomas, Shuk Dev, and Prashar also traced their originity from Mandi district.
Among the Tibetans, Mandi is known by the name of Zohar and it has an interesting association with the great Buddhist teacher and missionary, Padam Sambhava (AD 750-800), for it was from Zahor or Mandi that he went at the request of the Tibetan King Srongldebtzen to preach the doctrines of Buddhism in Tibet.
It is stated that in his Lamaist representations, Padam Sambhava appears in the ancient Mandi garb, and the special headdress worn by him is still called Zohorma in Tibet.
Mandi Shivratri Fair is famous for its celebration with international fame.
The village deities from various villages of district assemble in this fair.
The District has produced national and international famed players like Smt. Suman Rawat Mehta, S/Shri Des Raj Sharma, and Hem Singh who participated in international competitions and Asiad games and won medals.