Ajbar Sen established Mandi in 1527 as the seat of the a princely state. Now Mandi is one of the largest cities of Himachal Pradesh with a total area of 23 sq kms and is currently the 2nd largest economy in the state next to Kangra. It is the 3rd largest by population in state, after Shimla and Solan and serves as the headquarters of Mandi District and Zonal Headquarters of central zone including Districts namely Kullu, Bilaspur, and Hamirpur. It also boasts of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). It is also called "Varanasi of Hills" or "Choti Kashi" or "Kashi of Himachal" mainly because Mandi proudly boasts of 81 temples while Benaras has only 80. Mandi is also famous for the International Mandi Shivaratri Fair. Another landmark of the city is historical suspension bridge called Victoria Bridge, built in 1877 which connects Jawahar Nagar (Khaliar), Old Mandi (Purani Mandi) to the main city.