He passed away at the age of 62 in his sleep, family sources said.
He is survived by his wife Nirupama and two sons Mihir and India Davis Cupper Harsh.
Mankad played 22 Tests for India with six half-centuries to his name. He started as a middle-order batsman, making his debut against New Zealand in 1969. Later, he also opened the innings. His 97 against Bill Lawry's Australia in 1971 in Delhi took India to a famous win and leveled the four-test series.
The veteran cricketer was also a member of the history-making Indian squads under Ajit Wadekar, which recorded India's first-ever series victories in the West Indies and England in 1971.
After his retirement Mankad worked as the coach. His father Vinoo Mankad also played Test cricket for India, while both his sons are professional tennis player.
The Indian team, who are playing Sri Lanka in Galle are wearing a black arm-band as a mark of respect to him.
The funeral will be held later in the afternoon, the sources added.
Wadekar, Nadkarni pay rich tributes to Ashok Mankad: Former India Test cricketers Wadekar and Nadkarni, who were shocked at the sudden demise of Ashok Mankad, paid floral tributes to their peer who played international and provincial cricket along side.
Former Test skipper and his one-time Ranji and West Zone teammate Ajit Wadekar, while expressing shock at Mankad's death, also said Mankad didn't do justice to his batting skills in Test cricket .
"It's too early for him to depart from us. Perhaps he could have done better had he continued to play in the middle order." "He was a perfect team man who kept the team members in good humour in the dressing room. Wadekar said."
"He was a wonderful middle order batsman who was not allowed to fulfil his potential in his Test career because he was converted into an opening batsman for which he was not well equipped," said former left-arm spinner Nadkarni, who sent a record 23 maiden overs on trot in a test match.
"As a middle order batsman he was solid, on the lines of Polly Umrigar and Chandu Borde. But he got converted into an opener and succeeded too initially. But I always thought he did not have it in him to be an opener," Nadkarni said.
"He was also a fine captain, a good tactician and a very knowledgeable cricketer. Fate has been so cruel to him," Nadkarni rued.