Mana Village -The Last Village of India
Have you ever heard about the last Indian village? I bet many of you don’t. But to tell you, there is really such a place in our country which is known as India’s last village. Not far from Badrinath Dham, this place is Mana village located in Chamoli, Uttarakhand.
If you ask what’s special about this place then the answer is the door to heaven. Yes, Mana village is the place which is said to have the direct path that leads someone to the doors of heaven. This is the reason why this place is mystical in nature. Settled on the bank of Saraswati river, Mana village is next to Badrinath at a distance of 3 km and on the India-Tibet borders.
The ancient name of Mana village was Manibhadra. Mana is known for its ancient temples and caves that belong to the Mahabharat times. People visiting Badrinath often explore this mystical spot.The myths in Mana mostly related to the Mahabharata stories. It is said that when Pandavas passed through the surface of Mana to go to heaven, they sought a way from river Sarawati. But when the river didn’t offer them the way, Bhim threw two heavy rocks into the river and bridge the way to heaven himself. This bridge is now famous as Bhim Pul.
There is one more myth related to Lord Ganesh writing the epic Mahabharata on the bank of Saraswati river. The Saraswati river was flowing in the state of full turbulence which distributed the Ganesh in executing his work. He requested Saraswati to serene down but she didn’t. Angered by this attitude of Sarawati, Lord Ganesha cursed her for extinction.
What more to See in Mana
- Vyas Cave Temple: There is the famous Vyas Temple in Mana dedicated to Sage Ved Vyas who was the author of Mahabharata. This cave temple was the residence of Sage Vyas during his exile period. The temple houses the idol of Ved Vyas along with his sons Shukrdev and Vallabhacharya.
- Ganesh Cave: Ganesh Gufa was the place where Lord Ganesha wrote the legendary Mahabharat epic as narrated by Sage Ved Vyas. This cave is evidence of that myth associated with the place.
- Mana Pass: Approx 50 km from Mana is Mana Pass (World’s highest road), the dream of every road rider. Mana Pass is a mountain-pass route accessible to take rides. The Mana Pass is located close to the India-China border and is strictly in the watch and ward of the Indian army. One has to take permission from the armed forces to ride in the pass.
- Bhim Pul: The two heavy rocks that formed the bridge to cross River Sarawati is said to have been created by the Bhim, one of the Pandava brothers. This bridge has been stood still since Bhim, one of the Pandava created it. There is another rock near Bhimpul where the huge footprint of Bhim can be witnessed.
Activities to Enjoy
Trekking and hiking are the most enjoyable activities in Mana. Mana is the trek station or base camp to many trekking destinations such as Lake Satopanth, Swargarohini Glacier (the way to heaven), Mana Pass, Vasudhara Falls and Charan Paduka.
There is an old tea shop in Mana famously known as The Last Tea Shop. Tea lovers can enjoy the tasty hot tea and green tea from here. Mana is famous for potatoes and Rajma. Don’t forget to give a taste to the famous rajma curry of Mana village.
Mana is also a good place to shop for woollen clothes such as shawls, mufflers, caps, sweaters, etc. The sheep wool is used to weave these warm clothes.
Transport to Reach Mana
Reaching Mana through roadways are the preferred option as this place is not reachable through railways and airways. One has to take cabs, taxis, buses or autos to reach Mana. And if you are near Badrinath, you can choose to walk afoot to approx 3kms and you will reach Mana.
Best Timings to visit Mana Village
Mana is mostly packed with tourists between June-November when the Badrinath and Kedarnath doors are opened for visitation. This is the best to enjoy time in Mana. Avoiding rainy days would be a good decision as there is much risk during monsoons.