Visiting India’s last village is a dream of off-road travelers, and Mana Village in Uttarakhand is the last village in India’s Chamoli district. Located on the border of India and Tibet/China in the Himalayas, it is situated at a height of 10133 feet from sea level. This village has everything that a tourist expects, such as a range of Himalayan Mountain, a gorgeous view of the river Saraswati along with shimmering waterfalls floating massive amounts of water on its rocky surface. The valley passing through the river looks astonishing. This article will take you through my experience of India’s last village, Mana Village.
How to Reach Mana Village
Mana Village is located at a distance of 3 km from Badrinath Dham. One needs to reach the Badrinath and then take a taxi or local bus to Mana village.
Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to reach the Mana village. Once you land at the airport then take the buses going towards the Badrinath Dham. The distance is close to 320 km from Dehradun.
Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun are the nearest railhead to reach India’s last village. Rishikesh and Hardiwar are much closer to each other. The distance from each railway station is close to 280 km. Once you get down at the railway station, head towards the bus booking office outside the station or bus depot to reach the Badrinath. You can also hire private taxis to reach Mana village. Remember all the buses leave early in the morning between 3 am to 7 am to reach Badrinath Dham. If you hire private taxi or share taxi then it will also leave in the morning only. Night driving is dangerous on those roads so all transportation runs in the morning only.
You can hire private taxis or own a vehicle to reach the last village. The road that passes through the Govind Ghat is very scenic and a dream come true. The journey normally takes 7 to 8 hours to reach the Mana village. You may find many bikers traveling to Badrinath on a bike.
Why is Mana Village Mentioned in the Mahabharata?
Mana village has some kind of connection with India’s last village. It is said that Pandavas from Mahabharata crossed Mana village during their final journey to heaven. The exit to the heaven was from this village. This village also has a stone bridge, also known as ‘Bhim Pool,’ and this stone has put up on the Saraswati river. This is associated with Bheema, one of the five Pandavas brothers. Apart from this stone bridge, there are divine caves like Vyas Gufa and Ganesh Gufa. Vyas Gufa is the place where Ved Vyasa narrated the Mahabharata for the first time, and this challenge was initiated by Lord Ganesha.
The Curiosity and Preparation
Before visiting Mana, I researched the village on social media and was curious about the history and culture of the place. Mana has a significant mention in Mahabharata, which made me even more eager to explore it. The village is located at a distance of 3 km from Badrinath Dham, and one can reach it via local bus or private taxi. I chose the latter option to explore the photogenic places around the village.
The Journey to Mana
As we reached the entrance of Mana, we halted the taxi to take a picture at the entrance gate, which is a popular spot for photography. The view of the Saraswati River from the road is breathtaking, and the farming of cabbage and kidney beans on the way to the village adds to the charm. The local people look beautiful in their traditional attire, and the woolen clothing market is a must-visit for those planning a snow trip.
The Exploration of Mana
The first thing we explored in Mana was the Ganesh Caves and Vyas Caves, followed by the last tea shop in India, ‘Bharat ki akhiri chay ki dukan.’ We had Maggi and tea at the tea shop and were impressed with the taste. The 5700-year-old holy cave has a small shrine dedicated to Vyas, who wrote the Vedas, and the Bheem Pool, created by Bheema, is a must-visit. The Mata Murti temple near Bheem Pool is also worth exploring, and the shimmering water of the Saraswati River makes for some excellent pictures.
The Border and Trekking Points
Mana village is located at a distance of 30 km from the China border, which can also be seen from the village. The Swargarohini Mountain is another picturesque spot in the vicinity. Mana village offers multiple trekking points, including Satopanth lake trek, Parvati, Nilkantha Peaks, and the Valley of Flowers. These treks take a few days to complete and are only accessible during the six months of summer due to heavy snowfall.
The Ideal Time and Precautions
The ideal time to visit Mana village is from May to October, and the temperature ranges from 2 degrees to 8 degrees in the daytime and 2 degrees to -8 at night time. Visitors must carry proper winter clothing to explore the village, and heavy monsoons should be avoided.
Where to Eat in Mana Village?
Mana village has multiple small restaurants and huts selling Maggi and tea, but the variety of food is limited. Those looking for more options can explore the restaurants near the Badrinath temple.
Exploring Mana village was a refreshing experience amidst the Himalayan Mountains, and I recommend everyone to visit this picturesque destination at least once in their lifetime. The village’s rich history, culture, and scenic beauty make it a must-visit for all travel enthusiasts.