Mana – A voyage to the heavens…..

“The beauty of the natural world lies in the details”     

                                                                                                                     Natalie Angier

Surrounded with spectacular scenic Himalayan hills, in the shadows of the holy town Badrinath, is pitched a beautiful tiny village in Uttarakhand- Mana. The last Indian village on the Indo China border known for its dazzling vistas and fascinating history that is scattered around. On the banks of the River Saraswati about 3kms from Badrinath, Mana Village (offbeat destination) is situated at a height of 3219 meters. Maharishi Vyas dictated the Mahabharat to Lord Ganesh here and Pandavas the heroes of the epic found themselves on their way to heavens. It is worth to see interestingly different waterfalls and knowing the legends behind it. River Saraswati, which is believed to travel underground all through until Triveni Sangam in Allahabad, can be seen here in brief. Bheem (Pandav) placed a rock to form a bridge across the river to help Draupadi (wife of Pandavas) along with Pandavas to walk through the river during their journey to heaven which is now called the Bheem Pul.

Getting hereMana village is connected with Haridwar / Rishikesh directly through NH-58 along with Badrinath and Joshimath towns. The nearest railhead is located at Haridwar which is around 275 km from the village. From there nomad travel through bus or hire taxi for Mana village.

Mana has lots of gems to stopover !!!

Vyasa Gufa- The rock cave is believed to be the place where saint Vyas wrote Mahabharata and classified the Hindu Vedas into 4 parts. The holy cave is believed to be over 5000 years old.

Ganesha Gufa- It is believed that Lord Ganesha wrote Mahabharata as dictated by Rishi Vyas here. The cave is surrounded by lush green meadows and beautiful temples. It’s a good escape for a traveller from an exhausting routine.

Tapt Kunda - The Tapt Kund is a group of natural sulphur springs situated on the bank of river Alaknanda. It is said that when Lord Vishnu was happy with Agni Dev’s (Fire God’s) penance, he granted a boon to eternally live in the form of this kund here. The kund can free the devotees from the sins who come to take a holy dip in it.

Vasudhara- Vasudhara is one of the highest waterfall in Uttarakhand. The fall descends from a massive 144 meters high mountain cliff and provides a bathing shower for devotees and trekking enthusiasts. The water of the fall is rich in minerals and is known for its medicinal values. Devotees often take water from the fall for religious practices. A wonderful place to relax nomad’s  mind!

Adventurous trek routes from Mana !!!

The Trek to Vasudhara Falls

It is said the Vasudhara falls would not shower on sinners! This 5 km trail which formed a part of Pandavas’ path to heaven will take one through heaven too, The mounds of flowers that route its path, the blue sky, the twisting stone-cobbled way and the magnificent peaks whose silent existence accompany traveller will leave their imprints in traveller’s mind forever.

The Trek to Satopanth Lake

Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh – the holy trinity is said to take bath in the pristine waters of this holy lake. The first thing that strikes is the strange ethereal ambience of the lake, quiet and gentle in a perfectly triangular shape. Satopanth Tal trek is just for hardcore trekkers. The trek will take more than a day to finish and one would be able to also enjoy the fascinating Sahastradhara falls. Magnificent trek to wander!

The Trek to Charanpaduka

The trek till Charanpaduka leads nomad to the rock that as believed contains Lord Vishnu’s footprints. One can receive the amazing views of Narayan Peak and Neelkanth Peak from the site. The 3 km trek takes you towards a picturesque as well as religiously revered destination.

Inhabitants of Mana                                                     

Inhabitants of the Mana village are the last generation of Bhotia community of Mongolian tribes who use to trade with Tibet during earlier days. Mana is a small hamlet with about 185 households and a population of about 700. Decorated and carved small cottages add the grace to the land of myths and secrets. Mana is famous for woolen garments, shawls, caps, muffler, pankhi (kind of blanket), carpet etc. Apart from this Mana is famous for its potatoes and kidney beans.

Aakhiri Chai ki dukaan

As a ritual, people drink tea here in ‘India’s last tea shop’. The shop is running  since  last 35 years near Vyas Cave that proudly displays the signboard.

The majestic mountains, the sparkling waters and the haunting beauty, all around, simply add gems to this tiny paradise!