Mana village is a quaint tiny hamlet situated on the Indo-Tibetan border. This village is the last village of India and it is now declared as a tourism village of Uttarakhand.
The residents of Mana village are the last generation of Bhotia community of Mongolian tribes. When the Badrinath temple opens after Akshaya Tritaya in May, they come and live here for 6 months to keep the culture and traditions of their tribe alive. The rest of the year they live in Chamouli, which is 100 Km away from Badrinath. The total population of this village is 200.
As you drive from Badrinath you will come across river Saraswathi and small bridges are built over the river connecting one mountain to the other. I noticed that walking is the preferred mode to travel from one place to the other. I saw a guy with around 20 sheep crossing the narrow hanging bridge with the river roaring and tumbling below the bridge!
The “pahadi” / hill people are very simple, honest, and contented. Their houses are small will low sloping roof. They grow vegetables in their backyard and sell them to the restaurants in Badrinath. Mana villagers’ also rare cattle and weave sweater and carpets and sell to the tourists who throng this place.
The Vyas Guha / cave is an interesting place to visit in Mana. You will have to trek around 700 mts to reach this place. For people who cannot walk, there are people who carry them in a small basket for a fee. In this cave meditated Shri Vedavyas, who wrote the epic Mahabharatha. There is small shrine dedicated to Vyas, which is 5000 years old.
There is another cave known as Ganesha Guha. This is the place where Lord Ganesh wrote the Mahabharata as dictated by Veda Vyasa.
Near this temple, is a natural rock that rests over the river known as Bhim pul. Legend says that Bheema (one of the five brothers among pandavas) placed the rock to make way for Draupadi to cross the river during their “Swargarohana”. Another attraction in Mana village is the Vasundhara Waterfall which falls from a height of 145m.
Type of place: Village
Distance: 3 Km from Badrinath
Transport: Well connected by road or you can trek to this place
Facilities: Small tea and snack shops, Guest houses are available