January 21, 2016

Mana - The Last Village of India

Site Name: Mana
Site Type: Pilgrimage, Trekking
Location:  Near Badrinath, Uttarakhand state, India
Highlights: The last village of India
Nearest Railway Station: Rishikesh
Nearest Airport: Dehradun - around 320 kms from Badrinath
How to reach: Badrinath is connected by road from Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun and other important hill stations of Garhwal and Kumaon hills; it is motor-able till the temple unlike Kedarnath where trekking is needed
Climate: Sep to Nov - winter; Dec to Mar - snow bound; the other months are pleasant
Best time to visit: May - Oct
Clothing: Light woolen in summer; heavy woolen in winter
Hotel: Mid-range to star hotels are available in the nearby hill stations; people stay right from Rudraprayag to Badrinath to visit the site
Restaurants: Vegetarian option alone

If you live in India, it is unlikely that you would not have heard about BadrinathBadrinath is one of the most popular pilgrimages for Hindus. It is located on the Himalayas in Uttarakhand state of India. It is lying at an altitude of 3100 meters from the sea level. Badrinath is famous due to Badrinath temple located here. Around 3 kms from Badrinath, a small village called Mana is located. It is the last village before the Mana Pass. Beyond this village, the entry is restricted only to the security forces as another 24 kms from this village would take us to Tibet. 

The devotees who visit Badrinath mostly visit Mana village too. Not only the pilgrims even the trekkers and the tourists who would love to explore the unexplored also visit Mana village in large number.

Saraswati river is a tributary of Alaknanda river. It joins Alaknanda near Mana village. The river flows with tremendous force in this village. Technically, it is different from the mythological Saraswati river. However, the devotees consider this river as the original mythological Saraswati river. There is a small temple dedicated to river Saraswati on the banks of the river.

There are two caves which are important for the Hindus. One cave is called as Vyasa Gufa and the other one is Ganesha Gufa. It is believed that Vyasa narrated Mahabharat from Vyasa Gufa and Ganesha from another cave heard that and wrote the epic.

Bhim Pul is a natural bridge made of huge rocks. It is believed that Bheem of Mahabharat made this bridge. It is also believed that the Pandava brothers crossed this bridge to reach the heaven.

There is a tea shop located near Vyasa Gufa, which is named as 'The Last Tea Shop of India'. It also attracts all the visitors, if not for having tea but for at least to pose for photograph.

Happy travelling.

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