After we completed the beautiful Tungnath and Chandrashila trek, we were tempted to continue on. And thus we reached “MANA”, popularly known as the last village of India from the Indo-Tibetan border. It is a picturesque place surrounded by the Himalayan ranges and a government designated Tourism Village.
It is also around 3km close to Badrinath one of the 4 dhaams and which attracts thousands of devotees.
How I reached from Chopta
The next day around 7:30 AM luckily I got a local Badrinath bound bus from Chopta. It took 7-8 hours to reach Badrinath.
How to reach from Delhi
The easiest way to reach Badrinath or Mana is to get a train till Hardiwar and then take a taxi/bus till Mana which is around 320 kms away.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit is May, June, September, and October.
It is really cold in the winters and extremely risky in the monsoons. So better to avoid that.
Where I stayed
I searched for some accommodation amidst the plethora of basic hotels and Dharmshala and all are equally livable. I zeroed in on one and so can you based on your choice. We billed 1200 bucks for 2 days in the hotel.
The weather in Badrinath was chilly as compared to Chopta and it was getting dark too. Quickly after freshening up, I went over to attend evening aarti in the famous Badrinath temple. It was overly crowded but not for the rich ones as there was a VIP line as well which disgusted me.
Located between the Nar and Narayana mountains, along the Alaknanda river and under the shadow of the Neelkantha peak, this sacred place with its sacred ponds and turquoise lakes makes it a must visit destination. This place is named after its preserver Lord Vishnu.
Legend has it that the Pandavas passed through Badrinath and Mana on their way to Swarga( Heaven). There is a mountain called Swargarohini (Stairway to heaven) which the Pandavas ascended and ended their life.
Coming back, I took bath in the sacred Tapt Kund, a hot spring, bathing after which all the tiredness went away like a breeze.
After successful darshan at the temple, had dinner and slept.
Waking up the next the next day was awaiting the last but the most beautiful experience of this trip. A visit to Mana.
A straight road from Badrinath, Mana is a heavily guarded border area. There was an option to take shared jeep till the village but I decided to walk down the range as the real fun is walking on the road with brown magnificent hills as the backdrop. For a moment, I felt as if I was in ladakh given the resemblance of rocky brown mountains. Moreover since it was early morning so we could easily make it on time in 1.5 to 2 hours.
Everything here is “Hindustan’s last ….” i.e The Last one of Hindustan.
Top Things to Do in Mana
Vyas Gufa – As per the legends, Ved Vyas lived here while composing the four vedas. A small shrine dedicated to him is believed to be 5000 years old.
Bheem Pul – Said to be created by the mighty Bheem as a bridge across river Saraswati. Just make sure not to lose balance, else you may not have to even climb the treacherous stairway to reach heaven.
There are multiple other spots and you can easily go through them one by one if you have time. Since it’s a small village, it will not take much time.
There are multiple eatery spots as well. Shops selling Ladakhi caps, mana almonds, herbal oils are abundant.
Trek to Vasudhara falls
A trip to Mana is incomplete without visiting Vasudhara falls. We were done by 12 PM but in no mood of going back, we headed towards Vasundhara falls after inquiring about with some locals. With the Alaknanda river flowing right along the trek, it was a sight to behold. The road were covered with stones and the path was well-established.
After several breaks we made it in 4 hours as we took several breaks to observe the beauty of the mighty mountains and the ever-changing sky. The trek is worth doing as you can literally see the sky descending down amid the beautiful meadows.
Unfortunately, we were running out of time we could only afford to spend one hour at the waterfalls. And soon have to return as well due the fear of the dark amidst a mountain.
Tip:- Start the trek on time or early in the morning. Otherwise you will not be able to enjoy the charisma of the falls.
We reached at the entrance of the village by 7 and it was already pitch dark. Luckily one of the jeeps gave us a lift and we reached back safely to Badrinath and slept straight away.
We took a bus till Rishikesh the next day and caught our evening Haridwar-Delhi train.Thus ended our beautiful journey and we also earned some punya by visiting one of the Char Dhams.