Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mana (India's last) Village

On the way back from Bhardrinath Pilgrimage Darshan, at a distance of 3 kms. there comes a fork in the road; the road on the right fork leads to a quaint village called Mana Village. it is also called the last village of India. The buses, vans and cars were parked on either side of the road. There should have been a designated parking or atleast a clearing for the numerous vehicles which were stopping by with tourists.
As we kept walking (which was a chore after 9 days on the road / in the ghats!!!), we passed under a an entrance arch declaring India's last village Mana and Welcome. A thrilling experience! meaning I traveled to the edge / end of the country! 

There was a board declaring the altitude of the village at 10133 ft. Wish we could stay for a few more days and did some adventure trekking etc. Not possible on a package tour.  
I wanted to see some Babas / Sadhus / Munies, on my travel; except for a group on Kedarnath route didnot come across any, till then. There was one sitting under huge cave like depression. He was covered in ash. Some pilgrims took blessings from him.

A board giving the directions to various tourist attractions in that region. As we were given a short time to visit here, I could not visit Ganesh guha and Vyas Guha.

we crossed a stone bridge and after we went to the other side did I notice that it is a single rock, monolith bridge. It is massive. One of the nature's wonders that a natural bridge is formed like that.
I heard from my mother and also from others that River Saraswati went underground and one cannot see it.You can imaging my astonishment and shock when I heard this is the Saraswati river here; cascading out of the rocks in a thunderous waterfall, going under Bhimpul and disappearing through the rocks. 

A small is built next to saraswati river. After visiting Yamunotri and Gangotri, temples for rivers Yamuna and Ganga, this temple is a really sad structure.
There were a couple of Tea stalls selling Tea / coffee / water and snacks. the name of one of the shops was 'India's last shop'; lacking in imagination, but he got his point across. 
A path leads from here to the India Tibet border. It is blocked for tourists or civilians; Only Border Security Force uses it. 

The villagers in Mana Village take up mostly knitting / selling wollens and spices. Earlier they used to trade with Tibet. They live in Mana during summer months only. They move in November from Mana, during long winter months,  they reside in Gopeswar, Chamoli.  

It was a unique experience to say the least. I saw Saraswati river! also the quaint culture of the people of Mana village.

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