First-Indian-Village-Mana-2First-Indian-Village-Mana-2

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“MANA” – INDIA’S FIRST VILLAGE, with historical presence since “Mahabharat”, is one of the best places to travel in India. Have you ever heard of this village? It is believed that this village has a road to heaven. The identity as “India’s last village” was recently changed to “India’s first village”. Located on the India-China border in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India, Mana village is certainly a must-visit destination. Whether you are an individual traveler or part of a tour group, “MANA” is a place that calls to you. “Extra” passport is not required to travel to this village. This article only shows detailed information about “Mana” and focuses on wonderful places to visit. “Mana” is located at about 3 KM next to Badrinath in the Himalayas.

MANA INDIA'S FIRST VILLAGE
MANA INDIA’S FIRST VILLAGE (IMAGE CREDIT GOOGLE)

“MANA” – INDIA’S FIRST VILLAGE is situated at approximately 3219 meters above sea level. Earlier it was known as “last village of India”. However, On Monday 24th April 2023, history got changed. The Border Roads Organization (BRO) placed a signboard at this “Border Village” declaring it to be “First Indian Village”. Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami shared the picture of signboard saying, “First Indian Village Mana”, on same day (Source: Twitter/@pushkardhami). This change in name has been triggered by India PM Shri Narendra Modi as part of government’s ‘Vibrant Village’ scheme. Mana shares a border with China.
You can read more about “Vibrant Village Scheme” clicking on link here.

How to reach to Mana?

Nearest famous place for Mana, is Badrinath Dham / Badrinath which is around 4 KM. From there, you have two best possible options to reach to Mana.
First option to is Walk as a part of trekking. It takes around one & half to two hours to reach by walking. Owing to the beautiful nature along the way, the road becomes extremely joyful & relaxing. It is highly recommended to opt for this option for nature lovers with regards to lush green surroundings, mountain ranges & valleys.
Additional option, for a solo traveler, being used is to ask for a Lift from a resident biker.
Second option is to hire a car from Badrinath. Distance being less, hire charges are fairly reasonable.

Vehicles are not allowed in Mana. You will need to park it, 100 meters away, from the village, at parking area. Parking charges are very normal.

Best time to Visit & Time needed to Spend at Mana:

The best time to visit Mana is from May to October. Rest of the year, roads are blocked owing to heavy snowfall. Even, the residents move to Chamboli or another place during this season. Villagers have built up additional homes outside Mana, to stay during this period.
If you start from Badrinath around 8 to 9 am in the morning, you can reach to Mana around 10 / 11 am. You can complete visiting all the places in around 5 to 6 hours. By evening, you can reach back to your Hotel at Badrinath.
And, if you walk by, then maximum expense you can incur is not more than Rs 500 per person.

Local Life at Mana:

Mana also has a security base of India & Tibet. Every home has a electricity as well as gas connection. The beauty of this village is beyond the words of any language. It can only be felt by visiting the place. This is also known as one the best places for trekking in India. Around 70 houses make this village. All are made up of wood. Village population is around 250. Mana has many legendry as well as historical, worth visiting, places. It is said that Mana village is home to the Bhotias (Mongol tribe).

Main places to Visit at Mana:

Once you enter the village, at around 200 meters, you will get two different roads to move on – right side or left side. Left road will take you to Bhim Pool or Bhim Bridge (भीम पूल), Saraswati River (सरस्वती नदी), Vasudhara Waterfall (वसुधारा) & Keshav Prayag (केशव प्रयाग). Right side will take you to Ganesh Cave (गणेश गुफा) & Vyas Cave (व्यास गुफा). You can opt for any of these & need not to worry to walk back. Both roads are getting connected to each other at end.
Let us now further explore these main places.

1. Ganesh Cave (गणेश गुफा).

On the left side road, at around 200 meters, you will find Ganesh Cave. It also has a Ganesh Temple built over it which is equally famous. It is accepted here that in this Cave. Lord Ganesh has composed all Vedas. Next to Ganesh Cave is Saraswati River.

2. Saraswati River (सरस्वती नदी).

This is one of the most surprising phenomena to experience. From this point, you can see River Sarswati disappearing in into the hell. It has a story behind it. When Lord Ganesh was composing Vedas, flowing sound of speedy water from river, was distracting him. So he requested River to slow down. However, River Sarswati did not agree to it. Angry Lord Ganesh curses the river saying it will disappear from earth & go to the hell. As a result, you will not be able to see Sarswati River flowing ahead from this point.

3. Vyas Cave (व्यास गुफा).

At a very short distance from Ganesh Cave, you can find Vyas Cave. This cave is said to be a place where Veda Vyasa composed the Mahabharat. The traces of it, written on the rock in Prakrit language can be found here. The story behind this is when Maharshi Vyas composed Mahabharat, he put it on the rock so that it cannot be stolen or torn out.
This cave is bigger than Ganesh Cave.

4. Bheem Pool or Bheem Bridge (भीम पूल).

Next to Vyas Cave is Bheem Pool or Bheem Bridge (भीम पूल). This is also known as Road to Heaven. It also has a story behind it. When Pandavas were on the way to Heaven, they came across Sarswati River. To move ahead, they requested River to show a path to them, which she did not agree to. In anger, Bheem put a large Stone crest on the river to cross it & this bridge came into existence. Owing to this, it is known as Bheem Pool or Bheem Bridge (भीम पूल)

5. India’s last Tea Shop or India’s last shop. (हिंदुस्तान की अन्तिम दुकान).

INDIA'S LAST TEA SHOPOnce you cross Bheem Pool, you are here. This is the most fascinating point. One of the famous places across India too. Just do not forget to take photo or selfie at this place as a exceptional memory of lifetime. You can also take a photo along with India flag. The shop keeper will charge you around Rs. 10 as a rent for flag for photo shoot.
You can get a normal tea here. However, tea made up of Tulsi & Lemon is a must to taste at a cost of around Rs. 20. You can also get some snacks like Samosa or Puri Bhaji.

6. Vasudhara Waterfall (वसुधारा).

Around 5 KM from India’s last tea shop, you can visit Vasudhara Waterfall. You can easily walk / do trekking. This waterfall also has a fact to know about. The water of the spring does not sprinkle on those who have sin in their mind. Drops of water fall only on the pious and virtuous.

7. India Tibet border.

If you wish to visit India-China border, better you do it before entering the village. Reason is road to border is from outside the village. You have to seek permission from Indian Army to enter into. Pl keep in mind that this permission is not given to everyone.

Other traditions & faiths in Mana:

Mana is also famous for its traditions & faiths. This village is also termed as “holiest village among others” including all four Dham (Heavenly Abode). Also, Mana carries a proud tag of being curse free and sin free village on the Earth. It is strongly believed that Lord Shiva extremely blesses this village and “your poverty disappears” when you come here. The name of this village is said to have been derived from name “Manibhadra” itself. There is a story behind this belief.

A merchant named Manik Shah used to live in Mana. He was a great devotee of Shiva. One day he was robbed by robbers & they killed him by cutting off his head from his body. However, since Manik Shah was completely absorbed in his devotion, his head continued to chant Shiva’s name. When Lord Shiva saw this devotion, he was very pleased and appeared. First, he placed the head of a pig on Manik Shah’s body and made him alive. Not only that, Shiva blessed the village, for whoever visits Mana will be free from poverty forever. Since then, Manibhadra (form of lord shiva) is worshipped here, and many visitors come to experience this.

MANA TEMPERATURE (MANA CLIMATE):

Mana climate is bitterly cold & there is snow for almost six months. The mountain peaks are very steep and dry. Before winter starts, villagers move from Mana to another village at the low level. It has only one collage which runs six months in Mana & six months in Chamoli. The surprising thing is that despite being so cold, the land here is not barren. April to May is the best season to witness absolutely amazing greenery at Mana. The soil is widely accepted as best soil for potatoes, which is among the top crops here. Additionally, Bhoj Patra (Betula Utilis) Tree is widely found here. Mana village, 1st village of India, is also famous for the wonderful herbs found in the Himalayas.

Conclusion:

Hope you have liked this in-depth information about Mana. Even for a cycle rider, this is definitely a dream place to visit. Do comment, in the section, about this article or anything else you would like to know about.

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By jabulani.jabulanee@gmail.com

I am an amateur cyclists having done many successful cycling expeditions as Solo / with Spouse / With Kids / With family & with friends. I am a post graduate in commerce, with distinction, from University of Pune. I have a professional experience of more than 17 years. I have worked with multi national companies like IBM & Kyndryl. I have experience with regards to client relationship, contract management, audits & testing, national - international transitions, process framing, tools deployment as well as financial management. I belong to joint family & staying along with my parents, spouse & 2 kids. Travelling, Health, technology, Finance, Parenting, reading & writing, Sports, Meditation, Cultural adherence etc are my other hobbies. I strongly believe in Powers of Universe & Power of Gratitude.

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