Mana Village – A Journey to Last Indian Village and Beyond

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Go on a hike with mesmerizing vistas, river Saraswati flowing on one side and enjoy the feeling of being one with nature while visiting India’s last village on the Tibetan side named Mana Village in Uttarakhand. Mana Village, a small hamlet 3 km away from Badrinath, is a quaint place where tiny houses are built on a narrow lane leading up towards the mountains, where women are knitting woolen clothes and every backyard grows vegetables of some kind (sustainable living) and few shops are open to make their livelihood a little easier.

In my previous post about trekking to Valley of Flowers (VoF) in Uttarakhand I have mentioned about key places to visit around Joshimath: Badrinath – Mana – Vasudhara as an add-on trip if you have a couple of days extra. In this article, I will share with you more about Mana village and how to plan your trip to this last village of India.

Holy town of Badrinath
Holy town of Badrinath
Mana Village Entry
Mana Village Entry

A short walk leads us to Vyasa Cave, Ganesha Cave and Bheem Phool (supposedly where Bheema moved a rock for Draupadi to cross the river). There is a resident saint a.k.a Baba in one of these caves and often poses for photos. Enjoy the cool breeze near the caves by sipping into piping hot tea/coffee at “The Last Tea Shop”. These are on the way to Vasudhara Falls which is famous for its medicinal values. A round trip to the falls from Mana would take about 6 hours, so plan it accordingly. During the flowering season, colorful flowers dot the route. The waterfall itself is a sheer drop from few hundred feet with water more of spraying rather than falling!! But the scenic views on the way more than makes up for the less amount of water here.

Bheem Phool, Mana
Bheem Phool, Mana

Location of Mana Village

Mana is about 50 km from Joshimath. Both Badrinath and Mana are at an altitude of around 3100+ m. Mana village is covered in snow during winter (mid-Nov onwards) and is accessible only for few months.

Quaint Little Village of Mana
Quaint Little Village of Mana

How to Reach Mana Village

This trip can be clubbed along with Valley of Flowers trek or while visiting Badrinath/Kedarnath by adding the additional day(s). In this case, you would have already reached either Joshimath/Govindghat.

  1. Delhi – Haridwar/Dehradun (By train/bus to Haridwar, flights also available to Dehradun)
  2. Haridwar/Dehradun – Joshimath (approx. 280 km, 10 hours by road. Public transport or hired taxi)
  3. Joshimath – Govindghat (20 km) – Badrinath (25 km) – Mana (3 km). It takes about 2 hours to reach Badrinath from Joshimath.

Trip Suggestion: Check out our comprehensive guide on The Trek to Gaumukh – A Step by Step Guide

Season to visit Mana Village

The months of May – June is peak season for visiting Badrinath and Mana Village, though it is still accessible till early November. Monsoon is during July – September and it can be visited during this time too as this place receives less rainfall comparatively. But roads on the way to Joshimath or Badrinath could be bad or could have landslides during monsoon.

Suggested Itinerary for Mana Village

I am suggesting an itinerary only from Joshimath/Govindghat to Mana village for a day or more around Badrinath/Mana. If you only have one additional day, it can be planned like

  • Joshimath/Govindghat – Mana – Vasudhara Falls – Mana – Badrinath – Govindghat/Joshimath
Trek Route to Vasudhara Falls
Trek Route to Vasudhara Falls

If you have a couple of days extra and want to soak in the beautiful Garhwal region, you can take the Satopanth Lake trek where you can see Chaukambha, Satopanth, Parvati and Neelkant peaks. Hire a local to help you and carry food, camping, and other provisions as there are no such facilities in this trek.

  • Day 1 – Joshimath/Govindghat – Mana – Vasudhara Falls or Lakshmi Van (Trek 4 – 6 km)
  • Day 2 – Lakshmi Van – Chakratheertha (Trek 10 km)
  • Day 3 – Chakratheertha – Satopanth – Chakratheertha (Round trek of 10 km, difficult including glacial walk)
  • Day 4 – Chakratheertha – Vasudhara – Mana – Badrinath – Joshimath/Govindghat

Expert Travel Tip: Going on a trek? Then checkout 12 Must Have Things to Carry on Hiking or Trekking Trips

How you can help the local community in Mana village

Most tourists who visit Mana do it as an extended trip when visiting Badrinath. But this village inhabited by few hundreds of houses deserves much more than a mere visit. Try to buy their woolen clothes by bargaining less (I saw numerous ladies knitting their time away!!), handloom items, have a cup of tea/coffee/snacks. After all, they need to sustain the remaining of the year with little income they make during the tourist season.

View from the Last Tea Shop, Mana Village
View from the Last Tea Shop, Mana Village

Mobile connectivity

Mobile connectivity is not available in Mana/Vasudhara falls or beyond.

Accommodation at Mana Village

  • Joshimath– Plenty of options available in Joshimath for a stay that would suffice everyone’s budget.
  • Badrinath– Numerous hole-in-the-wall accommodations and ones run by the charity for pilgrims are also available at Badrinath. Expect very basic rooms with/without hot water. Natural hot water spring is available adjacent to Badrinath temple (with common but separate bath areas for men and women) in case the hotel doesn’t provide it.
  • Mana – I couldn’t find any hotels for stay, but one can try the option of homestay. It is better to drive down to Badrinath which is only 3 km away.

You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂

Conclusion

A trip to Mana Village might seem like an add-on trip to Badrinath or Auli, but it is a must-visit place for both tourists and trekking enthusiasts. There are multiple treks at various difficulty levels – Vasudhara Falls Trek, Satopanth Lake Trek, Swargaroghini Trek (gateway to heaven) and numerous glaciers can be seen in this route. Based on the number of days on hand, one can plan a high altitude Himalayan experience.

Do you still have any questions or suggestions or need any help in planning your trip to Mana Village or Auli? If yes, please feel free to post them either in the comments section of this article below or in “Ask a Travel Question” section of the website. You can also take guidance from many travel experts in our DoW Community Forums and discuss your upcoming travel plans for Mana Village and Badrinath 🙂

If you like the article, please feel free to share it with any of your family or friends who are planning a trip to Mana Village, Auli or Badrinath. In the next article of the series, I am going to talk about some more quaint and offbeat places in the Himalayas.

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About Author

I am Lakshmi, a software professional living in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. I spend most of my holidays, long weekends on trips (Himalayan, wildlife safaris, birding, architecture etc.) and remaining of the days planning these trips! I am interested in photography (Landscapes, wildlife). I caught the Himalayan bug early on and fell in love with the mountains. The mountain keeps calling me every now and then; and we end up meeting as often as office leaves permit. On other days, I am either immersed in a book or would be watching movies.

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Are you looking for the CUSTOMIZED TOURS?? Get in touch with our our handpicked & trusted Destination Specialists from the Himalayas who offer SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES to all the readers/followers of the Devil On Wheels website.


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