Travel guide to the last Indian village

Mana village
Walk in heaven

How often do you visit a place that you stop caring about everything and get immersed in nature? Mana village is such a place for me. It is the last Indian village on the border of Tibet. The tag of “last Indian village” is enough to give an adrenaline rush. It’s a tiny hamlet with some unknown treks along the Saraswati river 530 km away from Delhi.

Best time to visit Mana village:

This village is only accessible in the months of last April to mid of November. The best time is considered May and June and if you are the kind of person who loves to travel in less crowd then you can prefer September and October.

Altitude: This village is located at a very high altitude of 3200 m which is why it’s covered in snow from the months of December to March.

Mana village
Starting point of Mana

How to reach Mana village from Delhi:

Any direct bus or trains do not run to Mana village. You’ll have to break your journey in phases. First you’ll have to reach to Rishikesh and then to Badrinath or Joshimath and then to Mana.

Mana village by road: You can follow the following route to reach Mana village by your own car:
Delhi- Roorkee- Rishikesh- Devaprayag- Srinagar- Rudraprayag- Karnaprayag- Chamoli- Joshimath- Badrinath- Mana
By Bus: Overnight buses run from Delhi to Rishikesh and take around six hours to reach. From morning, there are various buses directly available to Joshimath and Badrinath. From Badrinath, you can book a cab and reach Mana which is only four km from there.
Delhi to Rishikesh bus cost: 250 to 700 (roadways as well as Volvo are available)
Dehradun to Badrinath bus cost: around 550
By Air: Nearest airport from Mana is in Dehradun. From Dehradun, you can go back to Rishikesh and catch the buses to Badrinath or book a cab.
By Train: Nearest Railway station is Haridwar from Mana. There are also various buses in the morning which run directly from Haridwar to Badrinath. The best option is to take Nanda Devi AC express which runs from Delhi at 11:50 PM and reaches Haridwar at 3:52 AM.

Any of the direct buses to Badrinath or Joshimath don’t run after 9 AM. If you are late then book a cab or you can take shared cabs to reach.

Also read: How I ended up having lunch with the Indian Army in last Indian village

 

Suggested Itinerary:

Day 0: Take an overnight bus from Delhi to Rishikesh in the night around 9 or 10 PM which will reach around 4 AM in Rishikesh.
Day 1: From Rishikesh, take a bus to Badrinath or Joshimath whichever available. Normally it takes 12 hours to reach Joshimath and 13 to reach Badrinath. So, be prepared for a harsh journey in the mountains. If you get a bus to Joshimath, then take a shared cab or a bus to Badrinath from there. After reaching Badrinath, get a room and then you can go to the Badrinath temple or explore around the village.
Day 2: After having breakfast in Badrinath, leave for Mana which is 4 km away from there. Normally, shared cabs aren’t available. It’d be better if you can get a lift because cab rates are too much for a solo traveler or just walk around and explore the beauty of Badrinath village. Visit all the places in Mana which I’ve shared below and have some amazing time in the nature. Make sure to get back in your room in Badrinath before it gets dark.
Day 3: Now, you can move back to Rishikesh or Delhi if you don’t have enough time otherwise you can stay one more day and explore some hidden places by yourself. Buses run from 5 AM to 9 AM from Badrinath to Rishikesh and Haridwar and take 12 to 13 hours. From Rishikesh, you can take bus back to Delhi which are easily available.

 

Alternate Itinerary:
Day 0: Leave from Delhi to Rishikesh by bus and reach by morning.
Day 1: Take direct bus to Badrinath and stay in Badrinath.
Day 2: Explore Mana full day and stay at Badrinath in night.
Day 3: Leave for Auli in the morning from Badrinath and explore Auli. Stay in Auli or Joshimath as per your choice.
Day 4: Catch a direct bus to Rishikesh in the morning from Joshimath and then to Delhi.

Accommodation at Mana Village: There is no proper accommodation at Mana but you can find stay in Badrinath which is only 4 Km away. There are various guest houses available in Badrinath. From the months of May to August , the rates of rooms are pretty high and you won’t find a room below 1000 bucks. While in the months of October and November, you can easily get a room around 500 rupees.
Food Options near Mana village: There are a few tea shops and small cafes in Mana famous by the name of “Last Indian Tea Shop” where you can have food. In Badrinath, there are a lot of restaurants as well as dhabas where you can have proper lunch according to your budget.

Mana village
Mountain ranges from Auli
Mana village
Artificial lake at Auli

Also read: Kalpa – in the lap of Kinner Kailash ranges 

ATM Availability near Mana Village: There are no ATM’s available in Mana but there are a few ATMs in Badrinath. But never rely fully on ATM’s in mountain areas. It’s better to carry some extra cash on security.
Network Point near Mana village: BSNL and Airtel networks are available in Badrinath but as you move towards Mana the networks aren’t much strong and sometimes not even available.

Places to visit at Mana village:

Bhima Pul Cave: It is believed that Bhima Pul cave is created by Bhima to cross the river while going to heaven. I don’t know if these stories are true or not but this is what I heard from the locals.

Mana village
Babas at Bheema Pul Cave

Vasudhara Waterfall: Vasudhara waterfall is a small four km trek from Mana. The trek is simple and has a straight path but gives some heavenly views around. Alaknanda river will flow beside you throughout the trek and the noise of water will soothe you. It’ll take around one and a half hours to reach there. There are no food stalls throughout the trek so, it’s good to carry some food and water for the trek.

mana village
View from trek to Vasudhara waterfall
Mana village
Vasudhara waterfall

   

Saraswati River: Saraswati river which is considered as a holy river originates in the high mountains above Mana. Bhima Pul cave is just beside the Saraswati river.
Vyas Gufa: It’s believed that Ved Vyas who is known to be the author of Mahabharata stayed in Mana for some time. This cave is around 5000 years old.

Various treks from Mana village:
Mana – Vasudhara waterfall: It’s a four to five km trek.                                                                                                                 Swargarohini trek: This is a long trek of around 5-6 days for which you’ll have to hire a guide.                                                                         Mana – Satopanth lake: This 40 km trek takes you to the divini Satopanth lake located at an altitude of 4600 m. It’d be wise to hire a local guide for this trek.

Also read: Prashar lake – So deep, it touches your Soul

Conclusion: I hope this article will help you in planning your trip to Mana village. If you have any other questions regarding this place, please make sure to leave them in the comments below.

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