The Story of India's Last Village

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Photo of The Story of India's Last Village by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)
Photo of The Story of India's Last Village by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)
Photo of The Story of India's Last Village by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)
Photo of The Story of India's Last Village by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)
Photo of The Story of India's Last Village by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

It is not easy to be left alone in India. Wherever you go, be it high up in the mountains, far away in the desert or remote shores; there are plenty of curious eyes tracking your movements. The only chance of solitude is to go as far as you can: Mana village is literally the farthest a traveler is allowed to go within the boundaries of India. It is a calm and tranquil spot before the onset of Tibet/China. This post is the story of the last village in India (Mana) located in Uttarakhand, 3118 meters above the sea level.

1: The Mythical Past of Mana

Photo of The Story of India's Last Village 1/8 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Bheem Pull~Image Credit

Photo of The Story of India's Last Village 2/8 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller) 

Saraswati river merges with Alaknanda river a few meters from this point~Image Credit

The traces of Hindu mythology, Mahabharata, are visible in Mana. It is believed that Pandavas had to pass through this village on their journey to heaven. Bheem, the strongest of the five brothers, build a rock bridge in order to cross the Sarasvati river. Furthermore, a small cave named Vyas Guha is widely believed to be the place where sage Veda Vyasa resided and composed the whole Mahabharata.

2: The Village of Many Lasts

Photo of The Story of India's Last Village 3/8 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Many shop in Mana lay claim to be the last in India~Image Credit

Photo of The Story of India's Last Village 4/8 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

A BRO post at the entrance of Mana~Image Credit

The claim to fame of many coffee & tea shops here is that they are the last on the Indian border. If you don't make a stop here; you will regret it for the rest of the journey. 

3: The Mongol Connection

Photo of The Story of India's Last Village 5/8 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Locals live a migratory life~Pushkar V

Photo of The Story of India's Last Village 6/8 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Barfani Baba stays in a cave round the year~Gaurav Agarwal

The inhabitants trace their origin back to Mongol tribes and follow a migratory way of life. The residents are the last generation of the Bhotia community. The weather conditions become so hostile and inhospitable during the months of October-May that the residents move to lower areas of Chamouli which is 100 km away from Badrinath

4: The Dwellings of Mana 

Photo of The Story of India's Last Village 7/8 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

Their rustic accommodations includes 1-2 rooms & wood carved windows~Abhishek

They dwell in stone cottages which are mud plastered and have slate tiled sloping roofs. The houses are built into the hillside and have a kitchen garden in the backyard. Part of their livelihood is to grow spinach, cauliflower and potato and sell this to hotels and guest houses in Badrinath. The Mana women are craftsmen par excellence. Their handcrafted shawls and carpets find many takers. They generally weave more than 10 woollen items such as Gudma, Thulma, Pankhi, Pattu, sweater, cap, muffler, scarf, carpet, Ashan and Pakhi.

5: The Potato Charm

Mana is famous for its potatoes. As soon as you enter the village; you will come across large potato sacks neatly arranged on street side ready for sale. The pahadi aloos are almost a quarter of a the size of the ones grown in the plains and pack a punch.

6: The End of the Road

Photo of The Story of India's Last Village 8/8 by Anmol Arora (Boring Traveller)

A long shot of Mana village~Sandeep Shande

Once you reach the top of the hill at Mana, the air becomes thin and breathing takes a bit of an effort. The border road is visible at one side and the vast Himalayan expanse on the other. That is truly the end of the road. 

One has to park vehicles at the village border and enter the village on foot.  Once inside, the Himalayan surrounding and calmness will envelop your sense. Please share your thought and observations on the post below. Read more about India's stunning locations like Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Ghalib ki Haveli.

26 Comment(s)
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Mana village looks so remote and peaceful. People high up in the hills are so simple and lead such simple lives. Sometimes it's nice to just leave all worries in the city and dwell amongst these calm surroundings.
Sun 01 10 16, 10:50 · Reply · Report
Photos tell a story in themselves. Beautifully captured pictures of Mana village. I bet the place comes alive in the summer months. Would love to visit even though I know it won't be anytime soon.
Sun 01 10 16, 08:42 · Reply · Report
There's nothing very grand about Mana village. Just the fact that it is supposed to be India's last village is what grabs one's attention. Only place of interest is Badrinath temple which is situated 3kms away.
Sun 01 10 16, 06:22 · Reply · Report
Going trekking from Mana village to Vasudhara Falls is just about the only thing many tourists do. It's a 5 km trek to the Falls. Take a guide as you will need one. Don't try to venture out on yourself.
Sun 01 10 16, 02:44 · Reply · Report
Nothing about how you got to Mana village, what you did, where you stayed or where you ate. Its information like that I'm looking for and I don't get any from your post. It doesn't work for me.
Sun 01 10 16, 02:29 · Reply (1) · Report
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Sat 11 19 16, 05:07 · Report
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