Mana – The last Indian Village

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The dawn of 17 May 2013 was a memorable one. The darshan at the holy shrine of Badrinath rejuvenated our soul with spiritual bliss.

After recharging our souls, it was time to recharge the body too. We stopped by a local eatery for some hot breakfast. Then we headed out to Mana, a mere 3 kms from there.

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The excitement among us was palpable as Mana is the last village of India. Located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3200 meters, it is 24 kms from the India and Tibet/China border. A small population of about 600 inhabit the place.

On the onset of winter, the entire area gets covered with a blanket of snow. The weather becomes very hostile for survival.  The villagers then migrate to the lower plains from October to April.

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Their houses typically are made of stones and plastered with mud. They have slate tiled sloping roofs. Most houses have kitchen gardens where they primarily grow spinach, potato and cauliflower for their livelihood. The women are endowed with fine craft skills. Their adept fingers knit beautiful sweaters, shawls, caps, mufflers and carpets which find many takers.

 

A shop there having the distinction of being the last Indian shop. People generally buy a drink or some eatable to tell the folks back home that they shopped from there!

Just a few meters away from the shop, the Saraswati River merges with the Alaknanda. Further ahead is a cave called Vyas Guha where it is believed that sage Veda Vyasa resided and composed the entire Mahabharata.

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After spending about an hour there, capturing moments to carry with us, we headed back. Today writing this post has taken me back on that beautiful trip down the memory lane!

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