Mana Village: Last Indian Village near Indo – China Border

The last Indian Village! Isn’t that sentence a fascination in itself? It is and I was actually flying with happiness when I saw this board just 3 km ahead of Badrinath Dham. And look at those blue views at the entrance of the charismatic Mana village.

The Last Indian Village: Mana VillageThe excitement was not because of the first visit to the last inhabited village. In fact, earlier too; I had visited the last inhabited Village; Chitkul at Indo-China border in Himachal. I was excited there also but the Mana village experience was altogether different. The village has a mythical history along with the natural beauty. In fact, after traveling to so many areas of Uttarakhand now the belief is that whole of Uttarakhand is so so different from Himachal. The whole state is still not that commercial and has retained its natural beauty with the original trails.

Entry to the Last Indian Village: Mana Village

Mana Village

The Mana Village lies at 3118 meters and can be reached either by the smooth motorable road or by a scenic walk along the clean Alaknanda River.

Mana Village can be reached by foot
The way along the River Alaknanda to reach Mana Village

The village is crammed with cobblestone roads. The slanting roofed stone houses with wooden windows bask the village on either side of the road. Some houses too have a small kitchen garden around them.

Slanted roof houses and the ccobblestone Strret at Mana Village

The origin of habitats can be traced back to Mongolian tribes. Currently, it is occupied by the last generation of Bhotia community. The ladies of this community are masters in knitting and weaving while men run small shops and take tamed goats for grazing. They too are seen playing carom, cards etc.

Handicrafts made by the Bhotia Community Women of Mana Village
Mats, Carpets, Caps woven by women of Bhotia Community at Mana Village

The inhabitants of the Mana village are migratory and they move to nearby places like Joshimath in the months from November – April when the weather gets too hostile.

Closed Houses during Hostile weather conditions at Mana Village
Locked House at Mana Village

Okay! Here comes the real thing. Mr. Barfani Baba: He stays in this cave throughout the year, even when everyone else from the village migrates during extreme cold. He actually posed for the picture.

Baba Barfani stays in the cave throughout year at Mana Village

Mythical History of Mana Village

The Mana Village has a Mythical past and its traces can be found in the epic Mahabharata. It is believed that Pandavas crossed this village on their journey to heaven. While crossing the village; Bheem one of the strongest brothers of Pandavas laid a rock bridge; known as Bhim Shila to cross the River Saraswati. This is believed to be the place of origin of River Saraswati and there is a Goddess Saraswati Temple too.

Bhim Shila at Mana Village
Bhim Shila (Actually a single piece rock bridge)

Further, there is a Vyas Gufa (Vyas Cave) at Mana Village, where Saint Veda Vyasa has composed the whole Mahabharata. And Ganesha Gufa, where Lord Ganesha penned down the whole epic dictated by Saint Veda Vyasa.

Shri Ganesha Gufa at Mana Village

After Crossing Bheem Shila, keep walking on the trail and you will reach the hill top pointing towards the end of the road. I don’t know its a myth or truth but there is a saying that Pandavas might have eloped from this path to heaven. (The way to Swarg)

View from the Hilltop at Mana Village
Hilltop views on one side, and end of the road (From where Pandavas might have eloped)
Views from Hilltop at Mana Village
Views from Hilltop at Mana Village (another side)

From here ahead the trail becomes stony, steeper and goes 6 Kilometer ahead till Vasudhara Waterfall. The last of this trail take you to Satopanth Tal and Satopanth Glacier, which is in total 22 km trek from Badrinath. This trek is considered to be a tough grade and one need porters and guides for completing it.

Satopanth Tal, Trek from Mana Village
Source: IndiaHikes

Apart from this, the Last Indian Mana Village too has many shops claiming themselves as last Shops, serving coffee, tea, maggi and some more snacks. There is fun having tea here with those mesmerizing views.

Some Additional Info on Mana Village:

  1. One has to park the vehicle outside the Mana village.
  2. The best time to visit village is during early morning like 6 a.m, as there is no rush and can capture sunrise shots.
  3. Porters carry pilgrims in the baskets/Palkis on their back till Bheem Shila, so give them the way when they whistle. Porters carrying Pilgrimages at Mana Village
  4. Buy some locally weaved stuff to help the community grow.
  5. Click pictures after taking permission from the people.
  6. Carry jacket along as it gets windy anytime when you climb up the slope.
  7. Do keep some small denomination currency with you, as the locals are in shortage of change.
  8. Mana Village is also famous for Potatoes and Kidney Beans.
  9. There is an army helipad on the way to Mana Village, worth admiring.Helipad on the way to Mana Village

Uttarakhand government has declared this place as a tourist village destination, so be a contributor wherever it is possible for you.

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The last #indian village near Indo- china border at 3118 meters; along the gushing River Alaknanda. You are picturesque as well as awesome in every way. After exploring now I know why this way was chosen as a gateway to heaven. The place has a special mention in the epic Mahabharata. Hold on guys! New blog post is coming on it soon at Keep following. #travel #travels #traveler #traveling #travelling #travellife #travelblogger #travelblog #allgudthings #like4like #followforfollow #bluesky #himalayas #mountains #river #freshair #clouds #travelphotography #photography #picoftheday #landscape #photogram #travelingram #mytravelgram #wanderlust #explorer #roadtrip #uttarakhand #india

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Have you been to Mana Village and Satopanth? If yes, then let us know what we missed on and should explore next time. If you like it share it and pin it here.

The Mana Village: last Indian Village near Indo- China Border

42 thoughts on “Mana Village: Last Indian Village near Indo – China Border”

  • How fascinating! Great photos and attention to detail. Some of those cobblestone roads look rough for a motorbike and for walking! Ouch! Comfortable shoes are a must, right? 😉

  • holy moly, I don’t know where to start! This looks amazing. We spent a month exploring the entire west coast of India and loved it but to go back and explore the Mana village looks amazing. I cant even imagine living in a place where The inhabitants “are migratory and they move to nearby places like Joshimath in the months from November – April when the weather gets too hostile.”
    I cant even imagine riding in a Palkis. Reminds me of when my dad used to carry me around as an infant.

  • This is fascinating! I’ve been to India but only in some major cities. I always say that someday, I’d go back and see the side of India that has not been touched by commercialism.

  • The beautiful landscape and mountains, the scenery looks perfect and great. Mana village looks enchanting and an ideal place to get a slice of the rural life of India. That the village is billed as the last Indian village adds to the experience as well.

  • Wow Suruchi. The views are definitely very awesome. And the mythical story behind the village is very fascinating. But I am curious, how the day to day life of the people here would be, living so close to the Indo- China border. Did you get a chance to talk to them about it?

    • Yeah I spoke to the locals there. They believe the land is blessed by the Badrinath God in every way, so there is no fear of anything. They even quoted that few years back when the mass destruction happened due to cloud burst, the temple and Mana village were only left safe.

  • Oh wow, everything about the village is just interesting enough! I want to set foot here someday and personally engage with the people, buy some weaved pieces, and learn their way of life. Xx

  • Wow what an interesting experience! I feel like you really got a good feel for the little village and go to see a part of India that not many people get to see. Makes me want to experience it for myself!!

  • This is real travel. Getting off the beaten track and experiencing the local culture. I bet visiting the last Indian village in this part of the world is something you’ll never forget!

  • Agree the mention of last Indian village is fascinating indeed. The bridge laid sown by Bhim looks dangerous and interesting at the same time. Visiting such tribes and learning of their intriguing history and culture is something we look for at every destination we visit. Would love to visit this place.

  • This village looks raw and unexplored and that’s the type of thing we love! Your photo of Mr. Barfani Baba is INCREDIBLE – so in love. We are scared sometimes to bother people and ask for photos, but sometimes it’s really worth it!

  • A place I would absolutely love to visit! Everything I love – remote, unknown, in the middle of beautiful, high mountains. Last Indian village – I wish I could see it for myself! Some day I will – thank you for showing the other, less known side of India 🙂

  • I’ve been to the other side in a village in Gujarat, 40km from the border, but not to this side! Indeed its gives such a special feeling to be there! And with our border being so long, we do have a lot of ‘last’ villages as well! Lolz.

  • You know, it is quite interesting that I read this now as one of my friends mentioned Mana as a part of their trekking trail. However, she failed to mention all the legends associated with it. They sure are interesting.

  • Lying 3118 meters above sea level means the village is very cold! The climate adds additional excitement to the beautiful landscape and the history and culture of the village. I hope I get to visit this place someday. The mountains are calling me. 🙂

  • I don’t remember visiting a last village in my life, so yeah, now that you mentioned it, it does sound so cool. I have always been curious of people who live in remote areas or places that are untouched by civilization. Mana Village sure fits the bill. I would love to visit it myself when I get a chance, and maybe buy a weaved item from the locals. Bhim Shila looks a bit scary but beautiful at the same time.

  • Love your blog because you have been to so many unique places in India. So much great inspiration. Love the photos you have here especially the locked house, so interesting that they have used boulders for locks!

  • I like border towns. And Mana Village really looks interesting especially with its mythical history. That rock bridge looks amazing and it’s interesting to see rocks in front of the doors.

  • Wow! Thank you for sharing your adventures. I will be heading to India this week, but sadly travels will not tak me here. I really like how you pointed out to ask permission to take a photo. It looks s the respectful way to be.

    What would you suggest for someone visiting India for the first time to know what to expect?

  • It absolutely is the one main reason to visit – the fact that it is the last village on the Indo-China border! And I would choose to get there by taking the scenic walk along the Alaknanda River because that just sounds like a more exciting way to get there rather than driving there. The views for sure are breathtaking!

  • I really do love your photos here and I am a sucker for mountain places. That bridge with the rock, I am surprised that hasnt fallen down! Looks a bit scary. :O

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