I N D I A
(The Wonderland On Earth)
M A N A
MANA is a small village on the banks of the river Saraswati. It is at a distance of 3 km. from Badrinath temple. Badrinath temple is one of the Chardham in the Himalayas. It is a famous temple in India situated on the banks of the river Alaknanda. Badrinath temple is the abode of Lord Vishnu (Badrinarayan). Legend says Lord Vishnu meditated under the Badari tree on the banks of river Alaknanda. A Taptakund (hot water spring) sprang out near the spot where Badrinarayan meditated. It is one of the most sacred places in India from time immemorial. Badrinath is in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand state. It is said that great sages Nar-Narayan meditated On either side of Nar Parvat and Narayan Parvati to Badrinath temple.
Mana is the last village of India at the Indotibetian border. Tibet (now in China) border is at a distance of 24kms, from Mana village. Mana is a small village having about 80 households with a population of 600people. They belong to Bhotias and Marchhas, small houses are constructed with stone plates on either side of the lane leading to river Saraswati, and on either side of steps leading to Vyasa cave. Mana is known for woolen goods like sweaters, shawls, caps, blankets, etc., made of sheep wool. Vegetables like potatoes and kidney beans are grown in the backyards of their houses.
According to the epic Mahabharata, the Pandavas and Draupadi on their journey to Heaven (Swargarohan) passed through Mana crossing River Saraswati.
The main attractions of Mana village are—Saraswati river, Ved Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Gufa, and Bhim Pool, etc.
Saraswati river is flowing through a narrow pass roaring at high speed. This is the only place where the Saraswati river can be seen to the naked eye in India. It is a Gupta Nadi. It flows down the valley and meets the Alakananda river at a confluence called Kesav Prayag. It is a tributary to the river Alakananda.
Vyas Gufa(cave)—it is believed that Ved Vyas lived here in a cave and composed Srimad Bhagavatam on the advice of sage Narada on the banks of the river Saraswati. Srimad Bhagavatam describes mainly Lord Srikrishna.
Ganesh Gufa—it is a small cave where Ved Vyas dictated the scriptures to Ganesha.
Bhim pool—the legend says that Bhima (one of the Pandavas) placed a huge rock across the river Saraswati to make a way for Draupadi when she was unable to cross the deep roaring river at a high speed.
Mana village is at an altitude of 3200 meters, above sea level. Many pilgrims (tourists) who visit Badrinath temple will also visit Mana village as it is also a sacred place of river Saraswati and the seat of sage Ved Vyas. It is also believed that Mahavatar Babaji established a hidden Siddhashram nearby Mana village. It is one of the many spots of hidden Gyangunj (Shambala) in the Himalayas.
Mana village is worth seeing, a beautiful sacred place along with Badrinath temple. It is one of the beautiful and peaceful spots to do meditation in Himalayan shrines.