Places to see in the Mana Village (Bhim Pul, Saraswati River, Ganesh Gufa, Vyas Gufa and Others)

Thanks to its proximity to the holy land of Badrinath, Mana Village (the last village on the border with Tibet and 3 kms from Badrinath) not only abounds in natural beauty (as seen in last post) but also has many spiritual tales to share.

A view of the Mana Village near Badrinath
Mana Village... it gets its name after the Manas Putras (Sons),
the biological sons, of Lord Brahma.

History envelops you as you walk through its narrow lanes with traces of ancient tales from the epic Mahabharata spread all around. There is so much of antiquity hidden behind their walls that a fascinating tour of these places actually gives you the feeling of reading a live book!
Attractions of the Mana Village near Badrinath in Uttarakhand
A Board displaying the various touristy attractions of Mana

Saraswati River

The Saraswati river also known as the Goddess of Knowledge has its origination in a mountain near the Mana Village. It is visible and above surface for about 100 mtrs before it submerges underground and travels a distance to finally join the confluence of Rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati at Sangam near Allahabad. Numerous sages like Narad, Bhrigu, Vashishta, Vishvamitra, Angira, Bhrigu, King Sagar, Lord Krishna, the Pandava brothers and several others have meditated and attained salvation on the banks of this holy river.

Saraswati river in Mana Village near Badrinath
The milky white waters of the Saraswati River

I had always thought of Sarawati River to be hidden and was unaware that one can actually see it here, at Mana. The bubbly frosty waters of the river were raging down with a tremendous force which my camera couldn’t capture! But believe me, the roaring gush sound coupled with the heavenly sight made for a very stunning spectacle!

Saraswati temple and India's last shop in Mana village near Badrinath
Saraswati Temple and India's last shop besides the Saraswati River

Facing the river, stands a small Saraswati temple and India’s last shop can be spotted too!

Bhim Pul

Above the Saraswati river is the Bhim Pul, another major attraction of the town. It is a natural bridge built from a huge rock by the Pandava brother Bhima for his wife Draupadi. Lying in the interial corners of the town, it is believed that this was the place from where the Pandava brothers started their 'accent to heaven' (swargarohini). During their transit, Draupadi was unable to cross the river and hence Bhima lifted a huge rock and placed it here which today is known as the Bhim Pul.

Bhim Pul on the Saraswati river in Mana Village near the Badrinath dham
Bhim Pul made of a large rock above the Saraswati river

Had never seen a natural rock bridge before! The waters, the rock bridge… everything just completed the entire beautiful picture! One wasn’t allowed going on that bridge since water was in full spate but even from far it looked very interesting and a bit frightening as well!

Ganesh Gufa

A short distance away is Shree Ganesh Gufa where the epic Mahabharta and other ‘Purans’ are said to have been composed by Lord Ganesh.

Ganesh Gufa in Mana village near Badrinath in the Chaar Dhaam Yatra
Shree Ganesh Gufa

The exteriors of the temple have been modified and hence look like a normal pillared temple. Its while circumambulation, that you can get a feel of the cave.

Vyas Gufa

A steep climb up is the Vyas gufa where Ved Vyas is believed to have lived while composing the four Vedas. It is also the place where he is said to have dictated the Mahabharta to Lord Ganesh. A distinct feature of the temple is the roof which resembles the pages from Ved Vyas collection of his Holy Books.

Vyas Gufa in Mana Village near Badrinath tirtha
Ved Vyas Gufa
As it had gone completely dark by now,
I could not capture the pic and hence have taken one from Google.
(image courtesy Google images)

There is also a very interesting story related to the place that explains the broken tusk of Lord Ganesh. When Vyas was composing the Mahabharata, he needed someone to take down his diction and asked the learned Ganesha for the same. Ganesh agreed but he had a condition – That Vyas would not stop even for a moment or else he would stop writing and leave. And what ensued further was a mini competition between the two. Vyas dictating as fast as he could, and Ganesh bent down over the script pages... His pen racing furiously in the wind. Finally, His reed pen broke. To which, He broke off a part of his tusk to be used as a pen thereon.

Further 3 kms upward climb from Vyas Gufa is another cave called the Muchukand Gufa. It is associated with the story of Lord Krishna who had tactfully led to the demise of the demon Kaal Yawan here by Sage Muchukund. It is said that the footprints of Lord Krishna can still be seen in the cave. However, this place was missed by us.

There are numerous treks from this village to various temples of Pandavas. In addition, it is also the base to the Swargarohini pilgrimage trek, which passes through the Vasudhara falls.

Vasudhara Falls

A beautiful 4 kms trek from Mana towards the mountains is the stunning sight of the Vasudhara Falls, a 125 mtrs high waterfall associated with the Pandava brothers. We did not visit the place but Vishwanath briefed us a bit on the same.

Way to swargarohini and the Vasudhara Falls trek in the Mana village in Uttarakhand Himalayas
Way to the Vasudhara Falls

Way to the Vasudhara Falls as seen from the Mana village
...and the Swargarohini trek

He said that the sprinkles from the gushing down water-spray  of the falls will never touch you if you are impure by heart… A person from a city, I couldn’t help letting out a wry smile. He asserted, It’s TRUE! Left me wondering, if there was anyone who ever gets soaked here…?

Further 1 km uphill from Vasudhara, on the route of the Swargarohini trek, is Keshav Prayag, the meeting point of the two sacred rivers Alaknanda (emerging from the Alkapuri glacier) and Saraswati.

Previous posts from this trip -

Post a Comment


  1. I appreciate your patience in covering each and every detail and fine aspects of the place you visit...
    Great job! Kudos!

  2. interesting... seems u have visited a lot of historical places... also, the photos suggest that it was very cold out there.... its foggy...
    every passage in the article is interesting and the photographs r nice...

  3. बहुत ही मस्त पोस्ट,
    तसल्ली हुई देख कर,
    फ़िर से जाने को मन कर रहा है

  4. Another incredible tour, superb captures and fascinating history! Always a delight to find your latest post, Arti, and a wonderful way to start my day. Thank you for sharing the fascinating history of your country with us!! Have a wonderful week!


  5. godly place...would love to go there...

  6. Beautiful clicks as always!!! And nice write-up...

  7. Love reading your posts.You are blessed , you got opportunity to see so many places in Himalayas, evenI was under the impression that Saraswati river was hidden. Bhimpul is awesome.

  8. I've only one thing to say about this post ...... Amazing. Those rocks down to the Saraswati River are so hauntingly beautiful, nature is indeed wonderous.

  9. The Saraswati river looks so wild - can imagine the sound it makes! This landscape evokes such different feelings - must be great to travel there and forget the rest for a while! Enjoy your day Arti!

  10. I was impressed!!!!
    Awe terrible!!!!
    I believe....
    Your photos and the place are fantastic!!!
    I wish you a happy summer, why am away from the INTERNET, until September.
    Sorry about that.
    Many greetings

  11. Amazing post, as usual! I too never knew one could actually see Saraswathy River. This is the first time i am seeing its milky ehite waters in picture. And the shop nearby is India's last shop...interesting tit bits:)

  12. How beautiful!
    I actually thought that the Saraswati River had dried up...but it looks gorgeous in those pictures. Hope I get to see it one day...

  13. this is a marvelous way to end my day. the milky waters are fascinating and unlike anything I've ever seen. and all of your photos are so dream-like. your descriptions are an inspiration, thanks Arti.

  14. I am in awe of all of this. Such a beautiful place and the temples interest me.

  15. Thanks for posting these pictures. When I was there, my camera and passport were confiscated by the personnel in charge at the military post but was allowed to roam free. Scenes and feelings are edged deeply in my mind. We walked to those caves including Vasudhara falls. We got sprayed!
    The Gufa-s were still at its raw stage and not nicely built like these pictures you took. And that last shop didn't exist then.

  16. Looks like a lovely place..
    loved the snaps.
    Enjoy your trips !!

  17. I wonder how you manage all those amazing tours. Your site could be a great guide to people who wish to visit those place.

  18. Amazing post Arti, and nothing new about it. As usual your blog is full of information and also interesting to read.

  19. Wow - what a lovely and fascinating place!

  20. beautiful post with nice pics

  21. Informative as always. Loved the pics. Even I wonder, did anyone on the earth felt those waters? Sounds utterly impossible.

  22. Hi Arti ~ I am completely amazed how you manage to travel so many different n gorgeous places and also make time to show it to us through your eyes by way of your such beautiful detailed posts n picture! Kudos!
    US Masala

  23. Wow , mesmerizing . Paradise on Earth .

  24. So interesting. So it is kind of like a waterfall? The Ved Vyas Gufa looks so different from the places you usually visit, almost like something American! Probably because of the red and white stripes!

  25. Good description of various places in Badrinath, photos are little dull may be because of winter or late evening i suppose

  26. Hello,Arti.
    You have provided such wild, magestic and beautiful photos. The Saraswati river looks very interesting though it is a little bit scary.

  27. The stones in the Saraswati River are aligned in a way that seems like a face. It's such a cool feeling to walk around a place that has been mentioned in antiquity!

  28. very nice ... wonderful ...beautiful pictures very detailed explanataion

  29. I loved Bhim Pul ( so romantic in a way).And also the sign board that says Hindustaan ki aakhri dukan.It is like i am there .The thought of Lord Ganesha writing Mahabharat in that cave gave me goosebumps ,you are so lucky to have visited the place .Thanks for this picturesque journey Arti .Enjoyed it .
    Have a wonderful weekend .

  30. Hi, Arti
    What a mysterious river the Saraswati is! The bubbling river is more than beautiful, but just divine!! The story of the natural bridge is fascinating. Every time I read your blog I am amazed with your country’s long history filled with myths. Your photos are wonderful and spiritual.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  31. Wow looks like an awesome part of India to explore!

  32. It is a beautiful and spiritual place. I was struck by the name 'River of Knowledge' (in English) and about how all cultures have myths and beliefs centered on rivers -- our life blood really.

  33. I enjoyed reading all these interesting facts and you are lucky to see such a beautiful country.

  34. Thanks for sharing. I remebered the word "Pul" means a bridge and "Gufa" means a cave. I am overwhelmed with the fact that Hindi is becoming so distant. I need to have some Urdu/ Hindi speaking friends:) this is Munir over here at Focus. Greetings.

  35. Hello,

    First of all thx for visting my blog.
    Wow ur post is just amazing.Thx for enlighting us with facts and significance of such places.
    Will surely visit such places in near future.

    Keep writing

  36. Very interesting description with good photos, I hope to read more of your such sojourn details in future

  37. Interesting trip as always.It's a very dangerous natural stone bridge but I want to walk on the stone at once.:)

  38. Thank you for this informative post about your spiritual journey. I'm so attracted by the milky white waters and the Falls. Stay cool and healthy.

  39. that was wonderful!
    hope to visit one day!

  40. Excellent indeed. Thanks for sharing such a spiritual significances.

  41. HI,Arti.
    Thank you for visiting my blog.
    Your country has great nature and history.
    High mountain,myth,sacred river are mysterious for me.
    Have a nice week.

  42. It was a joy to accompany you on part of your fascinating journey, Arti. Seeing these wonderful places through your lens and words make me sigh and think, so many places, so little time. Thank you!

  43. A beautiful post! I've lived and traveled in so many places, but have never been to India, so it is fascinating to see the country through the eyes of people who live or travel there.

    We hear and see so much about India on TV and in print, but I am sure it is never what you expect once you go there. It's been like that for me when I moved to a new country. I'm always surprised!

  44. pious, insightful and spiritual.. your blog generated an intense feeling of soon visiting the place. Thanks:)

    Weakest Link:Personal
    News Not Making News: Dream

  45. hi Arti....very informative post...Beautifully captured pics of the places....

  46. HI Arti
    Thanks for popping in my way.. and thanks for taking me on this little tour.. along the banks of the Saraswati river.. I must go back to your post on Diwali.. [the festival of lights yes?].. I had work friends who celebrated each year with us in the office.. it was great to experience the food and culture..

    Have a great week.. ciao xxx Julie

  47. Hey loved ur blog. Wud luv to read all of it which in time i wil :) I love travelling too :) Thou i haven;t ventured enough to write about my futile attempts... :)

  48. Wow Arti... you never fail to take your readers to a wonderful, even spiritual journey. This village for instance - what could be more serene? I loved this travel diary page and hope to make this visit sometime.

  49. Wonderful experience. I would love to see this in person.

  50. amazing.... i love the pictures too.... actually the ads from govt on tv featuring celebs don't make ppl visit these places... but reading such beautiful articles certainly encourages people to visit these amazing places...!!...

  51. nice info and history about the important places.. Some wonderful pics too..

    Manish Menon

  52. Dear Arti

    Another interesting place and another incredible story....WOW! Loved the tales behind each place.. so wonderful to know and see that the places were visited and inhabited by people from our Epics...The pics are beautiful as usual...I must say it was a Treat!


  53. A beautiful post with some great information. I think I need to visit Himalayas soon, have never seen them.

  54. another typical small mountain town.. miss those places

  55. So near yet so far... I had all the inclination to trek to vasudhara falls but being on a tight schedule and fatigue didn't help the cause.

    Next, I need to plan all alone and spend a week exploring all places at leisure - and probably Arti of MYD would be the guide for the trip :)

  56. This article touched my heart and i am dyeing to visit I hope I am invited to see them both shiv-Badri jie's

  57. nice to see ur blog and photos there on.river saraswathi is visible only you know the origin of saraswathi exists there uphill distant deotal .

  58. the origin of river saraswathi still exists there uphill deotal lake some 60 km from mana .had you been there?

    1. Thank you for sharing the information, much appreciated. I haven't been to deotal yet, perhaps some day...

  59. Thanks for posting this in so much detail. I was just browsing about the Bhimpul to show a friend of mine that i was not lying. These pictures bought back so many memories of the time spent at Badrinath and Mana Village. I visited the place in 2001.

  60. Thanks for posting these images and necessary information. I was reading about Rivers in India and your post has helped a lot.

  61. Just a smiling visitant here to share the love
    (:, btw great style.

  62. There is so much of Mahabharat in Uttarakhand from Vyas' gufa to Duryodhan and Karn's temples its fascinating. You have relit my desire to visit Mana.. I hope you dont need special permission...


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