I was having my delicious breakfast – Aloo ka Paratha and Chai in a small restaurant along with a friend near Badrinath – Mana road in Uttarakhand.
Since I have this habit of cranking a conversation with strangers particularly when I am traveling ( other days you will find me laying with my pillow in a corner of my bed watching TV Series or reading books).
I asked the restaurant owner about his well-being and how is life in the mountains?
In return, he asked me about my whereabouts and what I was up to?
I told him ecstatically that I’m going on a trek to Vasudhara falls which starts from Mana village. He looked at me with beaming face and asked me, there is something speacial about Vasudhara falls, which starts from Mana village (emphasized on this, sarcastically, maybe because this area was his abode).
Do you know that? I said no, with a bewildered face.
He further added, it is said that, the water of this waterfall turns away from people who don’t possess a pure heart and it is also believed that Pandavas had passed through this fall when they were on their way to heaven.
I was like, Interesting, but I think it is just a hoax, echoed in my mind.
The distance between Badrinath and Mana village is just 3 km, then 4 km uphill climb to Vasudhara falls.
This might seems like a short distance but trust me walking in the mountains is way harder than what we do in the cities. Steep slopes, narrow roads just pile on the misery.
When we reached the place where I was to get the vehicle to Mana. We were expecting some sharing vehicle options, but there were just few taxis available and all were asking for insane price (500 INR) for just 3 km.
It’s a lot of money when you are on a budget trip.
So we started seeking for other options and luckily we found a taxi that was going that way to deliver fruits and vegetables.
We hopped in, grinning.
It was just a matter of 10 minutes when we reached, Mana. Big sign boards on the road, proclaiming Mana as the last village of India can be seen from the distance.
We hopped out, thanked the driver profusely and entered the village.
Mana is a tiny, quintessential Himalayan village. But this place is very significant for all those who believes or interested in Hinduism in any way.
It is said that, Mahabharat was written in a cave in this village. According to lore, Maharishi Vyas composed this epic tale along with Lord Ganesha in a cave which is now known as Vyas Gufa. Lord Ganesha was the writer and Maharishi Vyas was the narrator.
Just a few meters away from this cave, we found the trail of the trek for which we had come this far, Vasudhara falls trek.
I have been to many trekking expeditions in the past few years. I have lived in snow-capped terrains for weeks and ascended many peaks with dreamlike view and tranquility.
Vasudhara falls was something I had included in the itinerary just for the shake of including it because anyhow I was there in Badrinath and why miss a trek which was just 3 km away?
But it turned out to be the best place I had visited in a week trip in Uttarakhand.
Unlike other treks, to complete Vasudhara falls, you don’t need to stay in camps for days or climb steep slopes all day long or hire a local guide.
This trek has a well-built trail and needs only few hours to ascend and descend.
I still remember when I was standing right in front of a shop where it was written Bharat ki antim dukaan (India’s last shop).
Few locals were there. Upon asking about the trek and distance, they started insisting us to hire them as a guide. But the youngest in them told us – sir, you don’t need a guide. Water fall is just 4 km from here.
The best thing about this trek is its view. I bet you can’t take off your eyes even for a moment. Almost entire trail is blessed with splendid vista and the second best thing about the trek is, you won’t find many people here. This is not famous amongst the trekkers and only handful of people come on this trek. So if you are a person who likes to visit offbeat places then look no further as this is one of the best offbeat treks in Uttarakhand.
When we started this trek, we were only two people in the distant sight, nobody else. Except for few mystics who live in the vicinity.
Distance in mountains and on plain surfaces is incomparable. What seems like just a mere 4 km might be enough to make you gasp like an after race horse. It happened to me so many times when I totally underestimated the trek distance only to burned out completely later on.
So even though, Vasudhara falls trek is just of 4 km (each side) but it still needs energy, perseverance, will-power and most importantly, love for the mountain and trekking.
I was walking slowly and steadily towards the waterfall with a day-sack wrapped tightly around my neck. I always have this habit of carrying a day-sack when I climb any mountain to carry some important stuffs like water, dry-fruits, eateries, windcheater, torch, woolen caps etc. just to avoid regretting later when a dire need appears.
Vasudhara falls has no shops in between where you can purchase anything not even water or eateries. Anything you want to procure, you have to do it in Mana itself. So carrying a day-sack can be proven a blessing in mountains.
After almost 2 hours of exciting, surreal and steady ascending, we were standing right in front of the waterfall now.
And to our surprise, water of the waterfall didn’t turn away from us and was splashing continuously. We were ecstatic because, at least now I had a proof that I am pure hearted person. But then two more people came and water splashes on them too, then two more and this continued.
I was like, what the fish ❗ , world can’t have so many pure hearted person. All my ecstasy converted into misery in a moment 😛
We did sit back there for almost one hour, watching waterfall’s water dropping vertically, producing a constant sound of bliss, absolutely a heaven for meditation lovers.
Far beyond this waterfall, I could witness the vastness of Himalaya, stretching eternally, with crystal clear blue sky, filling the gaps flamboyantly giving a look of nothing but sheer embellishment.
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