– By Dr. A Pranesh
Maana is the last village of India, on the border with Tibet and 3 kms from Holy Badarinath in Uttaranchal, Himalayas. Maana is very small but beautiful. This was named after the Manasa putras (sons) of Brahma. Maana village is inhabited by Indo- Mangolian tribes called Bhotias.
Maana village has many caves and among them is the famous Vyas gufa (cave). It is believed that Vyasacharya dictated his most popular epic Mahabharata to Lord Ganesh here. In addition to this, Vyasacharya classified Vedas into 4, namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana Vedas. He has also written Brahma Sutras.
Inside the cave, there is an idol of Veda Vyasacharya and next to him is the idol of Ananda tirtha. The rock formation in the caves seems to resemble the orderly stacking of palm leaves manuscripts.
Another popular cave is Ganesh gufa, which is about 100 meters below the Vyas gufa. Here Lord Ganesha believed to have written Mahabharatha dictated by Vyasacharya.
One km away from Vyas gufa is a small shrine of Bala Tripurasundari, located amidst beautiful surrounding. There is a natural bridge known as Bhim pul, where Bhima placed a huge boulder on the river stream so that Draupadi could cross easily.
Near Bhim gufa river Saraswati, appears only for 100 meters and disappears. It is supposed to meet rivers Ganga and Yamuna in Sangam or confluence at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Even there Saraswati is not obviously seen as she meets the other two rivers underground and hence called Gupta gamini.
Further 3 kms uphill from Vyas gufa is the Muchakunda gufa. A 4 km trek from Maana village leads to beautiful Vasudhara falls, which drops from 125 meters height.
1 km trek from Vasudhara falls on Swargarohana trek route is Keshav prayag, which is the sangam of the rivers Alakananda and Saraswati.