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The Last Villages of India

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It is us who created borders on land and it is us who desperately want to cross them too. Here are the famous last villages of India which should be on your travel list:

Mana

mana village
Source: https://devilonwheels.com/

The mystical village of Mana lures you with the amazing tales it has to offer. This quaint place lies 3 km from Badrinath in Uttarakhand, a famous Hindu pilgrimage and is 24 km from the Indo-Tibet border. The entire village is dipped in mythology and it is believed that after the great war of Mahabharata, the Pandavas crossed the Mana village during their final journey to heaven.

The gurgling sound of River Saraswati welcomes you in the village. The river is known as Gupt Gamini or the hidden river since it flows just about 100 metres from its origin and then merges into Alaknanda at Keshav Prayag in Mana. One of the prime attractions here is Bheema Pul. It is said that Bheem created this stone bridge so that his wife Draupadi could cross Saraswati river during their journey to heaven.

things to do in uttarakhand
Source: https://uttarakhandtourism.gov.in/

You should also visit the beautiful waterfall of Vasudhara. Legend has it that Pandavas stayed here for some time when they were in exile. I wonder if they ever wanted to return. This place screams beauty.

Then there is Vyas Gufa where Ved Vyas, the renowned scholar lived and composed the famous four vedas. Interestingly, the roof of the cave looks noticeably flaky and does appear like a bundle of palm leaf manuscript. It is also believed that from this cave he narrated Mahabharata to Ganesha who was the assigned scribe to write the epic. And it’s not surprising to see Ganesh Gufa, a cave just a few metres downhill from the Vyas Gufa.

Talk to the locals who will tell you these stories proudly and with such honesty that you cannot help but believe them. Also, don’t forget to enjoy a cup of tea at India’s Last Tea Shop.

last villages of india
Source: https://www.dangerousroads.org/

Click here to read about Munsiyari, a beautiful hill station in Uttarakhand!

Chitkul

chitkul
Source: https://traveltriangle.com/

A gem from the Kinnaur region in Himachal, Chitkul is the last village of India on the Indo-Tibet Border. The picturesque location and the scenic beauty of the place are what draw travelers towards it. The Kinner Kailash range gives the perfect backdrop and the blue Baspa River adds to the charm.

The summer here is so colourful and lively with the blooming orchards and trees. Strolling down the village and soaking in the sun is an experience in itself during this time. On one side of the river, you can witness the beauty of the snow-clad mountains while the other side has a terrain full of wooden houses and apple orchards.

During winters, the entire valley is decorated in white snow. It is so cold that even the Baspa River gets frozen.

Did you know few scenes of Love Aajkal 2 were filmed in Chitkul. And even though the movie was a dud, this place is definitely a blockbuster.

things to do in chitkul
Source: https://traveltriangle.com/

Read about Sethan Valley here, an offbeat place in Himachal!

Turtuk

turtuk
Source: https://travellingslacker.com/

Take a road less taken in the picturesque Ladakh and visit Turtuk. Known as village divided by a border, Turtuk has many stories to tell. Turtuk was part of Pakistan until 1971 when the area was recaptured by Indian Army. It raised a lot of confusion among locals as they had been part of an entire different country for 24 years. Due to its sensitive nature and proximity to the border, tourism was not allowed here for the longest time. Things however slowly started to change. Ladakh saw a major boost in tourism and the locals of Turtuk filed a petition for the remote but scenic valley to be opened up for tourists. And the first tourists visited Turtuk in 2010.

Located in Nubra Valley of Ladakh, Turtuk is the last village on the Indian side of the India-Pakistan border. While rest of the Ladakh is a barren wasteland and a cold desert deprived of anything green, Turtuk is surrounded with lush green trees all around. Shyok River flows nearby and the colourful apricot plantations decorate the village. You will also see a contrast in terms of the culture. Ladakh is a Buddhist majority region whereas most of the people living in Turtuk are Balti Muslims.

how to reach turtuk
Source: https://medium.com/

The village of Turtuk is divided into three different sections:

Chutang: Chutang roughly translates to “river plain” and is located right next to Shyok River. This place is the educational and cultural center of Turtuk. You will find red cheeked kids running to school every morning as the school bell rings in the background.

Yul: This is the oldest are area of the village.  This is where most of the population lives and go on with their daily lives. Walk around in the lush green fields and talk to the locals who will welcome you with open arms.

Pharol: The name means “the other side” and you will cross an idyllic bridge to reach here. The area is flanked with buckwheat fields. And don’t be surprised if you see the K2 peak from here. It will remind how close you are to the border.

pharol
Source: https://devilonwheels.com/

Hike up to a beautiful waterfall and visit the ruins of an ancient Brokpa fort in Turtuk. Brokpas are known to be a 5000-year-old tribe of Ladakh. Stay with a villager in their home listening to their stories and learn about their culture. Take a walk along the edge of the hill and watch the sunset atop one of the many boulders as dusk sets in. Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Turtuk.

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