Malana is perhaps the most well-kept secret of our country in a very mysterious yet alluring way. An ancient solitary village in Himachal Pradesh, India shadowed by the peaks of Chandrakhani & Deotibba is unique in the most amusing ways. The village has its own set of rules, lifestyle & way of life. An impressive set of people who are descendants of a very unusual lineage and home to a very expensive and world famous homegrown herb. The Malanese people seem to have been able to keep the best secrets to themselves defying time. It is worth getting to know about this undiscovered village of treasures.
People and Lifestyle:
Malana is one of the oldest democracies in the world. Any wild guesses whose descendants the Malanese people belong to? Alexander the Great, yes you read it right!
Isn’t is stunning to know that we have an entire village with descendants from Alexander living in India. Although open to tourists, owing to being descendants from a superior clan, it is a strict no-no to touch anything, like the walls or belongings and especially the Malanese people; doing so can invite a punishment on you.
As unique as it can get! Not only this the village also has its own religious beliefs, but they also have undying faith in Lord Shiva and their Lord Jamlu Rishi. They have their independent fully functional parliamentary system which reflects ancient Greek system, very different from the Indian system. They also have a unique judicial system in which a decision in based on poisoning the right foreleg of a lamb and the person whose sheep dies first loses the case. Belief is that their Lord takes the decision. Mind boggling I must say!
A beautiful morning at Malana in Himachal Pradesh. Courtesy Satish Krishnamurthy
The Serene Chandrakhani Pass trek at an altitude of 3660 m located in the Kullu valley.
A Malana Perch. Courtesy morisius cosmonaut
Undying belief in their Lord Devta:
The Malanese people have a blind faith in their Devta, also their source of union and harmony on whose decision they base everything, they also believe that mountains make their own rules. Devta’s spokesperson also known as ‘Gur’ is said to have dreams or the Devta in himself and it is he who guides the entire village for whom to vote.
The village that grows the world’s best Hash, ‘Malana Cream’:
It is stunning to see a number of tourists Malana attracts, though it is pretty unknown to Indians. There is one very attractive reason for the popularity among westerners and hippies. The best and the rarest form of hash in the world is found here, it is considered to be of the most premium quality and priced exorbitantly worldwide. It is true it attracts a lot of hippies and tourists who want to get high on the best hash and charas of the world, also known as Malana cream. Popular in the stoners paradise as Magic Valley, it is a stoners ticket to heaven. But not many know that it is actually used for medicinal purposes earlier.
How to reach Malana:
The best way to reach Malana is from Jari by hiring a cab since no public buses travel to the village of Malana, which is 23 km away. Kullu is connected to Malana village through three mountain passes, can also be reached from Parvati valley in Himachal Pradesh across the Rashol Pass and Chanderkhani pass.