Malana, a quaint village located at 10000 feet, is tucked in the serene environs of Parvati Valley. The village has plenty of attractions to watch out but it’s the strange rules, laws and taboos in Malana that its known for. Chandrakhani and Deo Tibba Peaks overlook the village that has been known for its strange culture and carefree lifestyle and continues to enchant travelers from across the world.
Of everything spoken about the place, hashish hogs the limelight. Malana claims to grow the finest quality of hash grown anywhere in the world. Hash also happens to be the primary source of income for the villagers. When you go exploring the village, don’t forget to source it from the locals and take a puff or two of Malana Cream. Bringing back the hashish from the village could land you in trouble as there is a police checkpost after Malana village on the Malana-Zari road. And the police checks every individual there top to toe, so you can’t get away with anything illegal with you.
Reaching Malana is not that easy as it seems. One has to take a 6 km trek to reach Malana in Kasol. As you walk by get enthralled by the charming Malana river and listen to the music of the free flowing stream.
No Indian Law
The village doesn’t adhere to the Indian judicial system and the village has its own council which decides for any kind of conflict, trouble, or problem in the village. They are primarily dependent on the business of hashish. If anyone is caught for any wrong doing inside the village they have to face the verdict of the village council and police can’t intervene in the village proceedings. Don’t get into any kind of scuffle with the locals there, no outsider would intervene in any such matter whatsoever.
Fine ancient architecture of Malana village is another noticeable feature and one can’t help but take a closer look at the fine detailings in the architecture of the buildings there. While taking a stroll through the alleys of Malana, you’ll find intricate artwork on the exteriors of houses & temples there. The temples of Malana have restricted their entry for the outsiders. The artwork spotted in the village houses are noteworthy and one must maintain a fair distance from the wall as the instruction reads. Leave alone entering the temple you are not allowed touch it either because locals consider every outsider a sinner.
Talking about the construction of most of the houses in the village, they are mostly wooden and two-storied. The first floor is used to live while the ground floor is used for livestock and cattle rearing. The wooden structures are sturdy and make a rustic appearance.
Close Resemblance to Greeks
Malanese are said to be the descendants of Alexander the great. The story states that when the legendary conqueror’s army entered India from the north they found Malana a perfect halt, which led to their settlement. With their chiseled appearance resembling to that of the Greeks, and a formidable build up, the folks of Malana testify the popular belief.
The locals are capable of carrying immense loads, which can be figured out from the heavy objects that they carry effortlessly on their back while climbing uphill. It is also believed that a part of Alexander’s army stayed back in Malana forever making the village of Malana popular for its distinct people.
Strange Rituals & Beliefs
You can’t touch the people of Malana or their belongings without their permission. People in Malana consider the outsiders as unholy and inferiors. The shopkeepers in Malana don’t prefer any kind of physical contact and even place the purchased goods on the counter and ask you to do them same while paying for the purchased good. Outsiders aren’t allowed to enter the temple and one can’t click a of houses in Malana without the resident’s permission.
Residents believe that Jamblu Devta rules the community through village councils. Every alternate day they carry out a procession in which the deity is carried out from the temple on four shoulders & the villagers seek his blessings. Akin to the other developed hilly areas in the country, Malana boasts of its indigenous governance system. It is believed that the great Mughal Emperor Akbar came to find a cure to Malana. As it happened, he left the place satisfied, and since then the emperor made the land tax-free.
Malana is an exciting place for all the discerning wanderers who look forward to visit strange places and different cultures.