Malana is a tiny village with just about 100 houses and is very unique in many other ways. The place is not civilized, and the people here believe they are descendents of Alexander the great. This may be true. When Alexander came to India, he got defeated, and returned. His soldiers who were very tired, did not want to get back. They found Himachal Pradesh, cool like most of us do, and decided to stay back. And, they inhabit Malana now, and they are called Malanis….like how people in Kerala are called Keralites.
Malanis believe they are superior, and that the rest of the people are untouchables. When I went trekking in Himachal, I passed through Malana, that’s why the travelogue about this place. We carried chocolates to give children whom we meet on the route. The kids from Malana would not take anything from us, directly from our hand, like the other kids. We have to throw chocolates or biscuits on the floor, and then they would pick it up. The purpose is not to touch us. Malana has several chai shops, where paan and cigarettes are available. You have to throw cash, and they will throw cigarettes or paan masala packets to you, or any item that you purchase. The only 2 communities in India, who they feel are equal to them are Rajputs and Brahmins.
It is therefore forbidden for us to touch anyone or anything in Malana. The villagers have built a series of cement tracks through the place and these cement tracks are for us, the impure. Everything off the track is forbidden and as you walk the locals will jump from the track into the mud so as to avoid any physical contact with you. Also, you will find many writings on the rocks and walls, indicated that if you touch their houses and temples, you will be fined. Malana is in a popular trekking circuit in Himachal, and hence lots of people pass by this place.
Malanis also look different, their features are sharp. They are extremely fair, but, short people. Traditionally Malanis’ do not leave their village for employment. They grow ganja, and sell it. But, now, Malanis have started leaving their villages in search of employment. For instance, our trek guide was a Malani, and he told me all the interesting stories.
I did not go to Malana, coz I was very tired in the evening, after a full day of trekking. I was camping on a mountain, which is in front of the mountain, on which Malana is situated. In between the 2 mountains was the Malana Nala, another tributary of the river Parvathy.
The Malanis believe that Malana is a separate country. They do not follow the constitution of India, and they do not follow Indias law and order system. They have a indigenous government system, the local panchayat, that meets regularly, and all the problems are solved internally. Their panchayat has a lower house and a upper house as well, with Prime Minister and President. They believe they are independent and superior.
Couple of my friends went into Malana village. They told me, the village was dirty, cow dung all over the place, and narrow lanes…like any normal Himachal village. Also, the village itself, in its majestic natural setting, is a garbage dump. Litter is just thrown into the streets and behind houses. Also, they had to throw money to buy cigarettes.
Inside the village, our trekking guide ( as I told you, he is a Malani ) took, all my friends, to a temple…it is temple for Devi Ma or Jamblu Devta. The temple is opened once in a year, and the puja is performed only once in a year. If anyone opened the temple door, at an inappropriate time, then, Devi Ma gets angry and kills them.
The main temple is an ancient wooden affair, the outside walls carry no idols; but there are dozens of deer heads and animal horns nailed to the old boards. Horns of sheep and buffaloes are displayed in the entrance of the temples. I think, these animals are sacrificed to please the Gods, and the horns are left behind. The threshold to the temple is covered by cow dung, but there will always be someone there to make sure that you don't get anywhere near the sacred place. You can check the snaps that I have posted.
If you want to get to Malana, this is how you have to do it.
Getting there :
Malana is nestled six kilometres above the town of Jari in the Parvatti Valley. It is about 3700 meters above sea, and is connected to the Kullu valley by three mountain passes.
Nearest Road : Manikaran or Jari or Kullu. But, to get to these places, you have to walk on mountains ie trek to Malana.
In Jari they are building a dam, so you can drive your car to the top of the project and leave it there. After that, you've got a beautiful and difficult 3 hour trek through forest and river to the top of a mountain.
Manikaran is a 10 hr trek. You can trek to Malana from Rashol, Naggar vis Chanderkhani Pass.
Nearest Airport : Bhuntar – 13 kms from Jari
Trip Duration : 1 days
Best time to visit : Summer, April to June
Where to stay : On the mountain opposite Malana, on this side of the Malana Nala as I have explained. Carry your tent equipment and toilet paper.
Great..that brings you to 36 NEW threads in just 2 hrs and 40 mins...wow...great going LA..Keep it up. BTW do you have all this on your website too? so that I can read this whenever I can instead of serching your newly started threads?
If Life is a journey....travel on...and on..on..on.....
Originally posted by: Nick-HIf everyone grows it and everyone sells it why is it so expensive? Is it only sold to visitors and for export?
& anyways it's plentiful only in that area where they do it without any hassle and you have to be 'mental' to go all the way there for THAT alone. Dont forget they sell the concentrate(without pulp :-) ) which arguably is more potent.
I think you're paying a lot for the hassle free transaction and quality of stuff.
Then again, I havent messed with the stuff, all this is just guesses for me.
LA, I'm sure you have it on your website too..please post the linlk for all of us.
Hash: Malana cream is NOT the best....ask the locals. It chnages every year(depends on how one grows..and Malana guys are not god..moreover they have diversified into lot more than that black stuff)...I know Malana too well.more so becoz I don't do it..and I'm one of the clans Malana people interact with freely. But thats not the end..they also interact with 'others' who do not fall in the same 'categories'..... Sorry but the OP was just a trekker there and the I can't post more here. From a casual trekker, its a great post.
If Life is a journey....travel on...and on..on..on.....
Have to agree with Vinay, Malana is not best, i found north east stuff better and kinda more savory and fragrant then malana. however my intrest in malana is about that old and well thrashed tale that says, inhabitant of malana are descendends of retreating army of Alaxander when he tried to inavde Punjab and finaly turned back while some guys broke off to hills.
I have to admit, it was stories of Malana cream that started my interest in India!!
A friend of mine, who is a senior member of a prominent cannabis website o.g. informs me that the best is actually from kashmir area.
Malana cream I hear is hard to find and my friend who is from India tells me, that even after solo trecks through Kashmir/pakistan, that Pavarti valley and Manikaran is the most dangerous place he ever traveled!
I hear the Charra trade has corrupted Pavarti, there area aslo westerners that are long-term visitors who live in the area because of the harvest's.