Greece of Himalayas – Malana Village

 A quick description of Malana is all about a remote place in the Himalayas where there is no law, no police station, no government, where the population is just in thousands. If you are interested to see and learn a unique culture, lifestyle and beliefs then plan a 2 or 3 days to this mystical land of Himalayas.
Malala Women Image:Flickr
Malala Women
Image:Flickr

Malana is an ancient village of the Kullu district lying on the side of Parvati Valley. It is believed that Malanese is a unique tribe who claim to be direct descendant of Alexandar and have their own set of customs and beliefs to which they are strictly stick to. The trek to Malana would definitely be an exciting trek for any traveler because of its unique features.

Image: Flickr
Image: Flickr

How to Reach ?

Malana can be reached from Parvati Valley or from Nagar but the easiest way to reach here is to reach Jari first. Jari is a small town which is 11 Kms away from Kasol. Reach Kasol (By taking an overnight bus from Delhi/Chandigarh to Bhuntar and then from Bhuntar to Kasol) and take a bus or a taxi for Jari. One can easily get a bus from Kasol Chawk arriving at Jari in every 30 minutes. After reaching Jari, either hire a taxi for Bridge Four or for Narang. If you wish to make your trek more adventurous then opt for trekking from Bridge Four (A steep trek starts from here) reaching to Narang.

My friends at the point from where trek to Malana starts
My friends at the point from where trek to Malana starts

Or hire a taxi straightaway from Jari to Narang. It will take around 2 hours to reach at the Narang point from where the main trek to the village starts. And the thrilling journey to the mystical land will begin where you will find picturesque landscapes, beautiful views of the valley. One has to cross Malana River with the help of a feeble bridge. Trek is a moderate one. You will find easy paths to wet zones to climb zones and passing all the hurdles, one can reach to the outskirts of the village easily in an hour or so.

You can opt hiring your own car that needs to get registered at Jari entrance and cover remaining distance to Malana.

Image: Flickr
Image: Flickr

Best Time to Visit

Malana is in Himalayan region thus the best time to visit is summers from May to August.

Ideal Time Required

2-3 days are required to complete trekking and getting back to Delhi.

Malana-village
Houses at Malana

Where to Stay?

Two guesthouses are available in the Malana Village. Don’t expect to get a very clean room in Malana full of facilities. You will get a normal room at Rs. 200-300. And the toilet facility would be in common.

Kheerganga Trek Tale By Aditya Awasthi

What is the Specialty / Major Attractions In Malana?

Malana is a solitary village having its own religious beliefs and customs. You can see Jamlu temple and Rukmini Temple over there and enjoy the scary view of skulls of sacrificed animals on the temple walls. Make sure you do not click pics of any wall of the temple or of the house or of some sacred stones in Malana before seeking permission. Or do not touch them. If you do so accidentally, then be ready to pay hefty penalty for this crime decided by its own jurisdiction.

Malanese people consider Non-malanese ‘untouchables’ thus touching them is not allowed. They are very unfriendly people so there is a chance that you will not get good replies from them on anything you ask.

malana-village
Jamlu Temple
Image:Flickr

An interesting thing to know for Malana is that it is famous for growing best quality ‘Malana Cream’ or ‘Charas’. You can easily spot fields and plantations of Cannabis. When you enter the village, many people approach to sell Charas to you and they get friendly only when you buy the drug from them. Almost everybody over there consumes Charas. There are many myths prevailed in the village. You will love to hear them.

Malanese speaks Kanashi/ Raksh, a dialect popular over there only. It would be better to hire a guide for the trek so that you don’t get lost on the trek. Guide tells you all the popular myths of the village.

Cannabis Image: Flickr
Cannabis
Image: Flickr

Malana is also renowned for its Harlala Mask dance festival celebrated in the month of February where everyone wears nothing but Cannabis leaves and dances with masks.

Harlala Mask Dance at festival Image: Flickr
Harlala Mask Dance at festival
Image: Flickr

Give me a week and Manali

What to Eat?

There is no such special stuff to have in Malana. You will get tea, coffee, biscuits and the normal food to have over there.

Tips to Fellow Travelers

  • Do not touch walls of temples or any sacred stone of the village.
  • Do not touch people over there.
  • Do not click photographs of the temples or of the people without permission. Doing so can penalize you with hefty amounts.
  • Carry good trekking shoes, water bottles, stuff to eat, chocolates, first aid box, windcheaters, woollen wears, sunglasses and other necessary stuff with you.
malana-village
Waterfall near Malana
Image: Flickr

Nearby Spots

Kasol, Manikaran, Bir-Biling, Tosh etc.

Malana lives like a family. One can learn many things from there. How people survive there with bare facilities, how they solve their disputes without any law, how they live with harmony etc. Anyone who want to spend some time in peace and calm, away from the hustle-bustle life of the city then do visit Malana and enjoy the nature over there.

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