For every trekking and traveling enthusiast, there is an unending love for hills and mountains. Always the imperative, mountain calls are never neglected and people heed their destinies in the lap of nature within the land of Gods, Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh although formerly a part of Punjab. If segregated and looked at with a microscope of history and culture, you will find it extremely rich.
Malana Village History: The Athens of East
One such place located towards the north-east of Kullu Valley, in Himachal Pradesh is the village of Malana. Located at a height of around 8000 ft. from sea level, this place has a rich cultural value with its history suggesting that it is one of the oldest democracy. The Natives of Malana claim that they are purest Aryans and descendants of Soldiers of Alexander the Great. Nevertheless, the topic is debatable, but the language spoken in the village is Kanashi, which is considered a remnant of Rakshasa language. The village of Malana has a government of its own and it runs on rules and principals established by Sage Jamblu, who is the main deity of the village and his law and order are obeyed by everyone in the village.
For last few decades, Malana was a secluded village, running its own democracy based upon bicameral parliament system. There were no roads to it and the trek was treacherous. But now, a road has been built which goes up to the gate of the Malana village where Malana trek starts.
Malana Valley Story
Malana Valley: What not to do?
But before you go to the village of Malana, you must know about a few rules that are followed in the village and it is important for travelers also to obey them or else they will have to leave the village:
- People of Malana believe that they belong to the superior race. Hence people who do not belong to Malana are considered untouchables. As such you will be required not to make any physical contact with people.
- Although traces of modernization are available, still people of Malana take pride in their culture, custom, and beliefs as such they will reject anything that may conflict with their interests.
- Visitors in Malana town must stick to the path demarcated for them and should not touch any walls or houses.
- When inside the valley, People of Malana will not accept food from any outsiders, although, they can do that outside the valley.
- You cannot bring stay overnight in the village by making your own arrangements. Some villagers have built overnight stay places for outsiders but the cost can be high.
- For any sin committed by the outsider, a purification ritual will be held, which demands a sacrifice of a lamb and a hefty fee.
- Photography is allowed but non-videography is allowed.
- You cannot cut or burn trees, but fallen twigs and pieces are allowed for the bonfire. No hunting of wild animals unless you take permission from the village council.
- Use of the language Kanashi by outsiders is prohibited.
In addition to the above-mentioned rules and restrictions, one must know that a fine or Rs. 1000 can be imposed if you make any such mistake and it can further escalate to sacrifice of a lamb.
Accessing Malana Village
The village now has access to primary schools, medical center, pukka houses etc. All these signs say how things are changing but the problem is that the local deity who established this village thousands of years ago is unhappy about it.
Putting that aside, you must be wondering how one can reach this village. The good news is the village is not as far from the main city Kullu as one may imagine. You can access Malana from:
- 12 km from Naggar Valley, which is near Manali.
- 30 km from Kullu. All you need to do is reach Bhuntar, from there it’s not much farther off.
- Kasol-Tosh-Malana is the most popular Trek to through Parvathi valley and is the most followed during summers before and after the monsoon
To Begin Your Journey, You should
- Reach Bhuntar in Kullu Valley. All the buses coming from Chandigarh or Delhi for Manali or further will go through Bhuntar.
- From Bhuntar catch a bus to Jari Village. (22kms)
- From there you have to walk for around 11 km to reach Malana.
- The walk through the jungle can be scary but you will be rewarded with breathtaking views and exciting adventure.
The Malana Village is famous for a lot of things but nothing can compare to the fact that how well they are attached to their roots and how they take pride in all the things that they have built themselves upon.