The Village Of Taboos: Malana, Himachal Pradesh
At an altitude of 9,938 feet above sea level lies the village of Malana also known as the village of Taboos. This village in the state of Himachal Pradesh is a magical green rimmed village that overlooks the Deotiba and Chandrakhani Peaks.
The village of Malana is considered as one of the oldest democracies in the world. It is also known by the drug mafia for its hash which is extracted from the Cannabis plant and travels the world which is also the main source of income for the Malanese.
If one decide to visit this village of Taboos it is advisable to not touch the walls or belongings of any of the Malanese people as you will have to pay a fine if you touch anything. ‘Kanashi’ is the local language of Malana and does not sound like any of the dialects spoken in its neighboring villages and the language is also considered to be one of the secrets of the village that outsiders from other villages are not allowed to use.
Malana village is connected to Kulu by three mountain passes. Once in the state of Himachal Pradesh it can be reached from Parvati valley across the Rashol Pass and Chanderkhani pass. The easiest way to reach Malana is from Jari by hiring a taxi since no public buses ply to the village of Malana, which is 23 km away.
Jari is also an entry point to Malana. About 1.5 km from Jari is the Malana powerhouse and foreign visitors have to register their names before entering the valley for security and logistics at the police naka there. Everyone must trek the last 4kms uphill to reach the village of Malana the trek is very easy as it has broad concrete steps all along the way.
The scenery shifts as you begin the trek to ascent towards Malana village. One will be greeted by a valley which has more shades of green than you can imagine and a river flowing with all its might. The best time to visit Malana and witness the pleasing landscape is between March and October. Since winters are very severe.
Accommodation is available in the village with a few budget backpacker type guest houses. People mostly do a day trip to Malana village. The food available is also very basic and simple. The people of Malana village have very sharp features and many of them have fiery blond hair.
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People in the village love posing for pictures and will mostly request one to take multiple pictures of them. Since hash is openly sold in the village it is a very common site to be offered hash in the village, one should not be surprised even if a child offers to sell you some hash.
Many of the village children do not go to school and spend the day lazing around in the village or playing. The ladies in the village earn a living by collecting honey or aid the men in the hash fields. During winters the entire village is covered in snow resulting in people spending the days in their homes for 5 to 6 months.
The Malanese locals believe that all outsiders of the village are ‘untouchable’ since they themselves are descendents of Alexander the Great and belong to the Aryan race. Nobody is allowed to touch the walls of the Jamdagni Temple which is located at the heart of the village.
This sacred space is made of wood and stone and does not have any electricity. There is also the shrine of Renuka Devi which is located at the start of the village and has horns of animals in the temple complex. The horns are usually fixed on the facade of the temple with the bangles of the villagers signifying femininity.There is a festival celebrated in the village every year on the 15th of August which attracts a crowd from all around the valley.
One is advised not to buy hash in the village of Malana since while returning back from the village the taxis are mostly checked at the police naka. Since many tourist are coming to Malana, this has given rise to the children from the village turning into beggars asking the tourist for chocolates or money.
Malana is truly a very unique village and totally lays claim to the village of Taboos and has many restrictions on the people visiting the village. Malana is more of a village for backpackers and travelers and less for tourists.
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