Malana is an enigmatic village, a true time capsule preserving traditions, myths, and an aura of mystique. It is set amidst the picturesque Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India.
This isolated village practices environmental sustainability and preservation since it is widely known as a major source of cannabis, maize, and potatoes.
Often referring to as the “Little Greece of India,” the villagers of Malana uphold historical beliefs, a rich culture, and the breathtaking beauty of nature.
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The Enchanting Scenery Of Malana
Malana is perched at an elevation of approximately 8,701 feet above sea level. The majestic views are flanked by towering peaks, lush forests, alpine meadows, and the serene waters of the Malana River.
The village is accessible by taxi or bus from Jari or a challenging trek from Kasol.
This isolation has allowed the Malanese to maintain their distinctive culture and traditions for centuries, free from pollution and the influence of the modern world.
The Architecture, Culture And Unique Customs
The village’s architecture reflects its isolated lifestyle and ancient culture, with traditional stone and wood houses featuring slate roofs.
Outsiders are strictly forbidden from entering the Jamlu Temple, Rukmini Temple, and local houses. The Malanese believe that the touch of a non-Malanan defiles their sacred spaces.
Besides its village architecture, Malana has its own language called Kanashi. It is distinct from the local languages spoken in Himachal Pradesh, blending elements of Sanskrit and several Tibetan dialects.
The 4,700 local inhabitants of Malana diligently follow customs, culture, and traditions passed down through generations.
Furthermore, the villagers have their unique legal system and governing council known as the ‘Panchayat,’ and they are governed by a bicameral parliament.
The Malanese have a deep reverence for their deities, and their religious ceremonies are shrouded in mystery and secrecy.
The Mythical Origins With History
One of the most intriguing aspects of Malana is its origin story, the rules and regulations set by Jamlu Rishi.
The villagers also have a unique belief that they are descendants of the soldiers of Alexander the Great. The wounded soldiers sought refuge in the village, and their descendants, the Malanese, continue to live here.
While genetic studies have debunked this theory, it is still a cherished part of Malana’s identity.
Cultivation of Malana Cream
What’s more interesting, behind the history of Malana, is notorious for producing a high-quality strain of cannabis called “Malana Cream.”
The cultivation of this cannabis has been a major source of income for the villagers, although it has also garnered controversy due to its illegal status.
Despite government efforts to eradicate cannabis plantations, the Malanese have maintained this practice, asserting their traditional rights.