Every year hundreds of people from different age groups and parts of the world come to Himachal Pradesh, searching for this ancient village located in the north east Kullu range. Malana is connected to Kulu by three mountain passes. It can be reached from Parvati valley across the Rashol Pass and Chanderkhani pass. The most convenient way to reach Malana is from Jari by hiring a taxi. Please keep in mind that the last 4 km stretch has to be walked by you. There are concrete stairs to help you! The Malana Trek is known all over the country for its refreshing and beautiful scenery. You would enjoy every bit of it.
Malana is beautiful, popular and yet untouched by the culture of the outside world. The people of Malana are brought up under the shadow of the peaks of Chandrakhani and Deotibb, they have their own lifestyle, culture and even laws. In fact, they believe that they are the descendants of Alexander The Great and hence, consider the visitors to be inferior and untouchable. Nevertheless, Malanese people are very helpful. They deal with tourism on a regular basis and don’t mind photography at all. They are absolutely gorgeous but you have to be very particular about maintaining physical distance from them because they don’t want to either touch you or want you to touch anything that they own without their permission. You won’t be allowed in or near the temple either but I assure you, the Jamdagini temple is worth seeing.
They follow their own religion and speak in Kanashi which they hold very close to their heart. Their judicial system reflects the feature of ancient Greek system, which is why Malana is also known as the Athens of Himachal Pradesh. The literacy rate in this village is very low but the children are happy and are always seen on the streets of the village, playing games. The elders of the village have this spark in their eyes, like there is a hidden secret or joke that no one else but a localite would understand.
If you are looking to experience a euphoric high or submerge yourself in this mysterious culture- Malana is the right place for you. Accommodations are not too hard to find, you’ll keep coming across home-stays and guesthouses. This village is ideal for backpackers who are escaping the nerve wrecking monotony of life. Avoid trips in the winter since it gets extremely cold. Try and go around August, you’ll witness their festival, Malana Shaun that is celebrated on the 15th.
The relationship between the village of Malana and the people who come to visit it is very lopsided, in the most peculiar manner. Too often travellers come to embrace cities and their culture and most of the times, they succeed. But this little village of taboos doesn’t want you to understand it, it definitely doesn’t expect you to embrace it- it only demands you to experience what it feels like to live in India’s best kept secret.
Malana village is a place so far away from popular culture, from civilisation, from the obstacles that drain out the excitement out of life. To be honest, no one has been able to tell if the legends are true, if these villagers could actually be descendants of Alexander The Great but what we know is that some mysteries should remain unsolved. Once you live with Malanese people, you wouldn’t get the chance to look at their physical features; you’d be too busy examining their hearts.
This is it, if you find yourself conflicted or in need of an adventure- take some time out, plan out a Malana trek and mediate upon the innocent happiness of this simple tribe. For once, live a life as a mere untouchable and bathe in the sweet melancholy of life.
So when are you planning your getaway to the mysterious village of taboos, Terrain Traveller is offering an incredible Malana trek at a very affordable price. Check it out!