A valley shrouded in mystery, Malana is a distinct land. One of the lesser known facts about Malana is that it is the oldest democracy in the world. This unique village lies in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh in North India and you can travel till Kasol in Kullu by bus or any other transport means. From a village known as Jari some Km beyond Kasol, the trek to Malana begins.
The village is perched at a height of 9500 meters and is surrounded by high snow covered mountains. There are many unheard facts about Malana and you will get a feel of same whenyou approach this small hamlet of Malanis, as the local people are known.
One of lesser known facts about Malana is that the region is popular for cannabis. Even a small child offers visitors knowhow about Cannabis which is popularly known as Malana Cream. Although declared illegal by Government, people still indulge in this unethical trade for money. This illegal trade did bring lot of money for locals but brought bad name too.
For good of all, this illegal practice is slowly fading away and new age Malanis feel the need to connect with outer world.
Credited as Oldest Democracy of World
Among interesting facts about Malana, you will find its mention as oldest democracy of world. The village council is the supreme body and is known as “Hakima”. It is separated into upper and lower court and this supreme body decides all the matters related to goodwill of villagers.
Not allowed to touch villagers
Another lesser known facts about Malana is thatwhen an outsider comes to Malana, they are not allowed to touch any locals. If any person is touched by mistake, either both have to take a bath or a hefty fine is imposed on the visitor. It is not even allowed to touch any belongings of local village. Strange as this might sound, but it is true that Malanis are out of bound for visitors.
Decedents of Alexander
Alexander is considered to be the forefather of Malanis. Among interesting facts about Malana it is worth mentioning that people of Malana consider themselves to be true Aryans and decedents of Alexander. The local government they run also has a reflection of Greek style of functioning.
Entry of visitors banned in local temple
The wooden temple of Devta Jamlu Dev is awe inspiring. Alas, visitors are not allowed to enter the temple complex. Visitors can not even touch the walls of temple. A strict vigil is kept and the moment anyone touches the temple building, a hefty fine is imposed.
Restrictions on Marriage
To preserve the race, the villagers have decided that no girl from Malana can marry any boy from outside the village. Boys are allowed to marry girls from nearby Rashol village only due to the fact that this village has Greek ancestry. Even speaking in local dilect is not allowed and fine is imposed if any visitor tries to speak in local dilect.
Even with such restrictions in place, Malana is a trekker’s paradise and if you go with an honest intention of exploring the region, Malanis will definitely welcome you. People who go with an ill will of indulging in cannabis trade often end up being caught by Himachal Police.