Malana is the oldest village in the state of Himachal. Situated in the Parvati valley, it is surrounded by the peaks of Chandrakhani and Deo Tibba. Apart from the cannabis-related taboo surrounding the village, there are ancient temples and structures to admire, and plenty to learn. The village itself lies in the midst of beautiful forests at a height of 9500 feet, so you’ll have gorgeous views all along.
About the Malana trek
The Malana trek is perfect for those looking for a quick adventure escape. Your trip begins in Manali, from where you'll be driven to Naggar to start the trek. En route the Malana trek, you will hike up to Chandrakhani Pass which lies at 12,000 feet, along the top of a ridge. You’ll also negotiate some tricky descents, crossing a gorge, and walking beside the gushing Beas river. You'll trek alongside ancient shrines, rocky outcrops, ancient tribal villages with traditional wooden homes, deep forests, snow-capped mountain peaks and bubbling mountain streams. At night, you'll camp out in tents, amidst terraced green fields and picturesque meadows.
The highlight of this trek, however, is the Himachali village of Malana. If you’re curious about this legendary village, where the locals run their own democracy, speak a language known only to themselves (believed by outsiders to be the devil’s language), and fiercely guard their culture against outsiders, this Malana trek gives you a glimpse into their lives. The region around Malana is fairly remote and so the culture and environment are untouched. The village, shrouded in mystery and myth, has fascinated travelers for years now, and the locals have only recently allowed outsiders into their village. Legend has it that the exotic-looking people of this village are descendants of Alexander the Great. The villagers with their light skin and eyes, speaking in their very own dialect, make you very aware of the fact that you're an outsider.
Malana is famous for being the world’s oldest democracy and has also become famous (or infamous) internationally for cannabis, but there’s more to a Malana trek than just the herb. The locals have their own system of administration and discipline, choosing to follow their village god, Jamlu, and not the Constitution of India. The locals are friendly but believe they are superior to outsiders. They believe anyone not from the village are untouchable, and they don’t like visitors touching them or their possessions. If touched, they undergo extensive purification rituals. It is strongly advised that you do not touch any person, home or structure here without permission.
You'll get to see a lifestyle and a belief system that is different from anything you've seen before and on the return journey, you will cross Manikaran which lies in Punjab. Located in the Parvati Valley, Manikaran is as beautiful as it is holy and you will get a chance to take a dip in the Manikaran Sahib (Gurudwara) hot sulfur springs.
Best time for the Malana trek
When to go on the Malana trek: The best time to visit the valley is between June to October as the winters get very severe.
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