Today I have a story for you. A story that’s not far from fiction because it’s hard to believe that such a place even exists. And not far from reality either, as such a place does really exist.
Once upon a time there hid a small hamlet in the mystic enclaves of Himalayas. Untouched and unseen, the village silently worked as one of the first and oldest democracies of the world. This civilization thrived with simple ways to life, in isolation, residing in small houses made from stones and wood.
As years passed, the people lived their life silently in the hills. One day the British explorers reached this tiny hamlet. They got smitten by the picturesque Malana set in the north-eastern part of Kullu Valley. It was connected by three mountain passes and Malana River flowing unflinchingly besides it. Veiled by an air of mystery, this was their first contact with the outside world. Malanis fiercely guarded their village for centuries from the outside world.
It has never been easy to get a glimpse of their cultures, customs and traditions. The ancestral root of Malanis has been debatable. Popular belief says Malanis were the descendants of Alexander, while some traces their existence to Hindu mythology. But their court procedures, which consist of an upper court and lower court, show marked similarities to those found in ancient Greece. Though outdated, their democratic setup and well-organized parliamentary system consisting of a council of 11 members believed to be delegates of Jamblu Devta (village deity), has been a subject of great research
To maintain the sanctity of Malana, tourists coming to this village are strictly prohibited form touching the houses, people or temples of this village. If they do, a heavy fine is levied on them. No photography or video recording is allowed inside village. That’s why the true preview of Malana is rare. But when the fire destroyed nearly half of the village in 2008, they were force to give access to people outside their ilk.
People outside the Malanis ilk are considered untouchables and spiritually impure. Kanashi, the language spoken here is not spoken anywhere in the valley and has been a big secret. It has never been taught or allowed to be spoken by any outsider. Marriages are simple. On the wedding night, the bride runs behind the groom and her in-laws, while holding a torch in her hand. If a man decides to divorce his wife, he has to financially support her. Anyone marrying outside their clan is never allowed to enter Malan again.
You can’t get the vibe of Malana until you visit this place. It is fairly easy to reach and enter this village now, but it’s strictly important to follow the rules laid by the Malanis. A 23 km scenic trek to Malana through Jari is the easiest way to reach this village. Since winters are very severe. The best time to witness the stunning landscape of Malana and the oldest civilizations of the world is from March through October.