Updated: Dec 5, 2019
9 top insights about Indias most mysterious village "Malana"
Malana – Home of the cannabis-growing descendants of the deserters of Alexander the Great’s army.
As the smell of sweet marijuana filled the air, we climb up the steep mountain trail. Tucked away at the end of this trail is the infamous village of Malana.
The village itself is over 2000 years old and populated by the descendants of Alexander the Great’s soldiers. This is where the weary Greek soldiers created their very own world and bid adieu to the retreating forces of the Great Army. This post outlines a society that is nursing and thriving on millennia-old rules, clinging to the age-old idiosyncrasies, including ritual sacrifices, untouchability, and an economy fueled by hashish sales.
The experience we had in Malana definitely qualifies as an adventure to be shared over the campfires and in the bars. These stories will transport you directly to the snow-covered lap of the Himalayas, far-far away from our ‘civilized’ understanding of society. You will become immersed in the rustic legends and enjoy stories of this mystical village and its iconic and affable villagers.
What makes Malana so special?
Here is an insider report, written by us, just for you:
Malana is a tiny village amidst the lush green forests and snow-capped mountains in the Kullu Valley. The village is 9500 feet above sea level and is a slowly unfolding secret, well kept by the travelers that have a hankering for trekking and hashish.
The history of the village’s establishment is still shrouded with mystery and a matter of debate amongst historians and travelers. However, when Alexander was warring through India, the said settlement was populated by his soldiers. Whether the village was settled by their population or existed even before the said settlement is still a matter of debate. The Greek features are prominent amongst the residents of the Malana village, and their ancestral relations with Greece are a matter of fact.
Malana is not actually a part of Parvati valley, but instead, a part of Malana valley, which is adjacent to Parvati valley. It lies on the other side of the Rasaul Village, which is a village in the Parvati valley. The village has very recently become an integrated part of Indian democracy as it earned the right as an independent voting constituency in Himachal Pradesh.
Curious globe-trotters fist discovered Malana village in the 1950s. Historically, the village was extremely inaccessible due to a lack of motorable roads. In those days, the village used to be a self-sustaining ecosystem with very little dependence on the outside world. The villagers procured fuel-oil, grains, etc. from other low-lying villages. Essentially, these were the things that could not be grown or found in the village and the forests around it. Aside from being a self-sustaining eco-system that was surrounded by the inaccessible mountain terrain, the villagers carried out the trade by exchanging the precious stones found in caves in the mountains and forests surrounding the village, and the amazing charas grown by the villagers. It was through these exchanges that the people got to know about the amazing charas that the valley of Malana hid in its womb.
The discovery of this mystical village can be attributed to western travelers and adventurers, and the wandering enlightened souls (Babas and Sadhus). Once the secret of Malana started unfurling, and people learned of the secret bounties buried deep in the surrounding forests and mountains, soon, the village started gaining popularity among travelers from all around the world and throughout India.
It is important to note here that growing, dealing, or
consuming narcotics or psychotropic substances in India is a punishable offence, however the
same is hoodwinked by government due to historical and cultural backdrop of the village!
1. Malana Creame - The Best Hash in The World
The secret of Malana’s amazing hashish is still one that bewilders travelers to this date. However, there is no verified account of the cause for the legendary marijuana and hashish that is produced in and around the village. Some attribute it to the height, soil, rain, sunshine patterns, and magical water of the Beas River; whereas, others suggest it is the cross-breeding done by the early travelers who visited the place and left a part of themselves behind to enrich the secret village which they loved and cherished so much.
The hashish produced in Malana is so popular that even today, before each rubbing season, several people would travel to the village, identify the plants which they like, and get an estimate of the quantity of the charas that would be produced by the said plants. They then arrange to pay the money in advance, and when the plants have been rubbed for hashish, the produce from the plant is reserved especially for them.
But the village also has an independent identity from the charas that is grown there. Its ago-old ecosystem has survived over many centuries without input or influence from the outside world, and the same has led to the development of several social quirks among the village society. One of them being the untouchability practiced by the villagers; so, this is where they would be friendly with the outsiders, but should they incur even a small graze from an outsider, it would cause them to run for a bath immediately.
2. Strange Taboos
Apart from untouchability, there are several other taboos followed by the villagers; some of them are as follows: