At an altitude of 3029 m the tribal village of Malana in the state of Himachal Pradesh is a magical green rimmed village located overlooking the Deotiba and Chandrakhani Peaks. This little village of 1500 inhabitants is known as one of the oldest democracies in the world. It is also known by the drug mafia for its 'charas' which is extracted from the Cannibis plant and travels the world which is also the main source of income for the Malanese. The distinguishing factor of the culture of this village is they follow Jamdagni Rishi who is said to be one of 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Shiva is said to have come before before him during his intense prayers. Jamdagni Rishi asked for a secluded place, full of nature's riches and lord Shiva told him to go to Malana. If you decide to visit this esoteric village it is adivisable to not touch the walls or belongings of any of the Malanese people as you will have to pay a fine for this. 'Kanashi', the local mountain language of Malana and does not sound like any of the dialects spoken in its neighboring villages and the language is also considered to be one of the secrets of the village that outsiders from other villages are not allowed to use.
Malana is connected to Kulu by three mountain passes. Once in the state of Himachal Pradesh it can be reached from Parvati valley across the Rashol Pass and Chanderkhani pass. I went from Jari which is two hours drive from Kulu by Taxi which will cost about INR 1700 and is situated at the confluence of the Malana and Manikaran. The easiest way to reach Malana is from Jari, which is a 23 km away. Jari is also an entry point to Malana. About 1.5 km from Jari is the Malana powerhouse and foreign visitors have to register their names before entering the valley for security and logistics. Everyone must trek the last 4kms uphill to reach Malana. The scenery shifts as you begin the ascent towards Malana after the taxi ride stop. You will be greeted by a valley which has more shades of green than you can imagine and a the river with a surface like a roaring storm. If you are lucky, it will drizzle and the whole view would have a veil of mist. Going further up, you lose sight of the river with a little bridge and are instead be fascinated by a view of about 200 stone roofed houses and inhabitants in the distance. As you are taking in this view and nearing Malana by the minute, if you look at steep uphill stone road ahead, you will find it lined with a myriad variety of wild flowers covering the side of the hill in huge numbers in colors of pink, cream, orange, white, blue and purple! If you are a nature photographer, it will be many hours before you actually finish the drive and walk before you enter Malana.