Malana a small village in Himachal Pradesh is ‘world famous’ for the Malana Cream, the fragrant hashish with high oil content and it’s also the most expensive. However, there are a lot more interesting facts about this small village that makes one curious to pay a visit, but wait, it’s not another quaint place in the Himachal, this one is weird and unique.
Known as little Greece, this is a peculiar village where the villagers believe that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great and their local court system is run according to the ancient Greek system even today.
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They even consider themselves superior to the rest and that’s the reason they refrain from physical contact. If you happen to buy something from a local store there, chances are the shopkeeper will ask you to place the money on the counter and will not give you the goods in your hand but will place them in the counter as they do not want any physical contact with people outside their village.
Outsiders are also forbidden from touching any of their belongings without permission. Even though the people of Malana are friendly, tourists are considered as untouchables and are not allowed to enter their temples.In case of any slightest physical contact, they immediately have a bath!
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They consider their language, Kanashi, as sacred and interestingly outsiders and people from other villages nearby are not allowed to use the same language! Tourists are not allowed to enter the temples either for they consider outsiders as untouchables.
If you thought those are the only restrictions, you’ll be surprised to know that there’s more! Like fixing nails on a tree is a big no- no here as that could damage the tree (That’s not a bad rule isn’t it?). Only dry branches and twigs are permitted to be carried outside the forest and allowed as firewood, burning wood is prohibited in the forests of Malana.
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Without the permission of the village head, hunting of wild animals is not allowed and hunting is also restricted to specific seasons. And if a wild animal attacks the herds of goats and sheep owned by the villagers, the hunters are sent from the village to the pastures to kill them. If the hunter kills a bear, he is rewarded but only after he deposits the fur in the Bhandara of the Devta. This is one village where police intervention is not allowed, and if one wants to take the help of the police he has to pay a fine of Rs. 1000 to the village council!
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The people of Malana also celebrate their own unique festivals like the Malana Fagli which is celebrated in mid of February and Malana Shaun celebrated on 15 August. During Fagli, they have the Harlala Mask Dance Festival, where a group of people wearing nothing but cannabis leaves and demon-like masks dance around the houses spreading cow dung. This is a way to insulate the house from the cold. They also bring out a procession for Emperor Akbar.
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Another interesting thing about this little village is that all the houses here are either two or three storied and each storey has a specific name and purpose. The ground floor acts as a cattle shed and storeroom for firewood and sheep and goats fodder is called Khudang. The first floor is used to store wool, eatables, and fabric for weaving and is called Gaying. While the top floor called Pati is the actual living area.
You can reach Malana from Delhi via Chandigarh to Bhuntar and take a bus from Bhuntar to Kasol.
Want to see what the descendants of Alexander look like and how they live? Take a trip to this unique village.
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