At an altitude of 9,938 feet above sea level lies the village of Malana also known as the village of Taboos. This village in the state of Himachal Pradesh is a magical green rimmed village that overlooks the Deotiba and Chandrakhani Peaks.

The village of Malana is considered as one of the oldest democracies in the world. It is also known by the drug mafia for its hash which is extracted from the Cannabis plant and travels the world which is also the main source of income for the Malanese.

If one decide to visit this village of Taboos it is advisable to not touch the walls or belongings of any of the Malanese people as you will have to pay a fine if you touch anything. ‘Kanashi’ is the local 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 village 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. The easiest way to reach Malana is from Jari by hiring a taxi since no public buses ply to the village of Malana, which is 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 at the police naka there. Everyone must trek the last 4kms uphill to reach the village of Malana the trek is very easy as it has broad concrete steps all along the way.

The scenery shifts as you begin the trek to ascent towards Malana village. One will be greeted by a valley which has more shades of green than you can imagine and a river flowing with all its might. The best time to visit Malana and witness the pleasing landscape is between March and October. Since winters are very severe.

Accommodation is available in the village with a few budget backpacker type guest houses. People mostly do a day trip to Malana village. The food available is also very basic and simple. The people of Malana village have very sharp features and many of them have fiery blond hair.

To rent a room in Kasol click here.

People in the village love posing for pictures and will mostly request one to take multiple pictures of them. Since hash is openly sold in the village it is a very common site to be offered hash in the village, one should not be surprised even if a child offers to sell you some hash.

Many of the village children do not go to school and spend the day lazing around in the village or playing. The ladies in the village earn a living by collecting honey or aid the men in the hash fields. During winters the entire village is covered in snow resulting in people spending the days in their homes for 5 to 6 months.

The Malanese locals believe that all outsiders of the village are ‘untouchable’ since they themselves are descendents of Alexander the Great and belong to the Aryan race. Nobody is allowed to touch the walls of the Jamdagni Temple which is located at the heart of the village.

This sacred space is made of wood and stone and does not have any electricity. There is also the shrine of Renuka Devi which is located at the start of the village and has horns of animals in the temple complex. The horns are usually fixed on the facade of the temple with the bangles of the villagers signifying femininity.There is a festival celebrated in the village every year on the 15th of August which attracts a crowd from all around the valley.

One is advised not to buy hash in the village of Malana since while returning back from the village the taxis are mostly checked at the police naka. Since many tourist are coming to Malana, this has given rise to the children from the village turning into beggars asking the tourist for chocolates or money.

Malana is truly a very unique village and totally lays claim to the village of Taboos and has many restrictions on the people visiting the village. Malana is more of a village for backpackers and travelers and less for tourists.

26 Responses

  1. Ritesh Kumar

    Malana tops my list of places to be travelled. Being from uttrakhand I’m not surprised to see the scenic beauty of malana as himmachal is our adjacent neighbor.Uttrakhand being a hilly state also have scenic treasures.
    I’m driven to malana more due to wanderlust and the exploring nature.
    Hope to be at malana soon only a pahadi could appreciate another pahadi.

    Reply
  2. Warwick Hendry

    I trekked to Malana from Naggar [Which is a very interesting place in and of itself – Russian writer Nicholas Roerich lived there]. The trek was absolutely incredible, and I would recommend this route to anyone fit and adventurous enough to do it. Highlight would have to be the Chandarkani Pass, which is well over 14,000ft and is absolutely stunning. There are trekking companies in Naggar that can arrange this, or you could hire the gear and a porter or two and do it yourself if you’re confident enough in your map-reading skills. There are some beautiful place to pitch camp along the way too. As for Malana itself I was really let down by the whole experience. I’d heard about the whole descendants of Alexander thing, and the language and all that. The trouble is that as an outsider you’re really not welcome there. I camped just outside the village near the ruins of the old visitors’ centre, incidentally also the spot where many of the inhabitants take their morning dump. Walking through the village was awful. Children would rather stand ankle-deep in raw sewage than risk making accidental contact with you. As for the hash (I suspect this is the real reason most people visit the place), it is excellent. You do not have to actually go to the village to procure it, though. I met an old man (who’d done in a morning what it took my party two days to trek due to the fantastic barefoot downhill skiing technique used by people in this region) on my way to Chandarkhani who had pockets full of the stuff. Trekking in, incidentally, is a good way to avoid the popo – just be aware that there are police and army patrols on the Naggar side if you intend to bring anything out that way. Long story short – do the trek, spend a little time in Malana if you must, but keep your expectations realistic and you won;t be disppointed.

    Reply
  3. Anon

    Is it advisable to trek to malana from kasol via rashol or does one have to take a taxi? Also, if you are on foot, do you get checked?

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  4. L

    it is not the fact that children sell hash wich is scary for the future of the village but the fact that so many tourist/israelis/wanabe hippie are travelling to this place, thats the only reason why they sell it! everybody talk about the untouched place and being happy that such a place exist, so don’t go there! If you want to preserve this unique and remarkable culture then let them be in peace. The isolation which have saved their culture is now endangered by all the smoker teenagers and romantics looking for “authenticity”.

    Reply
  5. Ganesh Patil

    Feels good to read about places which are still living the life they love to the core. Malana is surely one place I only googled this place because I lost a bet with my wife who read about this place on this very site yesterday. I found it very hard to believe but after reading I have no words😛

    Reply
  6. Mukesh Kapoor

    This is a really nice village that has been covered in this post. I found it very interesting to read about a place that is India and is still unknown to so many Indians. Thanks a lot for giving me such information.

    Reply
  7. srijon

    i have been there me and my buddy in 1st week of march it was still snow covered the best time is april to october thats the season… well i one thing i must say is its a hash oriented village with its deep secrects … young children of the age of 5-7 were offering us hash.. we went to the dragon guest house which is situated at the top of malana and has a fantastic view. malana creame is the best hashish in the world but its very costly in malana around 1400-1700rs for 10gm .. and plus its risky to as cars are checked by police when returning.. otherwise if ur looking for peace love nature and wanna get high visit malana..
    *i wouldnt recomended staying there though room rents are 200 per night but the fooding cost are astronomical

    Reply
  8. Sandeep Pawar

    I stumbled upon this web blog by a complete accident but i must say that the information and the pictures that you have here is really superb!! All these places that you have written about are really rare and Im amazed to hear of such a place like Malana that sounds more like a place from my grandmothers story book that a real place to exist on top of a mountain. I hope that some day in the future I get the time to live the life you are currently living by travelling to all these amazing places. You have really proved that our country is truly incredible.

    Reply
  9. James Stokerson

    Malana seems like a really nice place and I hope to visit it soon as you have provided a very nice and picturesque view of a place that many people have not visited and written about. I personally like to read about such places and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    Reply
  10. Milton Veron

    This place Malana is just too hard to believe that it exists. Sounds to be just the place im looking for when I come to India next summer for my much awaited trip to your country. I will surely be visiting this village thanks a lot for this very rare info about such a strange and unique village.

    Reply
  11. Jackson

    I like the fact that all the post of yours are places that are generally uncommon and places offbeat. Malana hear is something so rare that I would not even believe such a place existed if you did not have pictures to back your content. It sounds more like a place of fiction that reality. I really loved reading this post and i hope to read many more of such post that are offbeat and unique. Thanks a lot for educating me about something new.Regards

    Reply
  12. Alok Bindra

    Wow! that’s the only expression that comes to my mind. This Malana that you have described so beautifully is like a place lost in time. You must have surely felt as if you were taken back in time while in Malana. Being from Hydrabad I had no idea that such a place existed in my own country. Thanks for making me aware about such a place.

    Reply
  13. Seema Gupta

    Wow this village Malana sounds fabulous, the rich culture of their people seems to be sill very much alive. It must be really very interesting with going to a place where we the travelers are untouchables. I would like to go there some day soon. I also had no idea that this is the village from where Malana cream comes from, another reason for me to go there. Very well written.

    Reply
  14. Jim Toker

    Malana is a place that is very hard to believe still exists with all its orthodox culture and seems to be something that will remain prevalent for many more years to come. The fact that even children try to sell hash in this village is a very scary prospect for the future of the village. But I would really love to visit this unique village and experience what you have explained so well in this post of yours.

    Reply
  15. Vickey Farace

    Malana is a place I never expected to exist in my wildest dreams this is a place that sounds very old fashion and pre dominated by rules from years gone by i hope to visit this very interesting village some time in the future

    Reply
  16. Paul

    Its always better to think before you act. Before going to a new place you should collect all important information about that place in order to save yourself from being in trouble. This blog would help those who have been planning to visit Malana, Himachal Pradesh. You must take all precautions and measures mentioned in the blog so as not to hurt the sentiments of the villagers and to ensure your safety as well.

    Reply
  17. Zvi

    Malana seems to be a mysterious place. With the villagers speaking a separate language of their own, not allowing the tourists to touch the walls of their temple or even houses, considering tourists to be untouchable – no doubt its called the village of taboos. All these go a long way in explaining the mentality of the villagers. This blog will be of great use to tourists in understanding the local situation of the place and safeguarding oneself. It also helps in giving directions about reaching the village. It is a very good travel guide.

    Reply
  18. Peter

    This place Malana seems to typically aloof from other parts of India, never heard about it before. It really gives the feel of any developing village because of the rituals and customs followed by the people there. However, it seems rich in natural beauty and a good environment.

    Reply
  19. Alex

    Hello, I am very happy to read this very nice webpage of Malana and get to know more about the people that I thought only were concern with Hash. Really well written thanks a lot

    Reply
  20. sandro romel

    Malana I must say sounds like a place which is very hard to believe even exists in our modern world. But the fact that you have pictures about it makes me believe that this place really exist. I even told my friends at work about this place and forced a few to even go through your webpost that very minute. I hope to travel to india some time in my life time. If I do travel to india I will surely visit this place Malana. Thanks for blogging about this place.

    Reply
  21. Richard Tinul

    Malana sounds like something of a fantasyland where everything is unreal and untouched! It’s like a parallel universe; world within a world! I am completely awed by this place, thanks to your post. Malana looks like such a unique place with unique people and of course, the quirky, whacky little taboos. I guess this is the ideal place for all those who love off-beat travel and adventure. Thanks for this post!

    Reply

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