Do You Love Trekking In The Himalayan Region?
Himachal Pradesh - this place instantly conjures up snow-glazed mountain peaks, valleys, picturesque waterfalls and gushing streams. And Malana village definitely exemplifies this! At an altitude of 9500 feet, Malana is a small self-governed village with distinctive customs.
One will be amazed to know the magnitude of its distinctiveness! Set against the backdrop of Chandrakhani and Deotibba mountain peaks, amidst the verdant green, snow-glazed Parvathi valley, Malana offers rejuvenating trekking attractions and a peek into the lives of the people in this village.
PC : Bharatkaistha
Best Season To Trek:
Since Malana experiences extreme winters, the ideal time to take up this short trek and enjoy the pleasant vista would be from March to August.
Things To Carry:
Warm clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, mosquito repellant, headlamp, medical and first-aid kit, camera, toiletries, trekking shoes, thermal wear, snacks and water.
Intrigued by its uncommonness, the trekking enthusiast in me voted for this place to enjoy a family weekend getaway trek in Malana and I wasn't disappointed! It got us all excited up. And I was not the least of them to show this excitement.
Day 1: Bangalore - Bhuntar
PC : Biswarup Ganguly
My family and I flew to Delhi from Bangalore. We landed in Delhi at 7 PM and boarded a bus going to Manali from Kashmere Gate I.S.B.T. It was an overnight 14-hour journey to Bhuntar.
Day 2: Bhuntar - Malana trek - Malana village - Kasol
PC : Shepi 003
After breakfast, we hopped on to a local bus to Kasol and got down at the Jari village, 8 km before Kasol. Jari is the fastest and easiest entry point to Malana. Here, we hired a private taxi (local buses are available only during summers) to Malana. It was a 20-km drive.
Jari has got an eye-catching power-plant amidst the mountains. The taxi faltered along the unpaved roads uphill, during the 2-hour drive to Malana, and the scenic route took us along the Malana power-plant, lush green hills, occasional waterfalls and streams. The surrounding hills were dotted with dense Deodar vegetation that gave green hues to the waters of the streams.
The Malana Trek
Finally, we spotted the gate that read, 'Way to Malana village'. This marked the beginning of a 4-km hike to Malana village. I changed into my trekking shoes and started climbing. The track was outlined with Deodar vegetation. Few minutes into the trek, we got a closer look at the valley below, and the Malana dam.
Being novice to trekking, gradually, the trek started to have its effect on us. We began feeling drained and continued to trek intermittently. But the rejuvenating beauty of the Deodar forest and the gushing wind energised us from time to time.
Then, we came across a unique burnt stem of Deodar engraved with coins. I won't say it wasn't creepy.
Closer to Malana, we encountered massive Cannabis plantations. At length, we reached the Malana village with a surmounting euphoria overwhelming us.
The Malana Village
PC : Travelling Slacker
Houses in the village are 2-3 storeyed and built of wood and stone. The Malanese are believed to be the descendants of "Alexander the great", dating back to 326 BC. They speak the Kanashi tongue that is unheard of in the neighbouring villages since outsiders are barred from using their dialect.
We were in for a surprise when some locals offered to us the famous charas of Malana. This gave us an insight to the open trade of the hash here. The village is famous for the cultivation of the cannabis plantations; though declared illegal by the government, the villagers drive their income by selling the 'malana cream', a variety of cannabis hashish, which has attracted a large foreign-based crowd here.
PC : morisius cosmonaut
Interesting carvings of the ancient wooden temples kept us engaged. One can sight the placards that warn outsiders to not touch the homes or temples, as they consider their race superior to others. The outer walls of the temples are adorned with bones, skulls and horns of the animals. The food is simple and expensive; but one can't complain, as the locals have to bring food, water from the lower terrains on foot.
Later in the day, we trekked back to the starting point and headed to Kasol. Exhausted, we halted overnight at Kasol.
Day 3: Kasol - Manikaran
PC : Raahul95
After breakfast, we left for Manikaran. We visited the famous Gurudwara and witnessed the natural hot-water springs. Then, we took the bus to Bhuntar and flew back to Bangalore.
The untamed beauty of the village and the mountain peaks here connoted that one needs to disconnect with the hustle-bustle of the mundane life and find solace in mother earth. And you don't have to go far, Malana in the North just lives upto that! Malana will soon be on the cards again.