With centuries of history behind it, Malana certainly seemed intriguing. The initial look of the village hadn’t been inspiring at all, every home looked to be built in concrete and it felt like a dirty village. I have documented these experiences and more in Winds of change in Malana. I was quite keen on attending Malana Fagli that is held in February but was exploring some other regions of India and had to be content with the pictures sent by someone who actually saw the Akbar saga played out and the stories narrated.
Rumsu village is fascinating and hence I also chalked out plans for a solo trek across the Chanderkhani pass to reach Malana and explore it in a better manner. I say all this in a retrospective tone because just 2 days ago, a law has been passed in Malana. It is hereby forbidden for tourists to stay overnight in this ancient village. The village deity ‘Jamlu’ has spoken through the ‘Gur’ (official messenger of the God) saying tourists are spoiling the rich culture of Malana and corrupting the locals.
The village deity, ‘Jamlu Devta’ has forbidden all villagers from renting out their properties for running guest houses and hotels effectively making sure visitors can only come to Malana for a day trek hitherto. Apparently the Malana locals had also banned photography only a few months ago. It is to be noted that the main source of income for the locals in this remote village is through cultivation of marijuana. Malana cream (a variety of hashish) is known to be the costliest and top quality hashish in the world.
Malana can still be accessed only by a trek and usually the time taken to hike one way is around 3 hours.
With no clarity on my next visit, let me take this opportunity to share a few photographs from Malana. Who knows, if no more photography is allowed there – these few photo memories should not be kept inert in the hard disk.