Malana village rules have come to the notice of the rest of the world with the increase in the number of tourists visiting the place. This remote village located in the Parvati Valley of Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh holds many secrets many people cannot even begin to imagine. While the world moves ahead in time, Malana village seems to be stuck in the distant past.  While some of the rules of Malana village may seem absurd, some of them are terrifying.

Malana village rules are to be observed by inhabitants and travellers alike. This place happens to be the World’s oldest democracy and lives by stringent customs and traditions. Travellers are welcome in this place but never allowed to live here permanently.

There are certain rules that must most sanctimoniously be followed at all times. The Malanis (local people) are extremely proud of their kind and consider themselves a pure race. It is for this reason that they do not allow outsiders to malign that purity.

The age old taboos are respected by one and all here. Therefore, any person indulging in any kind of non-reverence to the customs will face dire consequences which includes travellers as well.

malana village rules

The entrance to Malana. Picture by Piyush Jain

8 Malana Village Rules Every Traveler Should Know

Each visitor planning a trip to this part of the world should be fully aware of the Malana village rules. Some of them are strange and others terrifying.

Do not touch any person or thing while in Malana
Video making is banned in Malana. Click pictures only
It is forbidden for travellers to learn Kanashi – the local language of Malana.
Never fix nails on any tree in Malana
Avoid burning wood in any forest in Malana
Hunting animals in this region is totally forbidden
Entry of cops is totally banned in Malana
No traveler is allowed to marry any man or woman from Malana
malana village rules

Horns of different animals at the entrance of a temple in Malana. Picture by Yash Bihani

Malana Village:  Basic Travel Information 

Before we proceed towards the Malana village rules in detail, let us understand the place a little better. Here is some basic information a traveller needs to know. 

Location North India
State Himachal Pradesh
Accessibility Throughout the year
Best time to visit May to October
Nearby places to visit Kasol, Kheerganga, Tosh, Manikaran
How to reach Cab/bus and then foot
Food Local cafes and budget eateries
Cost for a day’s trip INR 1500-2500



Malana Village History

Set in the shadow of Deo Tibba and Chandrakhani peaks, the origin and Malana Village history is shrouded in mystery. While the origin has been ascribed to Rishi Jamdagni, there is no unique legend of how Malana came into being.

According to one of the many legends, a Rakshasa (demon) named Danu or Banasur ruled the area.  The people grew tired of his cruelties and approached the local deities for help. Expressing their inability to do so, the deities said that only a power from the North could save them from the demon. When people went North in search of the power, they came across Rishi Jamadagni at Hamta (in Kullu). The Rishi agreed to help the people and defeated the demon in a fierce battle. Banasur asked for forgiveness and before leaving requested to be remembered by people. On this, the Rishi assured him that the people of Malana would speak his language- Kanashi till the village existed. The Rishi also called Jamlu Devta here, set down the rules and laws for the village which are followed till date.

Another interesting aspect of Malana is their self-proclaimed Greek roots. The Malani people consider themselves as the descendants of the Greek soldiers of Alexander’s army. Although there is no evidence of the Greek ancestral roots, the democratic setup of the village resembles that of ancient Greece.

A story also suggests that the people of Malana were able to cure a serious disease emperor Akbar was suffering from when he came to the village. Akbar was so delighted that he exempted the entire village of all taxes. He is also said to have sent his gold idol to Malana village. As it happens, King Akbar is worshipped once a year in the village along with Jamlu Devta.

Sadly, the fire of Jan 5, 2008, burnt down half the village houses and four ancient wooden temples. The temple treasures including ancient artefacts, gold ornaments, idols etc were lost in this fire.

How to Reach Malana Village?

In order to reach Malana Village, you must first reach Kasol. Kasol is located at a distance of about 30km from Bhuntar. An hour’s ride through the mesmerising valley will take you to Kasol.

The journey to Malana village constitutes of two parts. First reaching Kasol and then reaching Malana from Kasol. Here’s how to get there.

Part 1 How to reach Kasol?

You can reach Kasol from any part of Himachal or from other Indian states. If you are travelling from Delhi or Chandigarh, you can take a Volvo bus to Kullu. All buses to Kullu go through a station called Bhuntar.  Ask the conductor to drop you here.

Local buses are available at an interval of one hour or less. The bus fare is somewhere between INR 20-30. You will find a number of fellow travellers-both Indian and Foreigners and locals travelling by these buses. Alternately you can also hire a cab from Bhuntar to reach Kasol.

Part 2 How to reach Malana Village from Kasol?

Malana village lies at a distance of about 21.5 km from Kasol. A bumpy cab ride will see you sifting through rickety roads for about an hour until you finally reach the starting point from where you’ll have to continue your journey by foot.

There are not many buses that will take you there due to the rough terrain. However, you can hire a cab from Kasol or from Jari (which is around 21.9 km away from Kasol) for 1200 INR.

It is safer and a much easier ride. About 1.5 km from Jari is the Malana Power House. One can use this as a landmark while travelling up to the village.

Malana village rules

Villagers celebrating the Shaun Festival in Malana. Picture by Carly Clarke

Setting up Base at Kasol

When someone thinks of visiting the Parvati Valley, the first thing that pops to mind is Kasol. Such is the destination’s popularity.

With a massive surge in the number of backpackers flocking into Himachal Pradesh, Kasol has emerged as a serene getaway spot.

Himachal as a location is known for providing well-awaited, mountainous escapades to travellers. Kasol is a nestled spot amidst the Kullu district of the dev bhoomi (land of deities) Himachal. 

Kasol is situated in Parvati Valley somewhere between Bhuntar and Manikaran. It is located at a distance of 31 km from Bhuntar and 5 km from Manikaran.

When visiting Malana Village, you can set up a base at Kasol. From Kasol, you can heaf to Malana village in the morning and reach back by the evening.

Travellers were allowed to stay in Malana village up till recently. However, now travellers have been forbidden to stay in Malana Village as per the decree of Jamlu Devta. Although there are a few stays available near Malana, the ones in Kasol are the best.

There are loads of good places to eat at Kasol. Also, it is the starting point to your journey through the Himalayas, as many would say.

Budget Accommodation Near Malana Village

In case you do not have prior bookings, finding budget places to stay near Malana Village can be difficult. Therefore,  it is recommended that you make arrangements in advance. This will ensure ample rest for a comfortable trek till Malana village. 

Budget Accommodation  Facilities Provided
Nomads Hostel (Beds as low as Rs. 399) Provides an excellent scenic view

Accessible location with friendly & helpful staff

Common Room to mingle with other travellers

Himtrek Camps (Camps as low as Rs. 699) Hot Spring baths

Hiking

Gypsy hideouT (Rooms as low as Rs. 500) Proper Cleaning Services

Good Breakfast

Lovely location

Padma Guest House (Rooms as low as Rs. 500) Good for Family stays

Friendly Staff



What is the Justification of Malana Village Rules?

Although the Malana village rules may seem strange to travellers, the native people have their own justifications for them. Let us find out –

Malana Village Rules of Inaccessibility

The local inhabitants of Malana consider themselves as descendants of Alexander the Great. It is for this reason that they intend to maintain a pure Aryan race. Hence, no traveller is allowed to touch a person or a thing in Malana.

Videography as per Malana Village Rules

Making videos is completely prohibited in Malana. This has been done to protect the sanctity of the villagers. Travellers are allowed to click pictures only.

Burning Wood in regards to Malana Village Rules

Burning wood from trees and shrubs is completely banned in Malana. This has been done to protect the plants. As a result outside interference is minimized.

Language in Regards to Malana Village Rules

Kanashi is the local language spoken in the region. As per the Malana village rules, outsiders are prohibited to learn Kanashi. The language is used for internal communication only.

Nails on Trees in regards to Malana Village Rules

Fixing nails on trees harms them. In order to avoid the flora being damaged, nails are not allowed on any plantation.

Hunting Animals in regards to Malana Village Rules

Travellers are banned from hunting animals in Malana. If at all, there is an attack by any animal, the villagers themselves send somebody to take control of the situation. 

Stringent Malana Village Rules for Cops

Police personnel have never been allowed to set foot in this land. Even villagers are prohibited from seeking help. If any villager takes help of cops, a fine of 1000 INR needs to be submitted to the village council.

Marriage Rules in Malana

An outsider is not allowed to marry either a man or a woman in Malana

malana village rules

Lovely women of Malana. Picture by Vineet Chopdekar

Interesting Facts Pertaining to Malana Village Rules

The Council formulating Malana village rules is known as Hakima
Decisions of Hakima are always binding on all
Skin touch of any kind is banned as per Malana village rules
Jamlu Rishi – the local deity seems to be passing messages to Hakima. This is done via a medium
Consuming Hash is now forbidden as per Malana village rules

Why are All the Houses in Malana Similar? Is This a Malana Village Rule too?

Structure of houses across Malana is similar. The houses are built in Kath Kuni style. This is in accordance with certain Malana village rules. Houses in Malana are usually two or three storied. Each storey has a unique name. It also has a unique purpose.

The ground floor is called Khudang

Acts as an animal shelter

First floor called Gaying

Used as a store

Top floor with a balcony is called Pati 

Used as the actual living areas

malana village rules

The Cannabis plant in Malana Village. Picture by Parth Joshi

Is Cannabis Consumption Allowed as per Malana Village Rules?

In accordance with the latest Malana village rules, consuming cannabis is totally banned in Malana. The locals still indulge in it. However, whims and wild weed fantasies of travellers will no longer be catered. 

It is important to point out here that travellers are still allowed to visit Malana on its outskirts. However, both the buying and consumption of local hash is now banned. 

Therefore, the consumption of the world famous Malana cream is not just banned by the Indian laws but also by Malana village rules.

Dark Side of Malana Village Rules

In keeping up with its tradition, Malanese have seemed to cross the line. The untimely and suspicious demise of certain travellers have been reported in the past. It is suspected that these travellers were murdered. However, the charge was never proved.

The trade off between visitors and locals usually turn ugly. 

Hence, it is advised to follow and respect Malana village rules at all times. Else, abstain from visiting. 

Future of Malana Village Rules

Things have changed in Malana over the years. The village has opened up a little to the outside world and has adopted in part the modern way of living. TVs and smartphones have made way into most of the Malani homes. This, however, does not mean that Malana Village rules will be relaxed soon.

The Malana village rules are here to stay. They do not seem to be changing any time soon. So if you are visiting, be mentally prepared to follow all the Malana village rules.

Malana is truly wonderful in itself. A class apart, this place can mesmerize you and also terrify you. Malana village is prized as an ancient civilization. It has been the same since the time of its inception.

Happy wayfaring 🙂

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sukanya Menon

Sukanya Menon

Sukanya Menon feels that she is just a tiny human in a big world who loves zoning out and contemplating this life, the universe, and everything. Apart from the time she spends outside, Sukanya prefers losing herself to the pages of the many books she reads. If you don’t find her do that, she’s probably doodling or listening to indie bands. Oh and she also writes well.


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