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My Trip To The Oldest Democracy Of The World- Malana

After sapping my precious time on an insignificant portal like AIM; I spent an entire day brooding about my inadvertent lack of self control. To add up to this trauma I realized it was a mid week crisis i.e. Wednesday. I wanted to yell my frustration out. I was fed up with my online obligations. So while I was vulnerable I saw Aadil (my best friend) and Shiffa (my cousin) barging in. I was in no mood of any offline interaction so I ignored both of them.

But ignoring them was of no recourse as they were right on my face. I knew they were up to something and I was ready for it. “We are going to Malana,” Aadil clamored with a sinister smile. For the first time in my life I had heard something spontaneous and fun from him.

I wanted to be a part of this trip but I was a bit uncertain. I was grounded for not paying the electricity bill. Like can anyone comprehend this intricate stuff? You get your thing busted in a law college for five months and when you are back to your place for an escape; you realize you can get grounded for not paying an electricity bill. Wow! I just love my parents. They always have something new in store for me.

I did my first part time job when I was in 8th grade. I pushed myself into 2 part time jobs when I was in 11th, so I know how things are done. Sadly I was going through a stark financial crisis. I did a bit of negotiation with Aadil and Shiffa who agreed on inviting me on an all expense paid trip to the ‘Oldest democracy of the world- Malana’, also famous for its ‘Malana Cream.'


The trip started right from Shimla where we had a friend Ramit waiting for us. The only reason for taking Ramit along was that no person can enter Malana village without being invited by someone from the village itself (Malana is a very conservative village) and Ramit had his roots in Malana. Off-course you can get to the village without the invitation formality; through the tour agencies but then you will not be able to experience the real thing.

Malana village is situated 2652m above sea level and is a tiny hamlet which has been in long isolation until it was discovered by the foreigners. Since Malana is an isolated place the best option is to avail private transportation while travelling to the village of Malana. We opted for taxi from Manali. The trek starts at Kasol, and initially it's an easy ascent, but by the time one reaches Rashol (which is a bit higher) the tiredness sets in. So take my advice start early and you can reach the place in just 3 hours.

As we were about to enter the village Ramit told us not to touch any wall or stone or even spitting as we could get ourselves fined up to 1000 bucks. He also advised us not to talk to any villager to avoid any trouble as there was no police station or the cops in the village. So it was comprehended to me since I didn’t want to get myself into hot waters. 

With the first glimpse that I got of the village I said to myself 
“yaaaaaaaaar yeh kya hai?”(dude what’s this?). I mean it was so captivating, like it was pure, clean and so beautiful. There was a chill in the breeze and it felt like I was sitting in an AC in the month of July. Now I realize why this village is attracting backpackers from around the globe.


Luckily we met Ramit’s uncle who played his perfect part as a story teller. He told us that the entire land of the village is in the name of the local deity, Jamlu Devta. I also came to know the reason why this village is known as the oldest democracy of the world. It  has an impeccable system of administration with a higher and lower court guided by the spirit of village God Jamlu. Malana stands out as an autonomous self-sufficient unit whose inhabitants claim Greek ancestry, (I was dumbstrucked- Himalaya main Greek ancestry?). These guys have their own upper house known as Jayeshthang and lower house known as Kanishthang. Impressive, isn’t it? The village is practically immune from Indian laws, police or any central or state governing body. 


The village has a very secretive thing to it and it’s a unique culture just makes it different from other hotspots of the country: that too without being given any publicity.

What makes me sad is that the village is not known for being the oldest democracy of the world or for it's cultural heritage but for being nothing more than a drug production facility. Which I feel is not true as the people there have moved on and are trying to find alternate career options (so to say) like growing cash crops and it is commendable because the people in the village had never-ever grown anything legal till now. But what’s really hard to change is the image that the world has of this village.

We had the total stay of about 3 days in the village and I had some really wonderful time with Greek descendants (he-he); heard some amazing stories. I wanted to write more but as you can see the blog is way too long so I need to conclude but before I conclude I gotta say: 'I love you Malana and I will be back next June'.


Whenever you plan out a trip to Malana avoid being too effusive and shaking hands with the villagers as you can get yourself fined up to 1000 bucks. Also maintain a group of at least 10 people, as there had been cases of travelers going missing in the valley. In our case we had Ramit who is from the village itself, so it was cool with us. Also do not forget to bring good resolution cameras along, because if you don’t you will regret leaving Malana without good clicks.


Read: 'Bee Ye- Yell Yell Bee- Story of A God Forsaken Girl'

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