Malana is an ancient village to the north-east of Kullu Valley.
This solitary village in the Parvati valley is isolated from the
rest of the world. The majestic passes of Chandrakhani and Deotibba
shadow the village. It is situated on a remote plateau by the
side of torrential Malana river at a height of 2650mtrs above
the sea level. Unaffected by the modern civilisation, Malana has
its own lifestyle and social structure. People are strict in following
their customs. For an outsider, these customs are mysterious and
amazing at the same time.
The village administration is democratic and is believed to be
the oldest republic of the world. The peculiar social structure
of Malana infact rests on villagers' unshaked faith in their powerful
deity, Jamblu Devta. The entire administration of the village
is controlled by him through a village council. This council has
eleven members and they are believed as delegates of Jamblu who
govern the village in his name. His decision is ultimate in any
dispute and any outsider authority is never required.
Malanis (the inhabitants of Malana) admire their culture, customs
and religious beliefs. They generally do not like to change though
some traces of modernization are visible.
Inspite of being a part of the Kullu valley, the Malanis have
very distinct physical features, and a dialect which is different
from the rest of the valley. There are various legends about their
origin. According to one of them, it is believed that they are
the decendants of Greek soldiers of Alexander's army. As the legend
goes, some soldiers took refuge in this remote land after Alexander
left the country and later settled there permanently. Malana is
interestingly isolated from the modern world and still preserves
the primitive ways and means of living.