Overlooked by Chandrakhani and Deo Tibba Peaks, Malana is a quaint little hamlet located in the dreamy surroundings in the Parvati Valley. The Village guarded by towering peaks is certainly not easy to climb and one has to complete the Malana Trek after traversing the Malana Nallah that flows right across the Parvati Valley. The 5 km trek from Malana Taxi stand to the village tucked at 10000 feet is one of the engrossing day treks you would ever take.
Walking the Malana Trek one can’t escape the perfect nature setting around. The raw appeal of the vast valley, the snappy appearance of the Malanese passing by, and hasish instilled in the air around makes this trek special one. Kasol, Chalal, Tosh, and Kheerganga aren’t too far either; all you need is a couple of days extra time. Club your Malana Trek with these exciting treks near Kasol and you get a perfect recipe for an extended weekend.
Moving ahead, let’s find out all the whats, hows, and wheres of the Malana Village Trek!
About Malana Village
Malana is an unusual village guarded by the pines; away from the mainstream. While writing this piece, I came across news stating that Malana has been banned for public visit. Because the ‘hash’ glorification of the village has left their deity Jamlu enraged! Yes, it’s the village council and Jamlu who rules the village; strange but true! There’s a lot more about the village, read on!
- Malana Village doesn’t follow Indian judicial system.
- The primary source of income for Malanese is Hashish. Malana is known for the production of finest quality of Hashish in the World.
- Photography and videography are strictly prohibited in most of the places in the village area. You can’t even touch the houses there without their consent.
- The village has a population of close to 500 with basic school and dispensary. Villagers mostly bring their daily household needs from Zari or Bhuntar.
- Malanese are believed to be the descendants of Alexander and have features like the Greeks. Leave alone the strength, I saw a villager walking upslope while carrying an iron almirah, twice his size, on his back.
How to reach Malana
By air: Bhuntar is the nearest airstrip connected with a lot of airports across India. Taxi and buses are available from Bhuntar to the starting point of Malana Village Trek. It takes almost 2 hours to travel from Bhuntar to Malana.
By rail: Shimla, at 106 km, is the nearest railhead to Malana. You can cover the rest of the distance in a private vehicle.
By road: There are multiple options to reach Malana by road. An overnight bus from Delhi drops you at Bhuntar. From there on, you can either take a government bus to Zari that operates mostly on the hourly basis. It takes around 1 hour to reach Zari from Bhuntar. Book a prepaid cab from Zari, which will take you around INR 800 and drop you at Malana taxi stand. Also, you can take a bus or a cab to Zari/Malana if you are coming from Kasol/Manikaran. Kasol is 21 km far from Malana Village Trek starting point, which shouldn’t take more than 1 hour to cover.
Suggested Read: Why Kasol Is Not An Ideal Weekend Getaway
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Malana Trek Map
Malana Trek route runs along the imposing mountain peaks of Parvati Valley. Adorned by the awe-inspiring vistas around, the trek runs across Chandrakhani Pass and Malana River before entering a sleepy village atop the mountains.
Best time to visit Malana
There isn’t really the best time to visit Malana. The village is accessible year around. It depends on how you like it; snow or no snow! To experience snowfall you can trek to Malana from Mid – December to February first week. The only disadvantage of traveling during summers could be spotting the sluggish bylanes running inside the village. During summers the village is not as clean and tidy as you would presume it to be. But hashish farming can be spotted at its best during summer. My recommendation would be winter months for sure. And the pics prove it for sure.
The trek – A brief description
Day 1: Day of arrival at Bhuntar & the trek
As you stand at the foothills of the majestic mountains peeping right into your eyes, you can’t help but spot an intriguing appeal in the surroundings calling out for you. Soon after crossing the bridge above Malana River you have to negotiate a sudden climb coming your way. The entire trail is endowed with greenery and scenic vistas from all sides and it is rather a blessing for any nature lover to feast on those gallant views.
En route there are 4-5 sitting spots to make trekking easier for the travelers. Also, there are a couple of shops on the way selling chocolates, maagi, and water bottles. A grueling 5-hour trek would bring you to the village that looks more like a dreamy set up from medieval times. Make sure that you start early, which is around 10-11 am so that you are there in the village premises before evening sets in.
Even if you have a problem managing an accommodation inside the village you can take help of the villagers and head towards the campsite or find a place towards the cliff located at the northeastern end of the village. The highland can be spotted from a distance. Food can be arranged at a guesthouse or campsite.
Day 2: Out in the village & around
The village is a good place to take a stroll around and notice the ancient architecture and fine miniature piece carved on the temple and other important buildings there. The picturesque barn of the village where locals live is a noticeable piece that one must watch out for.
Every building in the village comprises of 2 tiers. The top floor is mostly used for living and the ground floor is used for livestock. You can choose to take a stroll towards the backyard of the village and savor the grandeur of the nature around the cascading waterfall and jagged pathways along the mountains. You can start the descent around 12 pm assuming that you have a bus or flight to Delhi in the evening.
Where to stay in Malana
Dragon House Cafe, Rudra Cafe Malana, and Eagle Cafe & Guest House are a few stay options in the village. They provide the room with basic facilities at a nominal cost of INR 500 per room on sharing basis. Also, there is a campsite towards the rear end of the village. Almost 5 km towards the back of the village Malana Magic Camping presents a wonderful campsite to make your own camp and enjoy the best of nature around. So even if you don’t find a stay inside the village, which I fear is true, you can go camping near the village.
Things to do in Malana
Apart from taking a stroll in the village and exploring the village backyard, there isn’t much you can do in Malana. And yeah, nobody leaves Malana without taking a drab or two. Watch the magnificent sunrise from behind Chandrakhani Peak. It could be the most surreal sight you would ever behold.
- Trek up to the waterfall at the back of the village. It is roughly 5 km far.
- Enjoy camping at Malana Magic camping or carry your own tent.
- Though entering the Jamlu Devta Temple is prohibited you can walk up to the temple and take a look at the miniature work done on the temple wall and doors.
- The village also has some good store selling everyday commodities and warm clothes. I purchased gumboots while trekking back.
Things to pack for Malana Trek
- Full-sleeve t-shirt, synthetic trek pants, thick jacket
- Thermals, comfortable t-shirt, and tracks
- Trekking shoes
- Socks – 2 pairs
- First-aid kit
- Lip balm, sunscreen lotion
- Trekking pole, water bottle, and raincoat
Things to keep in mind before commencing Malana Trek
- Keep your one hand free while walking. Assuming that you are walking with a trekking pole in the other hand.
- Most of the trail on the mountain is directly exposed to sunlight. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and wear shades.
- Always wear trek pants or comfortable clothes. Avoid jeans.
- Carry sufficient water, juice, and chocolates with you while trekking. They give you instant energy.
- Maintain a steady pace while trekking.
- Avoid popping tablets even for the slightest of discomfort.
- Avoid drinking water from any water source. Not all of these mountain waters are clean and hygienic.
Places to visit near Malana
There are plenty of places of attractions near Malana and most of them happen to be the small town, sleepy villages with beautiful guesthouses and warm homestays. Frequently traversed by the backpackers these places can be easily clubbed with Malana Trek itinerary. All you need is a rucksack full of camping essentials and few days at hand.
Rashol, Kasol, Manikaran, Barsheni, Tosh, Kalga, Pulga, and Kheerganga are some of the popular places near Malana. Most of them form the popular Parvati Valley circuit. Stay in the top-notch condition to take to wander the mountains like a nomad.
It’s here in Malana where you feast on sights one-of-a-kind, where world’s best-kept secrets become yours to behold. Book your favorite Himachal tour package and get started!
What are some of the facts about Malana in Kasol Himachal?
Malana Village has its own governance system and the village residents aren’t too fond of outsiders. Touching houses and clicking pictures without the consent of villagers is also not allowed. The villagers are believed to be the descendants of Alexander and their appearance back the fact.
What can one do for a day in Malana, Kasol?
One can go around and take a look at the Jamlu Devta Mandir in the village, notice the fine wooden architecture. And trek to the campsite and waterfall towards the rear end of the village.
What are the best trekking destinations to be visited from Delhi?
Malana, Kheerganga, Tosh, Kasol, Rasol, Prashar Lake and Chandrashila are some of the popular trekking destinations that can be visited from Delhi.
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