One of the most curious places in Kasol is the Malana The village - The Land of Myths - Legends - Stories - Politics and it's Cream.
The Myth of a real place goes like this -
One of the 7 great sages (Saptrishi's) - Jamadagni was looking for a place to stay and prayed to the God's for a suggestion of a place with nature and Isolation and upon Lord Shiva's advice, the sage landed in a small Himalayan village called Malana in the Present day. At the time a Rakshasa called Banasura was in control of the territory, Started with a fight, ending with a compromise a division was decided between Administration and Judiciary- Banasura - got administration and Jamadagni got Judiciary and it became the first Democracy. The language was Kanashi which is still not shared with the outside world - and Yes, it still exists.
The temple of Jamlu devta, is still run by hereditary post for many generations of the Priest following the rule of the Jamlu Rishi who is still considered as King. The village follows no other rule and is its own tiny democracy.
Malana Parliament -
The Malana administration is based on religion and the elected members are selected among the inhabitants of Bhandaria which are assigned the tasks of collecting tax on the land area, which falls under the jurisdiction of the village shrine.
The priestly office is hereditary.
They are governed by 2 houses of Parliament - The lower house of - Kanishthang and the Upper house of Jayeshthang.
The Legend -
With a population of fewer than 2000 people, a quarter of them still speaking Kanashi believe that they have the purest Aryan Gene. The legend is that they are the descendants of the soldiers of Alexander the Great. The residents with the color of the skin hair and eyes do stand out from the Indian faces. They existed as a democracy, never paid any taxes - even to the British. the only king who tried to extract taxes from them was the - Mughal emperor Akbar who soon withdrew.
Akbar is said to have disrespected the village and Jamlu devta by imposing a tax regime on them. Soon he was struck by Leprosy. For his Atonement, Akbar offered gifts to the deity and then was cured. This is still celebrated every year in their festival called - Fagli.
The Malana Cream
Traditionally, They used to barter ghee, wool, honey, and birds with salt food, and other necessities. Nowadays - the crop to sustain the economy is Marijuana and Cannabis. Malana is known to produce the best Hashish in the world called the Malana cream. Malana was discovered by the Swingers in the 60's. Learning from an Italian who stayed there and taught them how to develop and produce Charas the place changed forever.
The Malanis believe that they are superior to outsiders and consider them untouchables. As the village opened to tourism in recent times, when the exchange of money for things is done by placing the notes on the counter and not in the hand of the Malanis.
- "Touch the temple or a local and pay a 1000 Rs. fine"
The village is enigmatic, they admire their culture, customs, and religious beliefs though there starting to show very few but some signs of modernization. There will be a sweet smell in the air.