Malana is perhaps most famous for its charas (hash), known as Malana Cream. The consumption of hash is part of the culture of the area. The devout villagers regard it as “Shivji ki buti”.
Malana is one of the villages in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh that is very popular with tourists who want to smoke some weed or hash. Malana Cream is the backbone of the local economy and it attracts national and international tourists, especially Israeli youth after their mandatory army service.
Villagers believe that they descent from deserters from Alexander the Great’s army. They consider outsiders “unclean” so all tourists have to avoid touching the local people.
There are a whole bunch of rules you have to follow if you to go Malana. You have to stay on the main path, you can’t touch the temples or take their photos without permission, you can’t walk into sacred spots, and no touching villagers or their belongings. So, a knowledgeable guide is a must in Malana.
A large fire destroyed about half of Malana’s homes and temples in 2008. A lot of the temples were reconstructed in the traditional wood and stone style.
The area is also believed to have the world’s old democracy.