Posted by Vishva News Reporter on August 9, 2009


Malana Village, in Himachal Pradesh, India is a 2000 year old remote community of 200 families with an unique political system is located at an altitude of 10,000 ft. Over the centuries, the isolation of Malana helped to preserve its unique socio-cultural practices.

For many years after independence Malana continued to exist as a state within a state, as the rules of Indian government were simply not accepted by the people. The village has been a curious subject of study by researchers and documentary filmmakers.
The village’s crude democratic practices has often been claimed to be a lifestyle of old community living, no more existent in modern times.

The villagers even trace their lineage to the Greek armies of Alexander the Great, who were left behind after his invasions of north India in 326 B.C.

Faced with continued hostility and in order to protect their culture, ancestors of Malana are said to have retreated into this inaccessible valley across the Chanderkhani pass in Kullu valley. Besides researchers, the village attracts hordes of foreigners. ‘Malana cream’ the brand dope processed by the villagers is considered to be one of the finest marijuana available anywhere in the world. Sources claim that it is also one of the highest priced dope in the international market. In recent years, government agencies have tried to dissuade the people from growing, processing and trading in the contraband, but have failed to eradicate marijuana farming.

Malanis have sharp features and look like Europeans.....

Young indian woman producing hashish resin from cannabis plant . Malana village , India , 2006 . Young indian woman producing hashish resin from cannabis plant . Malana village , India , 2006 . stock photoWomen mourn the loss after the devastating fire in Malana on Saturday.
LEFT PHOTO: Young Malana woman producing hashish resin from cannabis plant (2006)
RIGHT PHOTO: Women mourn the loss after the devastating fire in Malana on Saturday, Jan 5, 2008.Over 150 houses gutted in oldest surviving democracy of the world Malana Barrage (Kullu). Over 150 houses and six temples and ‘bhandars’ (temple stores) of Jamlu Devta, the presiding deity of the famous Malana village, were destroyed in a fire that broke out around 7.45 am. The village is known as the oldest surviving democracy of the world. Villagers tried melting snow to douse fire — Photo by Subhash Sharma- The Tribune, Sunday, January 6, 2008, Chandigarh, India
Malana Village, Himachal Pradesh, 2007 by basoo!.
In Malana, a 2000-yr old village tucked in the Himalayas, there are children everywhere you look.

PVAF in its continuing endeavour to spread knowledge about who we are and where we are among the human and creation diversity, today publishes this news story of the 2000 year old community of Malana in northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India located in Himalayas at an altitude of 10,000 ft.....A  road being built in a remote part of the Himalayas is putting team of anthropologists researchers on course to study a village populated by descendants of Alexander the Great’s army. According to local legend, the fair-haired and blue-eyed inhabitants of Malana are descended from Alexander’s soldiers, who settled down after tiring of conquest.....

Please click on the next line to read more about this more photos about Malana and its residents and a couple of takes from web search on what is known about Malana and its fascinating history..... 


Malana Village, Himachal Pradesh, 2007 by basoo!.
Musicians play hypnotic rythms on Malana's most sacred holiday. The village people are deeply superstitious and God-fearing

Village Temple

Malana Village, Himachal Pradesh, 2007 by basoo!.
LEFT PHOTO: Men relax during a spiritual holiday in Malana. The village people are deeply superstitious and God-fearing.

 Residents of Malana Village may be the descendants of Alexander the Great's army.

Alexander the Great and the blonds of the Himalayas..

Anthropologists probe legend that
remote Indian village of malana
is populated by
descendants of Alexander’s army

From: Edmonton Journal: 8 August 2009: Dean Nelson
A  road being built in a remote part of the Himalayas is putting researchers on course to study a village populated by descendants of Alexander the Great’s army.

According to local legend, the fairhaired and blue-eyed inhabitants of Malana, India, are descended from Alexander’s soldiers, who settled down after tiring of conquest.

A team of anthropologists has set out to unravel a mystery that has fascinated historians for centuries. Scientists from Sweden and India have joined forces to establish the origins of the unique culture and language.

Malana has attracted hippies since the Sixties, lured by its prized cannabis.

The village also boasts what is believed to be the oldest experiment in democracy.

Its people operate their own republic, with an elected upper and lower house. The village has a judicial system with a high court to resolve disputes among the 200 families. All outsiders are regarded as untouchable and visitors are fined about $20 Cdn if they brush against them or their homes.

Academics believe their system, unique in India, may have its origins in ancient Greece, imported into Malana by Alexander’s army.

According to the legend, Alexander stopped in Malana, part of Himachal Pradesh, in 326 BC when he defeated King Porus of what is now Punjab.

However, the battle sapped his army’s confidence and some decided to settle with local women.

Professor P.K. Vaid, of the Institute of Tribal Studies, Shimla, said his study would solve the mystery by DNA testing to determine any links to people in Macedonia and the Aegean region.
“Their features appear to be European,” he said. “They have blue eyes and fair hair.

“ Their democratic system could have its roots in Greece. It’s unique.”

The suggestion that Malana’s villagers could boast an illustrious heritage drew a skeptical reaction.

Ridhu Ram, the chief priest, said Alexander’s army never reached Malana, but was repelled when it reached the mountain that overlooks it.

“Our goddess hit them with heavy bullets and they all died,” he said.

Along with a faith in the power of gods, like the ancient Greeks, they defer to oracles.

Ram, 60, said Malani law set down unique penalties. Rapists were forced to marry their victims, or feed and clothe them for a year if the victim did not wish to be their wife.

Those who “stole” another man’s wife had to pay him about $1,000 Cdn in compensation, but if the woman in turn left him for another, he would receive double the amount he paid. “I stole another man’s wife 20 years ago and had to pay a fine of 15 rupees,” Ram said.

The priest said most Malanis did not care about their origins but were concerned that the isolation that had preserved their traditions was under increasing threat from the road to the new hydroelectric power station.

“We have our laws, we have freedom and we are satisfied with that,” he said.
And now read a short take on Malana village.....
......Here lambs are sacrificed to settle disputes....
                  by A. R. Chauhan, The Tribune, Saturday, February 16, 2002

The tribal village of Malana, which has its own system of governance, is fortified by natural barriers

The tribal village of Malana, which has its own system of governance, is fortified by natural barriers

THE tribal village of Malana in Kulu district of Himachal Pradesh is sometimes called ‘the Republic of Malana’ because the Malanis have their own system of governance. Besides a legislature and an executive body, the ‘Republic of Malana’ also has a judiciary. Although property and social disputes are very rare among the Malanis, if there is any such dispute it is taken to the judicial council — the Malana Supreme Court — for the final judgement and not to any government agency or court of law. The Malana court then fixes a day for its verdict as per the norms of the oral constitution of the Malana ‘state’. The oral constitution inherited from ancestors and passed on to generations states that on the appointed day both parties involved in the dispute — plaintiff as well as the defendant or any representative from their families — must take bath under a nearby waterfall early in the morning without being seen by anybody. Without eating or drinking anything and draping a white blanket robe around the body, they should come to attend the court proceedings, watched by all members of the ‘upper house’ and, if possible, by all villagers.

The head priest of Malana with a village girl

The head priest of Malana with a village girl

In accordance with the constitution, two white lambs of equal weight and age are selected by court officials from the village without paying any prize to the owners and brought to the devta’s place — the venue of the court proceedings. In full view of the court and the public, the court proceedings start by preparing two equal doses of jaihar mohra — a herbal poison which is locally available. On the right foreleg of each lamb, a three-inch long and about one-and-a-half-inch deep incision is made with a sharp knife. The poison is then put inside the cut (of both the lambs), which is then sown together with a needle and thread. Both the lambs are then taken to the devta’s place (an enclosure) and tied to temporarily erected posts by the court officials. The judicial members of the council allot each lamb to each party in dispute. Escorted by the court officials, the plaintiff and the defendant are then brought to the venue and asked to kneel down in front of their allotted and poisoned lambs. Then begins the wait for the lamb that dies first. When either of the lambs appears to be dead, the warrant officer confirms its death by putting dust into its eyes. When the death of any one of the lambs is thus confirmed, the warrant officer announces it to the court. The party whose lamb dies first in the proceedings is declared to have lost the case. The lamb that dies later wins the case for its party. The winning party is then required to give a feast to the whole village. No money, no delay, no advocates, no long wait but the lives of two innocent lambs sacrificed to passed the last judgment!

The Malana tribe is unique in many other respects too. Malanis have chosen a non-fertile mountain ridge to settle in — the Chanderkhani mountain range at about 8000 feet above the sea level, which is totally isolated and separated from the rest of the district by a high mountain range and the Malana Nullah. The place is linked to other areas not by road but just tracks. The nearest road head to Manala is Jari on the Manikaran -Bhuntar road, about 17 km away. The Malana Project of the Bhilwara Group has constructed a road that will cut short the distance from Jari by about 9 km. The Malana village appears to be a safe hideout, well fortified by natural barriers from all sides. Why Malanis chose this remote and isolated place that remains cut off from the outside world for about eight months is a question that remains unanswered.

Malanis have sharp features and look like Europeans
Malanis have sharp features and look like Europeans

Malanis do not have any socio-cultural, religious, linguistic or anthropological affinity to the neighbouring Aryans of Kulu, Bhots of Lahaul and Spiti and the Kinners of Kinnaur. They are an endogamous society. All marriages take place within the tribe’s four sub-groups which claim to be Rajputs of Dhamayani, Nagbani, Durani and Panchani origin. No Malani can marry a person who does not belong to Malana. And no outside person can get married in Malana. Polygamy is allowed but not polyandry. A man may get married ten to fifteen times and a woman may leave her husband any number of times she wishes.

The features of Malanis are also different. They look more like Europeans and less like Indians. Malanis unlike their neighbours of Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur do not have flat noses and rounded features, but have prominent noses. Some of them are blue-eyed too.

The language of Malanis (Kanash/Kanashi/Malani) is also unique and different. Linguists like Grierson and Roland have grouped their language with Chamba - Lahauli and Kinnauri in Himachal Pradesh and with Byangsi in Nepal and Chaudangshi, Darmiya of Pithoragarh district in Uttaranchal.

In view of the tribe’s socio-cultural and anthropological uniqueness, some scholars have hypothesised that the Malanis are the descendents of the Greek soldiers of Alexander’s army who deserted him during the Indian invasion. No archaeological or anthropological studies have yet been undertaken to prove or disapprove this hypothesis. The author who is a linguist and has undertaken the linguistic study of Kanash (Malani) also does not have sufficient data to subscribe to this hypothesis.


Malana, Himachal Pradesh

from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

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Malana, Himachal Pradesh
Map of Himachal Pradesh showing location of Malana, Himachal Pradesh
Malana, Himachal Pradesh
Location of Malana, Himachal Pradesh
in Himachal Pradesh and India
Country  India
State Himachal Pradesh
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Coordinates: 32°03'45?N 77°15'37?E? / ?32.0626008°N 77.2603548°E? / 32.0626008; 77.2603548

This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2007)

Malana is an ancient village to the north-east of Kullu Valley. This solitary village in the Malana Nala a side valley of the Parvati Valley is isolated from the rest of the world. The majestic peaks 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 3029 m above the sea level. Unaffected by the modern civilisation, Malana has its own lifestyle and social structure. People are strict in following their customs.



[edit] Geography

Manali is located at 32°24'N 77°10'E? / ?32.4°N 77.16°E? / 32.4; 77.16. It has an average elevation of 3029 metres (9940 feet).).



Malana has a history and it goes back to Jamlu rishi (sage) who inhabited this place and made rules and regulations.

It is one of the oldest democracies of the world with a well organized parliamentary system.

All of this is guided by the their devta (deity) Jamlu rishi.[1]

Although Jamlu is currently identified with a sage from the Puranas, this is a relatively recent developement. Jamlu is believed to have been worshipped in pre-Aryan times.

Penelope Chetwood recounts a tale about an orthodox Brahmin priest, who visited Malana, and tried to educate the locals about the pedigree of their god, and what subsequently befell the hapless priest.[2]

The residents of Malana speak Kanashi/Raksh (supposedly the dialect of evils residing there long ago), which is understood only by the villagers.

The residents of Malana consider themselves the descendant of Aryans (from Central Asia). Malana is considered to be one of the first democracies in the world. They acquired their independence during the Mughal reign when the Emperor Akbar walked to the village in order to cure an ailment that he was afflicted with. After having been successfully cured he put out an edict stating that all the inhabitants of the valley would never be required to pay tax.

A dam project, the Malana Hydro Power Station, has brought ana much closer to the rest of the world and provides revenue for the region. A new road has shortened the walking time from several days to just 4 hours.

[edit] Culture and lifestyle

The village administration is democratic and is believed to be the oldest republic of the world. The social structure of Malana in fact 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.

People in Malana consider all non-Malani to be inferior and consequently untouchable. Visitors to Malana town must pay particular attention to stick to the prescribed paths and not to touch any of the walls, houses or people there. If this does occur, visitors are expected to pay a forfeit sum, that will cover the sacrificial slaughter of a lamb in order purify the object that has been made impure. Malani people may touch impure people or houses as long as they follow the prescribed purification ritual before they enter their house or before they eat. Malanis may never accept food cooked by a non-Malani person, unless they are out of the valley (in which case their Devt can't see them). Malanis may offer visitors food but all utensils will have to undergo a strict purification ritual before they can be used again.

Despite 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 descendants 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. This myth is however disputed because there are those who claim that it is the valley of Kalash, in Pakistan that is actually the area in which Alexander the Great's soldiers took refuge.

Malana was also once famous for producing some of the best quality hashish (cannabis resin) in the world, known as "Malana Cream", which sells for 1,200-1,800 rupees per tola (= 10 grams). Today however this reputation has led to an influx of Nepali cannabis traders who sell Nepali charas under the Malana name. Due to heightened police attention which is directed to the area, and a general increase in hostility from the locals towards disrespectful Ganja tourists, Malana is no longer the idyllic place it once was to visit.

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. ^ Kulu The End of the Habitable World By Penelope Chetwode page 89 ISBN 81 85113 20 3/a>
  2. ^ Kulu The End of the Habitable World By Penelope Chetwode page 90 ISBN 81 85113 20 3

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