On the opium trail
This is a very popular trek in Kullu Valley. This trek takes you through pine forests, alpine meadows and stunning Himalayan scenery to the ancient lost village of Malana. There is a beautiful pass called the Chandrakhani Pass on the third day of the trek. The pass is shaped like a crescent moon and hence is called “Chandrakani”.This is an ideal trek around Manali for tourists who have only a few days and prefer shorter hikes to longer treks.
About Malana Village: Malana can be reached from Parbati valley crossing over the 3180 metres Rashol pass and from Naggar over the 3600 metres beautiful Chanderkhani pass.
This village is a small cluster of around two hundred stone roof houses. Its inimitable culture and the temple of Jamlu distinguish the village. The village consists of around 1500 inhabitants and has an impeccable system of administration with a higher and lower court guided by the spirit of village god Jamlu. Malana stands out as an autonomous self-sufficient unit whose inhabitants claim Greek ancestry. Some stories refer to the village as "a little Greece" as the inhabitants are said to be descendants of Alexander’s Soldiers who settled here centuries ago.
The unique geographical location of Malana has enabled it to preserve its biodiversity and it is an ecological haven. For the outsiders, there is a long list of do's and don'ts to be followed in the village. The people are friendly but outsiders are told to keep distance and not to touch anything in the village.
Malana is divided into two - upper malana (dharabeda) and lower malana (sorbeda). Kanashi, the language of malana, does not resemble any of the dialects spoken in its neighborhood but seems to be a mixture of sanskrit and several tibetan dialects. Two important festivals are celebrated in malana. One called badohmela is celebrated in august and the other called fagdimela in february.
From Malana the trek continues along the Malana Nala through dense forests and meadows (called Thach locally). One crosses the Chota Grahan Thach, Mota Grahan Thach and ascends to Khiksa Thach. Along these Thach’s one will encounter many Gaddi Shepherds. As one reaches the KhiksaThach one will be surrounded by mountains on all sides and one can see the Malana Glacier from which the MalanaNala originates. We will spend a day exploring the glacier and the beautiful meadows in these regions before we retrace our path to Malana.