Filled with a feeling akin to the roach falling out of your joint after you’ve rolled it, we regretfully report that Malana, the famous Himachali village known to stoners world over, is no longer accessible to tourists overnight. The community’s oracle, chosen by them to communicate with their God, Jamlu, has told the people that they are to close all hotels and restaurants, in an attempt to protect their local culture.
“The deity did not want any of the villagers to rent out their property for running guest houses and restaurants. He has forbidden everyone from doing this, and those violating his orders will have to bear the brunt of his curse,” Bhagi Ram, the Malana Panchayat Pradhan told Hindustan Times. “Villagers in Malana invoke Jamlu through a chosen medium – in this case an oracle, who then conveys to them what the deity ‘said.’ Devotees believe Jamlu responds to all kinds of queries” reports HT.
This step was preceded by the banning of all photography in the village a few months ago, as the photographs primarily depicted Malana to be the hashish capital of India, garnering them unwanted attention. The village life is filled with ritualistic taboos, and their culture is most definitely one to be respected, and protected. For instance, if you touch the walls or belongings of any of the Malanese people, you will have to pay a fine, as they believe all outsiders are “untouchables” since they believe themselves to be direct descendants of Alexander the Great. The locals do not eat, stay or marry outside the community, reports Quartz. One must be welcomed, if at all, and this is not a scenario that plays out well with throngs of tourists.
While this is sad news for stoners who hadn’t made it up to that part of the mountains, this will go a long way in preserving the village and its customs. For now, you’ll just have to make do with the occasional Malana cream tola that comes your way, and maybe a day trek if you can swing going there and back all before sunset.
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