Mar 302012
 

Malana is a small village of about 500 families situated on a plateau of Chandrakhani mountain at a height of about 12000 ft. It is surrounded by the lush-green forests, rugged mountainous ranges and difficult tract not easy to climb. That is why the outsiders could not influence the traditions of this village for thousands of years. This village can b~ approached through three difficult routes, the less difficult among all is the route of Jari. Jari is a small village which can be approached by mini bus or taxi. While proceeding to Manikaran one can drop at Jari. From Jari the mountainous path leads to the village of Malana. Malana is about nine kms from Jari, and with a little effort, normally a visitor reaches Malana from Jari in five of six hours.

The main occupation of the villagers is cultivation but the pro- duce is not enough to suffice the needs of the inhabitants, thus cattle rearing and collection of medicinal herbs are the other sources of livelihood. The people with their herds climb down to the areas of Mandi and Suket during winter. The main food crops include wheat, millet and maize. The whole land is in the name of the god of the village known as Jamlu Devta. The villagers work in the fields and are known as Majaras of the god. After harvest, a fraction of the produce is always offered to the god which is stored in the holy store of the temple. This stored Crop is used in various religious festivals and rituals. Even an outsider is served with the food taken from the store of the god. Jamlu Devta is the rustic form of the great saint Rishi Jamdagni. As the legend prevails Jamdagni was searching for a most conducive place for meditation. He was carrying eighteen images of the gods in a basket, symbolic of all the gods of the world, the wild wind scattered these images throughout the Beas valley.Wherever these images fell they became the gods of the locality. Jamdagni Rishi came to Malana and found the locality quite suitable for his meditation. So he stayed there for a while before proceeding   further. Slowly and gradually the people from far and wide especially from the high ranges of the Himalayas came there to settle. Since the saint was the most revered his verdict in disputes and deciding matters was always final. This tradition still exists among the masses. Strange enough, throughout the valley of Beas, the images of local gods were established but in this village there is no image of Jamlu Devta, instead Khanda of Jamlu Devta is taken as a symbol of the god. Jamlu Devta is named as the chief deity of Kullu valley and whenever there is a convocation of the gods of the valley the final verdict of Jamlu Devta is taken as the supreme one. Jamlu Devta communicates with the masses with the help of its Cur, the principal disciple.

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