Malana | History, Hashish & Himalaya

Malana is an ancient Indian village in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Much before going to Malana village, I had read quite a lot about it.  This solitary village in the Malana Nala, a side valley of the Parvati Valley to the north-east of Kullu Valley, is isolated from the rest of the world. The peaks of Chanderkhani and Deo Tibba shadow the village. It is situated on a remote plateau by the side of the torrential Malana river, at a height of around 10,000 feet above sea level. Malana has its own lifestyle and social structure and people are strict in following their customs. 

Maihar | Where the Mother’s necklace fell

Established by the Rajputs in the 18th century and a princely state of the British Rule in the 19th century, Maihar is a city in Madhya Pradesh. It is best known for the famous temple of Maa Sharda Devi (ca. 502 CE), situated on the top of the Trikoota Hills, which can be reached after climbing 1,063 steps. The name of city means ‘mother’s necklace’, and it got this name because, as per Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva was carrying his mother’s body when her necklace fell off. The place where it fell was in this city, which is why it is called Maihar. The city is a prominent place for the Indian classical music. It was originally the birthplace of the Maihar Gharana, a type of Hindustan music.

Pahari Mandir, Ranchi

The temple of Lord Shiva is situated in the heart of the city on a hill called Pahari Mandir. The 2,140 feet Ranchi hill houses the temple at its summit. Ranchi hill was earlier being known as Phansi Tongri (Hanging Hill) and it was the place where freedom fighters were hanged to death. It’s said that more than 250 freedom fighters were hanged here from the trees by the British rulers. Pahari Mandir holds the distinction of being the only temple in the country to continue with the tradition of hoisting the national flag every Independence Day ever since the first Tricolour was unfurled here in the intervening night of August 14 and 15, 1947.

Tathagata Tsal

The Buddha Park of Ravangla, also known as Tathagata Tsal, is situated near Rabong (Ravangla) in South Sikkim district, Sikkim, India. Tathagata is Sanskrit and Pali word. It’s used to refer to Lord Buddha. The term is often thought to mean either “one who has thus gone” (tathā-gata) or “one who has thus come” (tathā-āgata). This is interpreted as signifying that the Tathagata is beyond all coming and going — beyond all transitory phenomena.

Samdruptse | Wish-fulfilling hill

On our way to Char Dham, we went to Samdruptse, near Namchi.  Samdruptse is situated at around 75 km from Gangtok. Samdruptse literally means 'wish fulfilling hill' in the Bhutia language. It is also said that the Samdruptse hill is actually a Dormant Volcano. Painted in shimmering copper, pink and bronze, the awe-inspiring and gigantic 45 metre-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava, a.k.a. Guru Rinpoche, lords over the forested Samdruptse ridge and is visible for miles around.