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Magic Valley.

Samadrita C Bhattacharjee

Magic Valley in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh is situated at an altitude of about 13,000 ft above sea level, with sub-zero temperatures in autumn, spring & winter. This valley mainly comprises of 3 villages, namely Atorang, Waichin & Magic
None of the settlements in the rough terrain of this valley is entitled to electricity. The inhabitants brave the adversities by walking afar into the forests every day to collect firewood and walk for miles for other daily necessities.
After a steep climb of 40 minutes or so in the darkness we reached a flat land; further uphill of which was this beautiful village of Atorang; sparsely populated with only 7 wooden houses and the snow-capped Mt. Vice & Mt. Virtue in the backdrop.
We camped amidst the plantation of the staple cash crop of the region – Ganja. The harvest of which has been done here for centuries, mainly for use in the ancient art of making Hashish or Charas, an integral element in the culture of the Shaivas.
One of the many farmers who primarily cultivates the crop to make Charas by rubbing the leaves in his hands to collect the THC in the form of resin. They say rubbing in the sun sucks blood from the body and a slower process ensures a better quality.

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