Himachal Pradesh, apart from being known as the land of Gods, is also sometimes referred to as the land of weed. This is mainly due to the high amount of naturally growing marijuana or cannabis found in the region. This is also one of the major reasons that the area is famous for its on-season rave parties. On-season is the time between May to October, when the trekking routes become trekkable. One may add it all up and conclude that probably every 4 out of 5 young adults are avid ravers in the state–they must be high on drugs or rather weed all the time.
It’s time to break the myth. Not every Himachali is a stoner and not everyone here loves to rave. You must have heard the saying, “The mountains are calling and I must go”. Spoiler: The mountains never call out to anyone, not to rave, at least!
As a local, let me tell you what Himachalis really do. Most of us don’t rave (the so called ‘ravers’ are often outsiders)–but that doesn’t mean we are not fun-loving folks. We party in the woods with light acoustic music and folk songs by the campfire. Yes we get high, but on chai. And we’ve got some pretty good capacity for dozens of cups! We dance to music and we call it naati. We trek on unknown paths, exploring places and sometimes our souls too. We love, we read, we sing, we eat, and it’ll be safe to say that we’ve got our pieces together.
For centuries, Himachal Pradesh has been a quaint, beautiful place where seekers of peace live to explore their true self — which by the way, does not come from any sort of drug or loud trance music. The various areas of the state are so complete in their own natural way that there is no need of turning them into something artificial and flashy.
Every place has an aura or a vibe all its own. The mountains too have one, and we surely feel it. That’s what we do. Without a rave party, without drugs and without weed, we can hear what the mountains are saying to us, loud and clear. We speak their language and revel in their natural bounty. Believe me, no weed can help you experience this.
As a Himalayan myself, I, for most of my college life, have come across people who have tried asking me for marijuana or planning a rave for them somewhere in Kasol or Manali. The misconception of every Himachali being a weed-dealer or raver needs to be broken today. ‘Cause I refuse to be known by that identity, and so does the youth of the region.
We are incredible hosts, meditators, fun and dreamy people. We treat guests as family and you won’t forget the time spent with us once you get to know us. We know how to laugh without the booti and will eagerly teach you to as well. So yes, I am from Himachal and I sip coffee, camp, listen to the music of rivers and stargaze by the fire, but no, I don’t rave.
Image Credit: Untravel