A farmer turns Jana village into tourist hub
Discover Kullu Manali
Jana, a remote village of Kullu, with efforts of its occupants has turned into the
fastest growing tourist spot of Manali with 30,000 tourists visiting the place
annually. Jana has today the potential to defeat Naggar, Manikaran and other
nearby tourist destinations and Mani Ram is the man who had laid foundation to
this achievement 11 years ago.
Mani Ram at work
Mani Ram at work at Jana (waterfall) village, Manali
The village is now famous as ‘Jana Waterfall’ as it also has a small waterfall. Tourists have two reasons to visit the village — waterfall and pure desi food items prepared by Mani Ram. Going back to 2002, when not more than 100 tourists get to have glimpse of beautiful village and its surroundings but the fragrance of Kullu cuisines and efforts of this village guy have established a new milestone.
“I used to invite my foreigner friends to taste my
desi food 11 years ago who themselves advertised this place and people started
searching for me. Number of my customers has increased from less than 5 in 2002
to more than 300 today and it is increasing every year,” the proud founder of
this magical tourist destination, Mani Ram, said. According to him, nobody
developed this place and it was the beauty of village and its people which
forced people to visit this place.
Situated at height of about 9,000 feet and 32km from
Manali, Jana Waterfall has created opportunity for about 50 villagers who after
getting influenced from Mani Ram are earning from tourists by operating dhabas,
developing photographs and offering taxi services to nearby places.
Desi meal at Jana
Mani Ram cooks red rice, makke ki roti at Jana waterfall
Deep Prakash, a Jana villager, who has been
witnessing change in the village in last ten years, says, “Only some trekkers
used to camp here for a night halt some years ago. No doubt these are the
efforts of Mani Ram who never gave up and continued wooing tourists with his
talent. He personally kept requesting tourists to visit village and taste his
food. Now hundreds of tourists are reaching here daily and opening of nearly 15
more desi dhabas have ensured that Jana is soon going to become number one
tourist spot of Manali.”
A thali which contains 11 dishes including red rice,
makke ki roti, bichhukooti chatni, lingdi ka achar and local pulses and
vegetables prepared by local spices has become the brand of Jana which
otherwise cannot be found elsewhere in the world. According to Mani Ram, he
cook his dishes with traditional style in traditional pots and his food has
same taste as it used to be hundreds of years ago.
Though the tourism department has included Jana
waterfall in list of local sightseeing places but Mani Ram complains that
condition of the road to village has not been improved by the government for
years. “If approach road to Jana would be developed, the number of tourists
arrival would definitely double only in a year,” he rues.

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The Himalayan


June 29, 2012
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