Manali: Scenic Jana, case a remote village of Kullu valley (33 Kms from Manali) by sheer efforts of its residents has turned into one of the buzzing tourist spots, viagra popular for its eateries and a soothing waterfall, around this tourist getaway destination.
With more than 35,000 tourists visiting Jana village annually, it has now the potential to overtake Naggar, Manikaran and other nearby tourist destinations.
The one man responsible for the booming business in this well known village in Kullu valley is Mani Ram who started out 12 years ago and laid the foundation of bringing in the tourists.
Where most people in the valley were abandoning rice cultivation for the more lucrative cash crop of growing apples, Mani did the reverse. He switched from cultivating apple orchards to growing the red rice, a famed strain of rice cultivated in most hill valleys till recent times.
Today the village is famous as “Jana waterfall” for its small but very scenic waterfall. Tourists have two reasons to visit the village — waterfall and pure desi (local) food items prepared by Mani Ram.
Back in 2002, not more than 100 tourists would get to have a glimpse of this beautiful village and its surroundings, but over the year’s fragrance of Kullu cuisines and efforts of this village guy have built a reputation and established a new destination in the valley.
“I used to invite my foreigner friends to taste my desi (local) dishes 12 years ago. By word of mouth they advertised this place and more and more people started coming searching for me. Number of my customers has increased from less than 5 in 2002 to more than 300 today. And it is increasing each year,” the proud founder of this tucked away magical tourist destination, Mani Ram, says.
In all humility he claims, “nobody developed this place and it is the beauty of this village and the hard work of its residents that has made tourists come visiting this place.”
Perched at a commanding height of about 9,000 feet, the village with its scenic Jana waterfall has created an opportunity for about 50 villagers. Seeing the roaring business that Mani Ram was doing, other joined the bandwagon and soon more roadside eateries (dhabas) came up, photographers dropped in and taxi operators started marketing the place as a must see scenic spot to visitors looking around for day excursions in the valley.
Deep Prakash, a fellow villager for Jana who has witnessed the change that the village has undergone in the last one decade 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 the 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, local pulses and vegetables prepared with local spices has become the brand of Jana, which is not found elsewhere. Mani Ram says that he cooks all dishes in traditional pots and the food taste as it used to through the generations.
Catching up with the traveler’s trends in the valley, the tourism department has included Jana waterfall among its list of local sightseeing spots, but Mani Ram complains that condition of the road to village has not been improved for years. “If approach road to Jana could be developed, number of tourists footfalls would definitely double in a year,” he says.