Have you ever felt that you are loosing everything, everything you always felt was yours but now its slowly drifting away. I guess we all have felt this way, somehow, right? In the middle of such agonies we always feel that we need an escape from everything, go out and just be the child inside us and breathe in the air not intoxicated by an aura of bitterness and coldness. So during one such event in my life I took refuge in the beautiful district of Kinnaur, which is in Himachal Pradesh(India). Kinnaur is one of the lesser known treasures of Himachal. It is immensely decorated with magnificent sceneries of snow capped mountains blessed with the sacred presence of Shiva at the peak of ‘kinnar kailash’. It has a rich landscape of places like Nako village(The Buddhist abode constituting a high altitude lake), Kalpa(gives a stunning view of Kinnar Kailash peak), Sangla valley(it combines the view of both snow covered mountains and lush green forests running parallel alongside the Baspa river), Raksham village(hub of apple orchards), and Chitkul(India’s last village unto Indo-Tibetian border). Out of these all places I spent most of my time in Nako village and here are the details:
How to Reach Nako?
So to keep it simple I am keeping the center point as Chandigarh. There are certain options for transport like cars, taxi, bikes(which you can hire from Chandigarh) or a bus. A bus service Of HRTC is available from Chandigarh to Reckongpeo via Shimla. The journey is of around 13-14 hours covering approx. 360 kms. I would recommend you to stay at Reckongpeo which is the headquarter of district Kinnaur for a break from the tiring journey. For the next expedition you have options from the only two bus services available from Reckongpeo to Nako one at 7:00 AM(towards Kaza) and another at 12:30 PM(towards Samdhoo). The jouney is of about 6 hours covering approx. 95 kms. The bus will leave you 1.5kms away from the village nearby an helipad from where you can walk through the nature. You can cover the entire journey using any other transport as you wish and yipiie you are there.
What are the options for stay at Nako?
Okay so as to start the list with I would like to mention this first that most of the options for accommodations are available during the season time i.e from May to September but apart from these months lodging would be difficult to find due to snowfall. Inspite of this fact the lodgings are not really expensive and surely wouldn’t burn a hole into your pockets. Some of the options are:
- Government owned Rest House
- Home stays
- Camping sites
- Guest Houses
- Dig in your own tent.
What are the options for food?
The lodgers provide the services for food too and you can also find few restaurants nearby. I would recommend for you to try the Chinese cuisine and the famous Kangri Dham at Nako(only available during summer season and exclusively at this small restaurant called”Kangri Dhaba”).
What are the Best things about Nako?
- Nako Lake: It is one of the highest altitude lakes in Himachal covered altogether with the bands of poplar and willow trees which during the autumn season depict the view worth of every hour you waited to reach here at Nako and during the winter season offers you the pleasure of ice skating and activities as such over a frozen lake. You can sit here for the entire day and feel the silence of serenity and contentment. If you go slightly above this you will find an edge over which the entire view of Nako village is visible.
- Nako Monastery: The monastery is pretty old and is believed to enshrine a deity called ‘spirit of the mountain’. It is a descent depiction of architecture with a serene place for meditation and introspection of oneself.
- Chango Gompa: It is few kms away from the monastery, and is astonishing in a way that it houses a prayer wheel believed to be half a millennium old.
- An escape: The ever fulfilling peace and negligible interference of traffic and loud noises makes Nako a total escape. Its also known as HangRang valley.
What are the places near Nako and what are the attractions during the journey?
Nako is a gateway to further destinations, to name a few like Kaza, Tabo, Kibber, Key monastery, Chandratal and other places of Lahul spiti. It also acts as a connecting road towards Leh which intersects at Manali-Leh Highway at Gramphoo. The places nearby are:
- Spello: Its 34 kms away from Reckongpeo when you start your journey towards Nako. You can enjoy your travel meals here as this is the only place with restraunts uptill Nako.
- Khaab: This is a place on the way to Nako, where river Spiti meets river Sutlej.
- Taboo: It is 60 kms away from Nako and lead towards Kaza, Key monastery and Kibber(the highest altitude village in India).
From here you can also access places like Kaza, Kibber and Key monastery.
What is the Best and safest time to visit?
Normally the roads in Nako are maintained by Border Road Organisation and are pretty safe during the seasonal timings which is April-June and September-October. The months apart from them are risk prone due to landslides, snowfall and harsh weathers.
The safest months to visit are April, May, June, September and October.
What is budget for the trip for a single person?
If you are planning to go alone the trip should cost you around INR 5000-6000 to have a descent vacation with expenses for travel, lodging, food and safety included. If you are planning to go in a group the expenses should slash down to under INR 5000.
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Content writer: Raveena paul