A small village situated in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh in north India, Nako is one of the beauty treasures of Himachal Pradesh untouched by travelers.
The village is known for its location in Hangrang Valley at Tibet border, beautiful Nako lake and monasteries.
Nako lake is an oval shape lake surrounded with mountains; valley and whitewashed village give a picturesque location. To experience the scenic beauty, boating attracts people from distant places during summer while the frozen lake in winter becomes hub for ice skating.
There is an ancient monastery located in the middle of the village founded by Ringchen Zangpo in 996 AD. It is famous for its sculptures, murals, art works and scripture. Lotsawa Lhakhang (Translator’s Temple) is the largest part of the monasteries. The chortens, jhunkhang (community kitchen) and temples are worth visiting. Buddhist culture dominates the village. The food and clothing is very similar to the Tibetans. The small temple complex which is recent addition to the monastery is used for educational purpose.
During tenth and thirteenth centuries western Himalayan region developed a complex artistic culture under Buddhists culture. All such can be witnessed in seven temples of Nako Village.
Festivals and fairs are the other charm of the village. The tourists can also take part in the festivals. Traditional lamas dances known as Chham or mask dance are very popular in the region. The lamas through their dance show the defeat of the evil forces..
Nako has mesmerizing beauty but it is not a free zone for travelers. Tourists require inner line permit to enter the village. All the guest houses and dhabas are located near the village entrance. Since there is nothing much to see in the village a day-long trip is sufficient. But if you are looking for a place with beautiful surroundings to relax then Nako is the place.
In eighth century Master Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Nako and later great translator Rinchen Zangpo founded monasteries between 958-1055 AD. Nako and Tabo monasteries were estabilished around the same period but Nako represents a different kind of Buddhism. Nako monasteries are testimony of well developed Vajranya Buddhist iconography in India.
It’s not a shopping destination. However during festivals woolen clothes and Tibetan Buddhist artifacts are a good buy. Nako is famous for its apple orchard and the fresh apples are worth buying.
WHERE TO STAY
There are limited budget guest houses where one can stay.
WHERE TO EAT
There are limited options. Local eateries serve Tibetan food and Indian food is available at few restaurants.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Nako is from April to October as its scenic beauty is at its peak. Peak winter is best avoided as the roads are closed for days after snowfall.
BEST TIME TO VISIT KINNAUR
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Kinnaur is as given below. The best time to visit Kinnaur is also specified.