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Entry Fee : INR 150 is required to get the permit to enter the village.

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Nako, Kinnaur Overview

Located at the height of 3,600 metres above the sea level, Nako is a mesmerising and picturesque village that is full of eye capturing surroundings and is the most significant village situated in the Kinnaur district of the Himachal Pradesh. The village can be found on the eastern end of the Kinnaur District and is most popular amongst nature lovers and trekkers. While travelling to Malling Nullah, Nako village falls on the way and is, in fact, the last attraction on the way to the final destination.

This beautiful village is rightly known as the 'Land of the Fairytales' as it is surrounded by the greenery of nature and is home to many rare species. The village also offers the visitors with multiple sightseeing options such as the famous Nako Lake, Buddhist Temples and Rakham amongst others. Near the lake, one can also find the footprints of the saint Padmasambhava, who is believed to have meditated at the spot for many years.

The Nako Village is located between Kinnaur and Spiti Valley, and thus shares a mixed culture of both. The village is also one of the most happening travel destinations that are located in the area. Since the stretch lies close to the Tibetan Border, travellers need inner line permits to travel to the region. Foreign nationals also need permissions to stay overnight in any part of the village. This exciting village seems so much removed from reality that the visitors feel as if they have been transported to some other world altogether, and thus, the Nako Village is a must visit on your next visit to Himachal Pradesh.

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Nako Lake at Nako Village

When viewed from a far off distance, the Nako Village seems as if it is submerged in a lake. This breathtaking water body is the Nako Lake which surrounds the village and is situated at the height of 3,662 metres above the sea level. The unusual thing that excites visitors at the lake is the waterfall in which the water that flows appears to be a milky liquid. This is because the water is full of snow, and according to legends, it is the realm of fairies. The footprints of these fairies and other demigods can still be found in one of the caves near the lake. The scene of the waterfall is breathtaking, and the willow and poplar trees that surround the lake further enhance the beauty of the location.

According to history, one can find the impression of the footprint of the saint Padmasambhava near the lake. People from far off parts of the country come to visit the place as it is believed to be the resting place of the saint Padmasambhava. A village called Tashigang is located several miles away from the lake, and the saint is believed to have meditated and given a discourse to his followers in that village.

Nako Monastery at Nako Village

The Nako Monastery that can be found in the village dates back to the 11th century and is a popular tourist attraction that people especially love to visit. The monastery comprises of four large and spacious halls, the oldest one of which is known as Dukhong. The walls of the Dukhong are adorned with the decorations of a complete mandala, and to the eastern side of this Dukhong lies another hall which is smaller in size. The roof and walls of this chamber too are painted with mandalas. The complex of the monastery also houses a shrine which is dedicated to Purgyal, a local deity who is attributed to be the 'spirit of the mountain'. Clay sculptures of the five Dhyani Buddhas can also be found inside the main hall.

Other Places To Visit in Nako Village

Other than the famous lake and sanctuary, one can also find other areas of interest in the Nako Village. One such attraction is the Lipa- Asrang Sanctuary, which is renowned for its diverse plants. The sanctuary is spread over a total area of about 30.89 square kilometres. The variety of flora found in protection here includes dry coniferous forest, dry alpine scrub, dwarf juniper scrub and others. Tourists, however, require permission from the concerned officers to enter the sanctuary.

Chitkul is the last point after which people are not permitted to go and is yet another much-loved tourist spot. This charming village is located on the bank of the Baspa River and is usually covered with the snow.

The Chango gompa, located just a few kilometres away from the Nako monastery, is famous for its prayer wheel which is more than 500 years old and is made up of yak skin. The Sangla Buddhist Monastery, also known as the Brelengi Temple, is situated near Reckong Peo and is also a must visit attraction.

Festivals and Celebrations at Nako Village

Perhaps the most anticipated and most awaited festival celebrated at the Nako Village is Sazo. This festival is celebrated every year in the month of the January. The best thing about this festival is that the people prepare different kinds of dishes and worship their family deity. Sazo is celebrated on a massive level with great joy and enthusiasm. During the commencement of the festival, the doors are kept closed, and only wagons of gods and goddess are made open for worship. Even though the celebration lasts for just one day, people start preparing for it months in advance.

The festival of Phagul is celebrated for three days in February or March. People worship the spirit of Kanda or Kali. The belief runs that by worshipping the Goddess, people please her and in turn, she blesses them with wealth, prosperity and happiness. Other than these festivals, people also celebrate Baisakhi or Beesh, Dakhraini, etc. with great zeal and fervour.

Best Time To Visit Nako

The beauty of the village reaches its peak in the months between April and October, and thus, this is the time when you should ideally visit Nako. Avoid visiting the village during peak winters as roads are closed for a few days after the snowfall.

Shopping At Nako

Even though the village is not a shopping destination, it is a good idea to buy some woollen clothes and Tibetan Buddhist artefacts from the place. Nako is also popular for its apple orchards, and the fresh juicy apples are worth buying.

Tips For Visiting Nako

1. You will find no internet connection in Nako Village.
2. The only phone network at the village is BSNL. There is very poor or no network reception for other operators.
3. The electricity connection here is very sporadic. So, it is best to keep your mobile phone and laptops charged.
4. There is no communication problem in Nako as the majority of the locals can converse in good English.
5. Do not litter anywhere as Nako is an environmentally conscious village. You will find garbage bins at the roadside and "Keep Nako Clean and Green" signs.

How To Reach Nako

Located at the east end of Kinnaur Valley, Nako is the last point of interest before the landslide between Kinnaur and Spiti Valley. You can reach Nako through Reckong Peo. Hire a cab to the landslide and inform the driver that you're heading towards Nako Village. The ride should take you around 4 hours. If you are crossing the landslide from Spiti Valley, at Malling Nullah ask for a bus or a car that will drop you at Nako. Alternatively, you can hop on a bus travelling to Reckong Peo that will drop you at Nako Village.

Since Nako in the restricted area, very close to the Tibetan Border, an Inner Line Permit is required to visit it. The permit can be obtained either from Reckong Peo for INR 50 or from Shimla or Kaza for free. It remains valid for 14 days. The permit is required only for foreign nationals, and the residents of the country do not need it. 

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