Your Travel Guide for Nako Village-Things to do 2024

 In Spiti, Things To Buy, Things to do, Travel, Travel Trends, Weekend Trips

Nako Village, surrounded by majestic mountains and serene lakes, is one of the few small remote villages in Spiti Valley. Tucked away at an altitude of 3662 m, it is a popular tourist destination in Spiti Valley for people looking for trekking trails, old historic monasteries, and peaceful surroundings, and picturesque views.

This hidden gem in the rugged landscapes of Spiti Valley captures a sense of tranquillity like no other place. Nako Village offers the perfect spot to those seeking solace and some tranquillity.

It is the last village at the east end of Kinnaur district in Hangrang Valley and is very close to the Indo-Tibetan Border. Hence, foreign nationals require Inner Line Permit to enter these villages. These permits can be procured either in Reckong Peo or Kaza depending on whichever route one takes to reach Nako Village.

You can include a visit to Nako Village in your Spiti Trip Packages and head out on your Spiti adventure ASAP!Most travellers visit Nako Village as a pitstop in their trekking trail of Spiti Valley Trek or solo travellers/bikers on their Spiti Valley Bike Trip. Nevertheless, this village offers a little of everything to every traveller visiting here and each of them are unique and exhilarating

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Things to do in Nako Village, Spiti Valley

Nako village has become a famous destination for those looking to complete the Spiti Valley circuit in recent years as tourism in Spiti Valley has seen a gradual rise.

Nako Village’s most notable features are the Nako Lake, Nako Monastery, and breathtaking view of the surrounding Himalayan peaks. It is completely encircled by lush fields with stark contrasting lunar-like, bare mountains surrounding it. It is indeed a sigh to behold and will mesmerize you!

Here are some of the things to do in Nako Villages which also includes some adventurous activities to make the most of your visit to this quaint Himalayan hamlet:

  • Marvel at the Nako Lake: Immerse yourself in the beauty of Nako Lake. Surrounded by willow and poplar trees, this serene lake mirrors the clear blue sky and the towering mountains, creating a picture-perfect setting that’s bound to leave you spellbound. 
  • Also, you will find the lake is flanked by 4 Buddhist temples and caves. It is believed that Saint Padmasambhava had meditated at this lake site in his lifetime and somewhere in the middle of the lake, there is a rock with his footprint mark on it. A huge statue of the Saint has been built near the lake to honor him and his teachings.
  • Explore Ancient Monasteries: Embark on a spiritual journey by visiting the ancient monasteries that dot around Nako Village. The Nako Monastery, with its intricate murals and peaceful ambiance, offers a glimpse into the rich Buddhist culture that thrives in the Spiti Valley. It is an 11th-century Buddhist Gompa and a revered place of religious interest for the people in the Valley.
  • Take a Stroll through the Village: Set on a trail of the village yourself and get lost in the maze of narrow lanes and traditional mud-brick houses that embody the true essence of a Spiti Village. Interact with the friendly locals, sip on a cup of butter tea, and experience the warm hospitality that defines life in the Himalayas.
  • Hike to the Nako-Kibber Trail: Kick up your hiking boots and set on an adventure along the scenic Nako-Kibber Village trail. As you travel through the rugged terrain and lush meadows, you will witness panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and green pastures that stretch as far as your eyes can see.
  • Witness the Spectacular Sunsets and indulge in local cuisines: Make your way to one of the many vantage points overlooking Nako Village to witness a mesmerizing sunset. Watch the golden hues of the setting sun paint the sky in a kaleidoscope, casting a magical spell over the entire valley. Heavenly Bliss! 

You can also explore the delectable local Spitian cuisine at the many homestays and local restaurants and cafes which are strewn all over the Valley.

  • Explore the famous Tabo Monastery: Tabo Monastery is at an altitude of 3050 m in the Spiti Valley. It is a significant place of interest both for the local people and tourists. It is one of the oldest continuously operating Buddhist monasteries in India and the Himalayas. The Tabo Monastery is also known as the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas’ for its exquisite mural paintings and stucco images that adorn the walls of its temples. It comprises nine temples, twenty-three chortens, a monk’s chamber, and an extension that houses the nuns. Tabo Monastery is also famed for its unique architecture that reflects the Indo-Tibetan culture, with its well-preserved ancient artworks, manuscripts, and frescoes that represent tales from the Mahayana Buddhism era. It is not only a prominent center for Buddhist learning but also a pilgrimage site for followers from across the globe.
  • Visit the Lipa Asrang Sanctuary: The Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary is a must-visit for nature lovers as it houses many exotic animals. The sanctuary is spread over an area of around 30.89 sq. km. You can take a safari and enjoy the flora of the sanctuary which consists of dry Alpine scrub, western Himalayan temperate forest, coniferous forests, dwarf juniper shrubs, and many more exotic blooms. Animals such as the brown bear, blue sheep, yaks, gorals, ibex, leopards, the Himalayan black bear, musk deer, and other animals can often be seen in this area. Special permission is required to enter the sanctuary.
  • Go to Chitkul: The last inhabited village on the Indo-Tibetan border, Chitkul is situated on the bank of Baspa River. It is the last point in India where one can travel without a permit. The village is a perfect retreat for the travelers who are looking for a break from crowds and chaos and turns into a perfect bliss for the sparse population over the region. The main attractions of Chitkul are its houses which have either slate or wooden plank roofs. It also houses a small Buddhist Temple and a small tower. There is a monastery called Kagyupa Temple where an age-old image of Shakyamuni Buddha is worshipped.
  • Visit Chango Gompa: Situated just a few km from Nako Village, Chango Gompa is famous for its 500-year-old prayer wheel, made of yak skin. It is amongst the most famous monasteries in the region. 

You can also indulge in some photography of the surrounding natural beauty and the Himalayan mountains.

  • Visit the Gue Mummy: Tucked away in the remote reaches of Spiti Valley, is the  Gue Village which is the home to the sacred Gue Mummy. It is a lesser-known gem that offers an insight into the region’s historical and religious beliefs. The remarkably well-preserved mummy of a Buddhist monk is believed to be about 500 years old. This naturally mummified body is believed to be of monk Sangha Tenzin,who is now kept in an enclosed small glass chamber within a local shrine. Gue Village lies near the Indo-Tibetan border and hence is a border sensitive area and you will need to carry your identification documents while visiting this Monastery/Shrine.
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How to reach Nako Village

Nako Village is quite easy to reach from both Spiti Side and Manali Side

By Road:

From Shimla: The most common route to reach Nako Village is from Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. From Shimla, you can take a bus or hire a taxi to Reckong Peo, which is approximately a 10-12 hour drive away. Reckong Peo serves as the headquarters of the Kinnaur district and is a major hub for transportation in the region.

Once you reach Reckong Peo, you can continue your journey towards Nako Village. The road from Reckong Peo to Nako is approximately 115 km long and takes around 5-6 hours to cover by road. The route passes through picturesque landscapes, winding mountain roads, and charming villages, offering breathtaking views at every turn.

Shared Taxis and Buses: Shared taxis and buses ply regularly between Reckong Peo and Nako Village.

From Kaza: The second option is to travel to Nako Village through Manali passing the Spiti Valley region. The distance is approximately 314 km. It will take 2 days to reach Nako from Manali with an overnight stop at Kaza which is the Sub Divisional Headquarters of Spiti and a major tourist spot. It is the biggest town in Spiti and also the commercial center.

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Best Time to visit Nako Village

The best time to visit Nako Village is ideally during the summer months of June-September. During this period, the weather in Nako is pleasantly cool with temperatures ranging from 8° C to 20° C which makes it ideal for various travel expeditions in this valley.

The end of July till the starting of September is monsoon period and it can rain anytime, from mild showers to intense rainfall, that can cause major landslides especially in the Kinnaur Valley via the Manali route. The surrounding area of Nako is prone to landslides, in particular the dreaded Maling Nalla, a constant landslide zone in the Hindustan – Tibet Highway

What are the top attractions to visit in Nako Village?

Nako Village has an array of attractions in and around it. For starters, you can visit the famous Gue Mummy in Gue Village, Tabo Monastery, Nako Lake, Nako Monastery, etc

Are there any unique shopping experiences in Nako Village?

As far as shopping is concerned, there are only a few small shops in Nako where you can buy local crafts and artefacts and woollen clothes, scarves etc.

Can visitors experience local cuisines in Nako Village, and where should they go?

Yes, Nako Village now has an array of restaurants, hotels and local cafes Most restaurants in Nako are situated within the hotel premises. You can enjoy some local cuisines at places like Valley view hotel, Himalayan Paradise, R K Dhaba, Moon Lake Guest House, etc

Also don’t forget to try The Somang Dhaba which is located on the main highway near the entrance to the village.It is recommended to have lunch here. The Somang Dhaba and the adjoining retail shop is run by an elderly couple from Nako.

What cultural experiences can visitors enjoy in Nako Village?

The presence of so many historically and culturally significant monasteries and shrines nearby Nako Village, signifies that it must have been quite a religious centre for various monks travelling the Silk Route and a major influence of the Tibetan-Buddist culture can be witnessed here in terms of the food they eat and clothing they wear and also religious practices. Hence we can safely say that Nako Village is rich in cultural and religious beliefs.

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