Nako Village, Kinnaur : Places to Visit on the Shimla - Spiti Route
The Nako village famous for the Nako Lake lies in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated at an height of 11,893 ft. You start to get a feel of the Spiti Valley after crossing the area. Inspite of the fact that most of the area here is barren, Nako village is fully covered in greenery. The villagers have performed an amazing feat by connecting almost all the fields with fresh water streams coming from the mountains. The main cash crop of Nako is Peas. And late Aug – Sep end is the Pea harvesting season here. Apart from farming, another source of earning for the locals here is tourism.
This quiet little village is mostly used for a 1 Night halt by travellers heading towards Spiti Valley. Or sometimes used as a halt for lunch while travelling from Kalpa/Sangla to Tabo.
There are no luxury or 3 star hotels in Nako. However there are some Homestays, Guest houses and 1-2 star hotels that offer good rooms, food and great hospitality.
The nearest village to Nako is the Malling village, which is almost at a walking distance. Actually Malling is the first village that you’ll see when you are about to reach Nako. Another village that everyone going to Spiti should know about is “Yamthang”. Yamthang is not a tourist spot however it is important because the only vehicle repair workshop you can find in this area is in Yamthang. Yamthang village is 7 kms before the Nako village when you are coming through the Shimla side. There is a diversion to Yamthang, 5 kms before Nako. Other vehicle repair shops are either in Pooh, Recongpeo (towards Shimla) or Chango, Tabo & Kaza.
Nako does not have a petrol pump however in case you need petrol/diesel you can buy it from the locals who stock it for emergencies.
Places to Visit/ Things to do in Nako Village:
- Nako Lake – The Nako lake is the main attraction of the village. It is a fresh water lake situated at an altitude of 11,893 ft. In the winters, the Nako Lake gets completely frozen and sometimes used for ice skating as well.
- Nako Monastery – There are two monasteries in Nako. One is the old Monastery which is said to be built in the 11th century. It is full of ancient Buddhist texts and artwork. The monks in the monastery are extremely helpful and are more than happy to share their knowledge about the monastery with the visitors. Some will even show you around the complete monastery and explain the various paintings in detail.
- The Lake View Point – Just above the village, there is a point from where you can see the complete Nako Lake and most of the village. It is one of the recommended place to go if you are interested in taking amazing photographs of the Lake. Also you can see both the Nako and Malling villages from this point. It is just a 5 min trek from the lake and is totally worth it.
- The Somang Dhaba – This dhaba is located on the main highway near the entrance to the village. From here you can either enter the village of Nako or continue towards Spiti Valley. However, it is recommended to have lunch here. The Somang Dhaba and the adjoining retail shop is run by an elderly couple from Nako. The Nako helipad is also situated behind the Somang Dhaba.
- Shopping – As far as shopping is concerned, there are a few small shops in Nako from where can buy gifts for friends & family.
Overall, Nako is a beautiful place to stay & relax for a day or two if you have time to explore the area and experience the life of the locals in Kinnaur.