Tour de Nako Village in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh (India)

After seeing super awesome response to Spiti series from last year, we decided to share more from my week long road trip to Spiti as per various queries from folks visiting the valley. Apart from questions around landscapes in summers vs winters, there are plenty of things being asked about some of the popular villages in Spiti and Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh, where to stay, what all to explore and main things to be not missed in Spiti Valley. In this new series, we will talk about some of the popular places to explore around Spiti Valley and share some tips around home-stays, food, drive, hygiene, photography opportunities, health precautions etc. Today we will take you to Nako village, it's beautiful lake and some of the exceptional landscapes around it, along with a good itinerary to follow.

After seeing super awesome response to Spiti series from last year, we decided to share more from my week long road trip to Spiti as per various queries from folks visiting the valley. Apart from questions around landscapes in summers vs winters, there are plenty of things being asked about some of the popular villages in Spiti and Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh, where to stay, what all to explore and main things to be not missed in Spiti Valley. In this new series, we will talk about some of the popular places to explore around Spiti Valley and share some tips around home-stays, food, drive, hygiene, photography opportunities, health precautions etc. Today we will take you to Nako village, it's beautiful lake and some of the exceptional landscapes around it, along with a good itinerary to follow.  

Let's start step by step. The very first thing to sort out after reaching Nako Village is finding a place to stay, unless you have done advance booking here. There are a handful homestays in the village. We stayed in a very basic homestay which was just on the main market and close to the Bank branch in the village. We will discuss about the homestay in detail in this post and what makes this a good place to stay in Nako village.

Let's start step by step. The very first thing to sort out after reaching Nako Village is finding a place to stay, unless you have done advance booking here. There are a handful homestays in the village. We stayed in a very basic homestay which was just on the main market and close to the Bank branch in the village. We will discuss about the homestay in detail in this post and what makes this a good place to stay in Nako village.

Before jumping onto places to stay in Nako Village, we should have discussed about how to reach Nako Village & other places in Spiti Valley from cities like Shimla, Manali, Chandigarh & Delhi. And the answer is very simple that these places are only accessible via road. Nearest railway station is Shimla and it's connected to Kalka through narrow gauge. Nearest airport is also Shimla. One can also plan to come from Bhuntar (Kullu) airport.     There are buses available from Shimla and Rekong Peo, but limited connectivity.

Before jumping onto places to stay in Nako Village, we should have discussed about how to reach Nako Village & other places in Spiti Valley from cities like Shimla, Manali, Chandigarh & Delhi. And the answer is very simple that these places are only accessible via road. Nearest railway station is Shimla and it's connected to Kalka through narrow gauge. Nearest airport is also Shimla. One can also plan to come from Bhuntar (Kullu) airport. 

There are buses available from Shimla and Rekong Peo, but limited connectivity. 



Above photograph shows backyard of our rooms in Amar Home Stay at Nako Village in Spiti Valley. Whole place was built with stones and wood. Sunset from our backyard was beautiful and the surrounding area had agricultural land with peas and potato fields.

Above photograph shows backyard of our rooms in Amar Home Stay at Nako Village in Spiti Valley. Whole place was built with stones and wood. Sunset from our backyard was beautiful and the surrounding area had agricultural land with peas and potato fields. 

Early in the morning we decided to climb up a nearby hill from where one can see the beautiful snow covered peaks and the glittering Nako lake with reflection of the blue sky surrounded by shiny white clouds. This is that hour of the day when sunlight was just hitting the tip of the mountains as you can see in above photograph.     Related Post - Morning walk around Nako Lake and the village in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Early in the morning we decided to climb up a nearby hill from where one can see the beautiful snow covered peaks and the glittering Nako lake with reflection of the blue sky surrounded by shiny white clouds. This is that hour of the day when sunlight was just hitting the tip of the mountains as you can see in above photograph. 


As we hit the top of the nearby hill, this was the view - Nako lake with crisp reflection of clouds against the blue sky and Nako village looking so small surrounded by huge mountain ranges. Nako village is pretty huge comparatively but in above photograph it looks so small in comparison to the surrounding mountain ranges of Spiti Valley.

As we hit the top of the nearby hill, this was the view - Nako lake with crisp reflection of clouds against the blue sky and Nako village looking so small surrounded by huge mountain ranges. Nako village is pretty huge comparatively but in above photograph it looks so small in comparison to the surrounding mountain ranges of Spiti Valley. 

Here is a little closer view of Nako lake in Spiti valley in front of the Nako Village with different kinds of houses with varied architectural styles. Above photograph shows a friend's camera setup to click time-lapse and I am yet to see the final results after 1.5 years of this trip but still waiting. If I can write about the trip after 1.5 years, I can certainly expect the time-lapse to come out in next few months :).

Here is a little closer view of Nako lake in Spiti valley in front of the Nako Village with different kinds of houses with varied architectural styles. Above photograph shows a friend's camera setup to click time-lapse and I am yet to see the final results after 1.5 years of this trip but still waiting. If I can write about the trip after 1.5 years, I can certainly expect the time-lapse to come out in next few months :). 

While you are traveling in Spiti don't expect fancy food expect few places in Kaza town which is sort of commercial headquarter of Lahaul and Spiti district.     Related Post - Basmati Dhaba at Badhal, on the way to Spiti Valley & Kinnaur from Shimla

While you are traveling in Spiti don't expect fancy food expect few places in Kaza town which is sort of commercial headquarter of Lahaul and Spiti district. 

Related Post - Basmati Dhaba at Badhal, on the way to Spiti Valley & Kinnaur from Shimla

We we walked down from the hill and came close to the Nako lake, we noticed these unique sheds for animal without any roof. And we were wondering why is it so. Talked to some locals and then realized that these animals enjoy the sunlight and since there is no rains in this area, there is no need for the shed. When there is snow, there are different provisions for these animals. We were also guessing if it helps in anyway for protecting these pets from other harmful animals, but doesn't seem so.

We we walked down from the hill and came close to the Nako lake, we noticed these unique sheds for animal without any roof. And we were wondering why is it so. Talked to some locals and then realized that these animals enjoy the sunlight and since there is no rains in this area, there is no need for the shed. When there is snow, there are different provisions for these animals. We were also guessing if it helps in anyway for protecting these pets from other harmful animals, but doesn't seem so. 

After a quick hike and roaming around the Nako lake, we headed inside the village to explore the action inside but it was too early to see any action :). Although we met some of the folks on our way.

After a quick hike and roaming around the Nako lake, we headed inside the village to explore the action inside but it was too early to see any action :). Although we met some of the folks on our way.

This gentleman was going up towards the hill with his sheep.     Related post - Road-trip from Nako to Kaza via Gue Monastery, Himachal Pradesh

This gentleman was going up towards the hill with his sheep. 

Related post - Road-trip from Nako to Kaza via Gue Monastery, Himachal Pradesh

Here is a typical view of houses around the edges/borders of the village surrounding by beautiful farming land. I loved the way these fields are maintained and especially the trees your notice in the farm. They are apple trees. Apple produced in this part of the Himachal Pradesh is considered as one of the best quality which is exported.

Here is a typical view of houses around the edges/borders of the village surrounding by beautiful farming land. I loved the way these fields are maintained and especially the trees your notice in the farm. They are apple trees. Apple produced in this part of the Himachal Pradesh is considered as one of the best quality which is exported.

If you watch closely, you see lot of stones and wood blocks as many constituents of houses in Nako Village in Spiti Valley. The dry wood you see on the top of these houses is collected over the months for winters as during winters it becomes hard to get right wood to keep houses warm and for many days it's had to come out of the houses.     Related Post - How to reach Spiti Valley from Delhi and things to do around Kinnaur/Spiti in Himachal Pradesh

If you watch closely, you see lot of stones and wood blocks as many constituents of houses in Nako Village in Spiti Valley. The dry wood you see on the top of these houses is collected over the months for winters as during winters it becomes hard to get right wood to keep houses warm and for many days it's had to come out of the houses. 

Related Post - How to reach Spiti Valley from Delhi and things to do around Kinnaur/Spiti in Himachal Pradesh

Being remote and located in such secluded place, it seemed that people of the village are pretty relaxed in terms of safety and security of their houses. We noticed lot of doors which were mainly for entrance but not locked properly.      Related Post - 500 years old Mummy of Sangha Tenzin with teeth & hair at Gue Monastery

Being remote and located in such secluded place, it seemed that people of the village are pretty relaxed in terms of safety and security of their houses. We noticed lot of doors which were mainly for entrance but not locked properly.  

Related Post - 500 years old Mummy of Sangha Tenzin with teeth & hair at Gue Monastery

Being remote and located in such secluded place, it seemed that people of the village are pretty relaxed in terms of safety and security of their houses. We noticed lot of doors which were mainly for entrance but not locked properly.      Related Post - 500 years old Mummy of Sangha Tenzin with teeth & hair at Gue Monastery
A cow photograph can be very auspicious for this blogpost so I thought of including this one here :).     Related Post - Dhankar to Kalpa - Back journey from Spiti to Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh

A cow photograph can be very auspicious for this blogpost so I thought of including this one here :). 

Related Post - Dhankar to Kalpa - Back journey from Spiti to Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh

A cow photograph can be very auspicious for this blogpost so I thought of including this one here :).     Related Post - Dhankar to Kalpa - Back journey from Spiti to Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh

Above photograph shows a good contrast between very old styled house on one side and newly built on other side. I am sure you can make out which one is the old vs new.

Above photograph shows a good contrast between very old styled house on one side and newly built on other side. I am sure you can make out which one is the old vs new. 

This is the most spectacular part of the village which is close to the Nako Monastery. There is this huge ground where most of the vehicles are parked and the place is just in front of the snow covered peaks. It's pretty windy place so good to see this during sunny day and avoidable during evenings when it's chilly out there.     Related post - Kalpa to Shimla - Last leg of our road trip to Spiti & KInnaur in Himachal Pradesh

This is the most spectacular part of the village which is close to the Nako Monastery. There is this huge ground where most of the vehicles are parked and the place is just in front of the snow covered peaks. It's pretty windy place so good to see this during sunny day and avoidable during evenings when it's chilly out there. 

Related post - Kalpa to Shimla - Last leg of our road trip to Spiti & KInnaur in Himachal Pradesh

This is the most spectacular part of the village which is close to the Nako Monastery. There is this huge ground where most of the vehicles are parked and the place is just in front of the snow covered peaks. It's pretty windy place so good to see this during sunny day and avoidable during evenings when it's chilly out there.     Related post - Kalpa to Shimla - Last leg of our road trip to Spiti & KInnaur in Himachal Pradesh

Nako village has been one of the most important halts for us in Spiti Valley. Next destination after Nako village was Kaza.     Related Post - How did I manage a week long trip to Spiti Valley in less than 4000 Rs

Nako village has been one of the most important halts for us in Spiti Valley. Next destination after Nako village was Kaza. 

Related Post - How did I manage a week long trip to Spiti Valley in less than 4000 Rs

If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -   1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.  2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.   3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.   4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.   5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite


If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling - 

1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.

2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin. 

3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem. 

4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits. 

5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite

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