About Nako Lake

Nako lake is the best known artwork of nature that is located in the Nako village of Kinnaur district, Himachal Pradesh. This lake is seated on the slopes of the Reo Purgyil Mountain of the Srikhand range that is located in the Himalayas of northern India. 

Nako Lake has been a popular hotspot that has been alluring its tourists with the beauty it resides. The view of this lake gets more enhanced by the array of poplar and willow trees along its boundary whose shadow in the waters adds to the charm of the lake. One can also sight a large flock of birds near the lake in the evening.

Apart from its beautiful aura, this place is surrounded by a number of places that are also ravishing and worth visiting. A rock is located on the premises of the lake which is believed to have the imprints of an 8th-century Buddhist master, Padmasambhava who helped in the construction of the first Buddhist monastery.

The lake is surrounded by four Tibetan temples. It is a nature’s gem located in the picturesque surroundings of the Himalayas. A waterfall is also located near this majestic lake which is said to be the abode of fairies as per the legends and the locals. The waterfall is hard to locate because of the absence of any marked trails. There are many other places like different nako monasteries, chitkul and many others that are worth a visit.

During the summer months, Nako lake gets popular for boating in it while in the winter it gets frozen and thus apt for ice skating. One needs to seek special permission to visit Nako Lake because of its vicinity to the Tibetan border. 

How to Reach Nako Lake

Nako lies on the Hindustan -Tibet highway someplace between Kaza and Reckong Peo (Kinnaur). You can reach Nako village by the two buses that travel daily from Kinnaur to Nako and beyond. If traveling from the Manali side, you can travel in a bus that leaves for Kaza from Reckong Peo that also covers Nako village on its route.

You can also hire a cab that will help you reach the Nako village in four hours. A permit is required to visit the Nako village that one can avail for INR 50 if traveling from Reckong Peo or free if you are traveling via Shimla or Kaza. The permit is valid for 14 days so you can explore in no hurry.

Best Time to Visit Nako Lake

The best time to witness the alluring beauty of the Nako Lake is from April to October due to the pleasant and favorable weather conditions. During this time, the river is apt for boating in it under the clear blue sky and bright sun. You can capture some beautiful sights of this lake in your camera as the surroundings are crystal clear.

Plus, avoid monsoon month of August when the Himalayas receive heavy downpour making the routes slippery and prone to landslides. You will find the Lake frozen if you visit it apart from this timeline as the temperature decreases to some minus degrees that freezes it.

The only activity you can indulge in this time is ice skating. Most of the time the lake is inaccessible due to bad weather conditions so avoid visiting in winters and prefer summers if you have Nako Lake in your bucket list.

What Not to Miss at Nako Lake

There are many other places around Nako Lake that are also visited by the tourists. Explore the must to go places mentioned below.

1. Nako Monastery: For its spiritual visitors Nako Monastery nestled in the Nako village was constructed in the 11th century. It consists of four spacious halls in which the oldest one is known as the Dukhong in which the walls are decorated with complete mandala. Inside this complex, a shrine also rests that is dedicated to Purgyal who is attributed to be the spirit of the mountain. In the main hall, clay sculptures of the five Buddha’s can also be seen.
2. Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary: A perfect place for the avid worshippers of nature, this sanctuary is an abode to a variety of flora and fauna. Resting on a 4000 to 5022 meters height, Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary is a place for solitude lovers spread over an area of 30.89 sq km. You can sight the coniferous forest, western Himalayan forest and others residing blue sheep, brown bear, Ibex, Yak, and Snow leopard. So explore this nature’s hotspot after you seek permission from the local authorities to enter this beautiful sanctuary.
3. Chitkul: This is a heavenly destination is the last point from where the visitors are not allowed to go forward. Seated on the bank of Baspa River, this village remains covered with snow adding tons of beauty to its site. One can capture the picturesque views of this last village in India or can go on trekking for an adventure. This place is also famous among adventure camping places and nature walks that are worth visiting.
4. Chango Gompa: This sacred place is located just a few kilometers away from the Nako Monastery. It is famous for its prayer wheel that is made from the skin of yak and is around 500 years old. It is situated in the Chango village and is famous for its apricots and apples that you can buy as refreshments and souvenirs.

Other Essential Information About Nako Lake

Location: The famous Nako Lake is situated in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

Elevation: The Lake is seated on an elevation of 3,662 meters above sea level.

Altitude: Nako Lake is a high altitude lake nestled in the pooh subdivisions of Kinnaur district.

Distance from Spiti: The distance between Spiti Valley and Nako Lake is 116.9 Kilometers that take around one and a half hours to reach.

Distance from Manali: The distance between Manali and Nako Lake is 313.1 kilometers that need 6 hours to cover.

Religious Connection of the Nako Lake 

The religious history of Nako lake is a mesmerizing tale in itself. This is one of the pilgrim destinations in the Nako village for the Buddhist followers. It is believed that Lord Padmasambhava used to meditate here. Because of its holiness, no one is allowed to bathe, swim or put feet in the waters of this lake. Many places of religious significance like the Buddhist temples near the lake and foot imprints of Padmasambhava on a rock are located near the lake. 

Lord Padmasambhava is also renowned by the name of Guru Rinpoche and is venerated as the second Buddha by the adherents of Tibetan Buddhism praising people. Apart from this,  a few miles away in a village named Tashigang, many caves are believed to be the center of meditation of Padmasambhava and giving a discourse to the followers.

A waterfall is also located in the vicinity of the Nako lake that offers sight as if the water flowing is milky which is just because of snow in it. It is said to be a heavenly realm of fairies and other demigods.

Tips for Visiting Nako Lake

- Start with properly planning about the places you need to explore and accommodation there as the weather conditions can be harsh.

-  Carry your water bottle with you to keep yourself hydrated. This would also help in keeping the Himalayas free from plastic garbage.

Carry clothes that can be worn in layers and a windproof jacket as it would help your body to maintain warmth against the cold temperatures of the weather.

- Trekking shoes or good Insulating boots are good to go in seasons apart from summer else sports shoes are also fine.

Monkey caps, hand gloves, inner, heavy woolens are some other apparel that you need to pack in your bag as they will protect you from the chilly weather there.

Keep your mobile phones and laptops charged from the previous destination because of the sporadic electricity connection here.
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