Read the part I (Land of Apples - Kinnaur) of the series here
Nako is the highest village of the Hangrang Valley and has an amazing feel about it. Centre of attraction as mentioned in the guide books is the lake which tourists come searching for but are most dissatisfied after seeing it. The village is far more beautiful along with the surroundings. It is a package!!! Stay here for a day or two, relax, bask in the sun, get into a chit-chat with locals and try to understand how they have managed to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves. It also has a rock with imprints of the legendary Guru Padmasambhava. Generally, Nako is full of tourists with tourists and tempos, bikers and few backpackers. New concrete and tin structures were being constructed to expand the infrastructure for tourists. Still, Nako with its beautiful wood, limes, soil and stones made houses have a strong traditional feel to it. Nako monastery is among the oldest monasteries in the trans-Himalayan region. A nearby waterfall provides water to the farms, lake, and the village. Bus stand is a good viewpoint to enjoy the surroundings. We stayed at Amar's home stay, one of the oldest home stays in Nako.
During our two days stay, we had Shakshuka at the Doctor SHAKSHUKA Cafe. It is the most visited café by foreigners. The owner tend to be less hospitable towards Indian tourists if there are too many orders from foreigners. We hiked on the Tashigong trail to a point from where the Nako village has a panoramic view. I will recommend that anyone on a long journey in this region should stay over in Nako for a day or two to recharge their batteries, enjoy the peace and calmness of this village and travel further. Overall, we had excellent two days in Nako with a promise to come back again to trek down to the Tashigong monastery and beyond.
Destination 4 - Moorang Fort/Village: After two days of exploration at Kalpa-Chini, we were off to the Moorang fort. We boarded the bus from Reckong Peo bus stand at 10 am and stopped at Kharo bridge for a break. By 11.30 am, we reached Moorang and hiked up to the fort. We were advised by the bus driver to be back on NH by 1.30pm to catch the bus for Nako. Moorang fort is approx 40 km from Kalpa and is situated just off the NH 22 on the left bank of river Sutlej. Moorang is associated with the Dwapar Yuga, especially with the Mahabharata. Considered to be built by Pandavas during their year of exile. It is strategically located on a hill, which is surrounded by mountains from three sides and, by river Sutlej. It’s a steep climb up to the fort, which has a square structure, made up of wood and stone and is a cluster of tall and small buildings. It does not have the fortifications which are normal features of a typical fort. The intricately carved entrance doors are quite small in size, a feature of the trans-Himalaya region. After spending an hour, we hurried towards the NH to catch the bus to Nako Village-our home for next two days!
Destination 5 - Nako Village: We traveled towards Upper Kinnaur further deep into the mountains to Moorang. Moorang is located in the Middle Kinnaur and Nako is in Upper Kinnaur. The drive beyond Moorang is fascinating as the somewhat green landscape gives way to the yellow rocky moonland beauty. We passed through Pooh and than Khab. Khab is the confluence point (sangam) of Spiti and Sutlej rivers. Beyond Khab, the landscape begins to drastcially change and give way to the cold and arid desert landscape of trans-Himalaya. The drive is breathtaking and a treat to experience as we entered into the Hangrang valley. The bus finally arrived at Nako bus stop by 5.30pm. This bus stop about a KM walk from the village and is on the NH 22. A local Thakur Kangri Dhaba who started his life in Nako as a day labourer has set up this food-joint and doing a brisk business and offers yammy parathas and chai.
view from Nako vilage
Chuling Village - if I correctly remember. It looks like an Oasis!
Nako to Sumdo: On third day morning, we had breakfast at the bus stop and after a wait of four hours, we got into a military truck. The bus came later but overtook us at Chango and by the time, we reached Sumdo, the bus had already left for Tabo :(.
Sumdo is the entry-point to Lahaul-Spiti. All the foreigners have to get the inner line permit to travel further into the Spiti valley or while exiting from the Spiti valley. A road from Sumdo goes to the border-point of Kaurik. While scoping out our options, we had delicious samosas at GERF canteen and were again lucky to get the lift from a family up to Tabo. During this whole journey, Spiti River was a constant companion. Roads are not so good but these are difficult to maintain due to the nature of the mountain here.
For the third and last part of this series, Read here: