A lot has changed in the village of Nako in Kinnaur valley post Covid-19. The change that we are referring to is for the betterment of the villagers. The village has pretty much transformed from a stop over on route while entering or exiting Spiti valley to a stand alone mini destination in Himachal Pradesh.
Live in a home stay
The best way to experience the culture of this village is still a home stay. The good thing is post Covid-19, the number of home stays in the village have gone up 5x so by default you will find a lot more home stay options as compared to earlier. Book a homestay which will offer you in-house meals.
Boating in the lake
Something which has been rather surprising is the fact that the lake in Nako which till pre-covid was a holy lake which prohibited outsiders from entering is now active to one and all with pedal boating which is conducted by the local villagers. At ₹100/pp this is definitely an activity worth doing provided you give the stamina to pedal in that altitude and cold.
Hike to the top
A small hike from the back side of the lake will lead you to the top of a hill which will give you panoramic views of the entire village and the valley below. The best time to start the hike is around 4-5 pm when the sun is on its way down.
Evening snacks at the bakery
Yes, Nako village has its own bakery now. A young chap from Rampur runs the bakery and it is pretty good. You’ll find burgers and pizzas sold along with a range of cakes and puffs. It’s an only veg bakery but it will definitely bring a smile to your face. If you are fed up of having the usual Maggi, momos and omelette all day, every day around Spiti valley, this is a good place to have something different.
Try the local home grown vegetables
Radish and carrots are grown locally in the village with a variety of other crops using the green house method. Ask your home stay owner if he or she has any locally produced crop to try out while you’re in the village. You’ll instantly understand the difference in what we get in the city and what non-fertiliser produces.
Explore the village on foot
The best way and the only way to explore Nako is on foot. So the best thing to do, is to walk around the village. It will take you anywhere between 60-120 minutes based on how fast or slow you plan on exploring the village on foot.
Make some local friends
Locals all over Himachal are extremely friendly and even more so in Nako. They will go out of their way to make you feel at home and to assure that you are comfortable. So the best thing to do is make some friends and connect with them on social network.
Pet a local cow
Every house in Nako has its own in-house animal pen which is setup using stones and cables. So if you are an animal lover, then make sure you pet a cow or two while you are wandering around the village on foot.
4G network has arrived
Indeed, the best thing that has happened to the village of Nako post-Covid-19 is the fact that there is proper 4G network of both Jio and Airtel which works very well in the village.
Spend time in the monastery
Nako monastery is still a must visit and will always be the same. Make sure you spend time sitting with God and seek blessings for a safe journey along the road trip in and out of Spiti Valley.
Sunset by the lake
If you like sunsets, then sit by the lake and catch a glimpse of the sun setting over the brown trans Himalayas and you will instantly feel the difference in weather from the light warmth that the sun was providing to windy evenings. The sun will set in minutes behind the Himalayas.
Play a game of cricket
Every afternoon, the village kids assemble around the monastery complex to play a game of cricket till the sun sets. If you don’t mind running around at that high altitude then, it’s definitely worth playing a game with the kids while you are in the village of Nako.