It was July of 2017 and a friend and me decided to just pack our bags and go off for a few days. We met at Chandigarh aimless and clueless where we would be going and eventually decided to go explore a bit of Kinnaur. Began our journey from Chandigarh to Chitkul to Kalpa.
It was a start of a beautiful day at Kalpa, we woke up early not to miss the glimpse of Kinner Kailash at sunrise. Oh man, the view was so breathtaking, majestic with a mixed feel of beauty of nature and presence of Lord Shiva. It was sign for us, indicating an exquisite journey awaits us to explore the doorway of Hangrang Valley – NAKO.
The winding roads through the small lazy towns, mountains and valleys, people in Kinnauri topis & ever smiling faces were heart warming and we kept moving as we crossed Pooh to khab where the Sutlej and the Spiti river meets. The road then in 8 hairpin loops moves from Khab to Khaza. The lush green settlement of Kah amidst the barren mountains was diversity best blended. Driving further up and finally reached the village of Nako.
Nako is the doorway to the second largest valley of Kinnaur ‘The Hangrang Valley’. We de-boarded the bus as it was further going to Tabo. First glance landed on the roadside small dhaba calling us in for tea. As we stood with our tea glancing around, the Helipad clearing caught our attention, it did look a little funny as it was just there out of nowhere. There was a small road leading to the village.
We walked with our rucksacks and parked ourselves for the night at a small homestay in the village. Our itchy feet did not let us sit for long and after a quick bath we set out to browse the village. One road was winding up to the lake and that was our destination.
A small lake like a green Jewel awaited, sun shining bright at places and some part shaded with trees. Paved sides invited us to take a walk around it, village on one side with mud structures giving it a different feel. We just sat there for hours doing nothing, just sunbathing by the lake and looking at clouds and sun play with the reflections in water.
The place had such a mesmerizing effect on us that we had to literally drag ourselves and walked to the village, warm smiles, laughing kids, soft voices and the cows mooing felt so soothing. Small shops were selling souvenirs and Tibetan stuff just before the monastery. Lights of the sun setting was falling on the monastery making it look so beautiful and serene.
It was getting darker so we headed back to our stay.After a good Tibetan dinner we called it a day.
Birds chirping and sound of goats and hen woke us up, was greeted by the sight of green fields with peas and animals around grazing, sun was bright and clear and again a promise of a beautiful sunny day.
Beauty triggered the thought of how beautiful our planet is, how beautiful this place is, how beautiful and hardworking people here are, how beautiful is natures creation and how beautiful you feel, all energized and beaming with positivity.
As we head back home filled with these beautiful memories, experience, exploration, realizing how difficult the life of these people is which they live with so much of ease and no complaints, travel always teaches you something or the other, feeling a little richer in terms of gaining a little more in terms of experience and learning, something that you will always posses and will always be your own. In my box of valuables, I store these beautiful moments lived at Nako and cherish them and relive them whenever I miss them.