Nako Lake is situated in a small old-fashioned village of Nako in Kinnaur. It is located at a distance of 2 km from the famous Hangrang Valley. One of the significant features of this lake is that it remains covered with snow for the most part of the year.
The lake is surrounded by four beautiful temples and several trees, which further enhance its beauty. There is also a foot-like impression, which according to folklore, is of Guru Padmasambhava, known as the second Buddha by the Nyingma school of Buddhism. One can find animals such as horses and yaks in the region.
The local deity of this region is Deodum, who is worshipped by the natives. The village also serves as a base for trekking to the Pargial Peak and falls on the way to the Thashigang Monastery.
Lippa is situated at an altitude of 2438 m above sea level on the banks of Taiti stream. The grass of this village is considered to be very healthy and nutritious for the cattle and horses. Roaming around in the nearby forests, travellers can also spot ibex, a species of wild goat. There are three Buddhist temples in the region, which are devoted to Galdang Chhoikar, Dunguir and Kangyur. In addition to these temples, travellers can also visit an old sanctuary, which is devoted to a local deity named Tangtashu.
Moorang is a beautiful village located at an altitude of 3591 m above the sea level and situated at the left banks of the river Satluj in Kinnaur. Situated at a distance of around 39 km from Kalpa, this village is popular among tourists for its apricot orchards.
This village is also known for its natural beauty and an ancient fort, which is supposed to be constructed by the Pandavas, the mythological characters from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. This fort offers a splendid view of the Satluj River. The main gate of the fort is reachable via detachable ladder. There are three structures devoted to the local deity known as Urming and these are kept in the cities of Thwaring, Garmang, and Shilling.
The ark of the deity remains inside this fort, but during the festivals and other sacred occasions, the ark is taken to these places. The precious ark of the deity is made up of gold, brass and silver and has 18 faces or ‘mukhs’. These 18 mukhs represent the 18 days of the Mahabharata.
Hangrang Valley is the second largest valley of the region, which is located at the border of Kinnaur with Tibet and Spiti. With just eight villages in the valley, the population of the region is quite less. The place is devoid of vegetation, owing to the rocky and barren terrain, and the main occupation of the natives here is animal husbandry.
Trekking here is quite a complicated task because of the hilly terrains. Even experienced trekkers find it very difficult to trek in the region. However, the valley is noted for other adventurous activities such as mountaineering and birdwatching.
Lipa-Asrang Sanctuary rests at an altitude of 4000 to 5022 m in the district Kinnaur. Sprawling over an area of about 30.89 sq km, this sanctuary was notified in 1962 and was again notified in 1974.
The area of the sanctuary is quite large and flat, and some of its part lies in the infertile cold desert. The forest type of the sanctuary contains dwarf juniper scrub, dry alpine scrub, western Himalayan temperate forest, coniferous forest, dry coniferous forest, and dry broad leaved plants.
Travellers can spot various animals here such as blue sheep, brown bear, leopards, ibex, musk deer, Himalayan black beer, gorals and yaks. The months between April and October are considered as ideal for visiting this place, as most of the animals can easily be spotted during this time. Tourists must avail prior permission for visiting this sanctuary.
Rarang Monastery is a recently constructed monastery of Tashi Choeling. Located in Thopan, this monastery is a famous pilgrimage destination in the region of Rarang. This monastery is renowned for its old houses and temples, which join the rocky mountain from one side.
Chango Temple, located in the village of Chango in Kinnaur District, attracts a large number of tourists from all over. The village is known for its splendid landscape, beautiful temples and juiciest apples.
Most of the natives of this village follow Buddhism while some practice Hinduism. Some of the Hindu deities of the region include Gyalbo, Yalsa, and Dabla. There are mainly three temples in this village, and one of them is situated in the lower Chango.
The red colour walls of this temple can be seen from a distance. There is also a village temple, which has beautiful wall paintings, clay idols, and a large prayer wheel. In the path between these two temples, one can also see a huge stone carved image of Avalokiteshwara, a Buddhist enlightenment being.
Another temple is located in the upper Chango and is considered as the most beautiful of them all. Travellers can also see a prayer hall, guest rooms and library, situated in proximity to the temple.
Rakchham-Chhitkul Sanctuary is a popular tourist destination situated at an altitude of 3200 to 5496 m above sea level in the district of Kinnaur. Spreading across an area of 3411 hectares, this sanctuary is one of the three famous sanctuaries of the Reckong-Po region. It was notified and re-notified in the years 1962 and 1974, respectively. The sanctuary is home to various species of animals like goral, leopard, musk deer, blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, and brown bear.
Travellers can also find different types of trees such as oaks, fir, and deodar in this sanctuary. The two villages, Rakchham and Chhitkul, are located 15 km away from each other. The village of Rakchham lies on the banks of the river Baspa and is renowned for its natural beauty, while Chhitkul is famous for producing the best quality potatoes in the world.
Brelengi Gompa is a popular monastery, which is situated in proximity to Reckong Peo. A noted religious centre of Kinnaur, this monastery is a perfect example of the modern Buddhist architecture. The society of Mahabodhi constructed this gompa for the Dalai Lama in the year 1992 for performing the Kalcharkra Ceremony.
There is also a 10-metre-long idol of the standing Buddha located close to the monastery, which can be seen from a significant distance.
Durga Temple is a famous religious centre situated in the region of Ropa in Kinnaur and is also known as the Chandika Temple. According to the legend, the Hindu Goddess Chandika divided Kinnaur among her brothers and sisters and kept this region for herself.
This temple is noted for its architecture and has been toughened with the new concrete frame.
Charang Ghati is situated at an altitude of 5242 m and acts as a base for trekking in the Chitkul Village, which is located in the Sangla Valley. The area was opened for tourists in the year 1994 and since then it has become a popular trekking area known as the Charang Ghati Pass.
While trekking, travellers can enjoy the natural beauty of the place along with observing the beautiful local temples. The months of August and September are considered to be ideal for visiting the Charang Ghati, as till mid-July travellers would find a lot of snow in the region.
Trekking is one of the most popular adventurous activities that can be enjoyed in Kinnaur. The region is less populated and conveyance is not easily available; therefore, trekking is the most convenient way that travellers can get around.
Some of the noted trekking areas in the region of Kinnaur are the Sangla Valley, the Bhabha Valley, and the Kinner Kailash Mountain. Travellers can also enjoy trekking to nearby monasteries and sanctuaries.
Charang Temple, also known as the Rangrik Tungma Complex is situated in Charang in the district of Kinnaur. This eleventh-century temple is dedicated to Rangrik Tungma, who is supposedly a pre-Buddhist deity.
A tiny metal statue of the deity, riding a horse is situated inside the temple. Apart from this, travellers can also find an idol of Maitreya and Buddha in the temple complex. The most interesting feature of the temple is the clay idols.
Travellers can also spot ancient hoard of ivory, daggers and bone handled knives along with several wall paintings. It is believed that while a gang of robbers tried to raid the temple, the idols of protecting deities, positioned at the entrance of the temple, made a noise similar to the galloping horses. This noise scared the robbers and saved the temple from being plundered.
Rakchham is a small village located at an altitude of 3115 m above sea level, on the banks of the Baspa River. The word Rakchham is a combination of two words, where ‘rak’ means a stone and ‘cham’ means a bridge. As per local belief, there was a natural bridge made up of stones over the river of Baspa and hence, the village received its name. The entire region is surrounded by various trees, including the Himalayan cedar and bhopatra tree, the bark of which was used for writing the manuscripts in older times.
Maheshwar Temple is a popular religious centre situated in Sungra of the Kinnaur District. The temple is famous for its marvellous wood panels on either side. The courtyard of the temple and other panels are admirably carved and portray the artistic excellence of people of the bygone era.
The profoundly cut images of different Hindu deities are a delight for individuals interested in archaeology. The eastern wall of the temple displays different avatars of Lord Vishnu and Hindu zodiac signs. The friezes on the lower end of the roof also look mesmerising.
There is also an ancient eighth-century stone shrine located in proximity to the doorway of the temple. According to folklore, Lord Sungra Maheshwar was once attacked by Bhima, a mythological character from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata.
Legend has it that Bhima threw a huge boulder at the temple from the top of a mountain situated across the river Satluj. Lord Maheshwar then threw the boulder to another side, which now rests on the road situated in proximity to the temple.