The monastic complex in Nako is situated at the western edge of the town and comprises four temples apart from other buildings. From outside, the monastery exude a very simple appearance, but this is in contrast to what you will see inside.
Two temples are of utmost importance here, the Main temple and the Upper temple. Both these temples are considered the oldest amongst all the structures and still preserve their original clay sculptures, murals and ceiling panels. The largest temple or the main temple is also called the Translator's Temple. It also happens to be the oldest monument in the village.
The third structure in the complex is the Small White temple, which though not in a good state, is worth visiting for its wonderful wooden door-frame with scenes of the Life of the Buddha carved on the lintel.
The fourth structure is quiet the same size as the Upper Temple and is also situated besides it. The temple is today known as the Temple of Wide Proportions (rGya-dpag-pa'i lHa-khang).
Bounded by Tibet in the east, Garhwal Himalayas in the south, Spiti valley in the north and Kullu in the west, Kinnaur is one of the districts of Himachal Pradesh with its headquarters at Recong Peo.
The land is wrapped in a number of legends and mythologies. For visiting tourists , it is important to know that Kinnaur is not accessible throughout the year. This is because winter season brings with it heavy snowfall which ultimately cuts off the district from the rest of the places. The ideal time to pay a visit to Kinnaur is in between the months of April to October when it is summers.
The village of Nako has a staying hut for visitors.
- Puh : Puh, situated in the Sutlej valley, not very far from
the village of Nako, is home to Lo-tsa-bai-lha-khaing temple, which is
an important Buddhist shrine.
- Leo or Li : Above Poo, Leo is situated in the Nagrang valley.
The monastery is associated with the Nyingmapa sect of the Tibetan
Buddhism. As per local beliefs, the construction of the monastery was
done by Padmasambhava. Li has a monastery by the name of
T-hebkra-Shis-Ihun-grub belonging to Nyingmpa sect. Quiet closeby is a
nunnery which was perhaps abandoned in the 19th century.
- Chango Monastery : Standing on the left bank of Spiti rivers in the Hangrang valley is the Chango Monastery. The monastery is believed to be established by Padmasambhava himself and accordingly, has his image as the prime deity here.
How to Reach
Nearest airport and railhead lie at Shimla which is around 250 km away. From Shimla, regular buses also ply to Kinnaur. Buses and taxis are also available from Rampur.