Nako Lake – Himalayan Paradise


This beautiful lake is high altitude lake located in the Pooh sub-division of district Kinnaur. The lake is surrounded by willow and polar trees. There is a small village on the bank of this lake – and the village seems to be half buried by the lake’s borders. On the water’s northern side, are four Buddhist temples with stucco images and murals. Near Nako is a footprint-like impression ascribed to the saint Padmasambhava. It freezes in winter and people enjoy skating on this lake

Nako is one of the beauty treasures of Himachal Pradesh untouched by travelers. The village is known for its location in Hangrang Valley at Tibet border, beautiful Nako lake and monasteries.

Nako lake is an oval shape lake surrounded with mountains; valley and whitewashed village give a picturesque location. To experience the scenic beauty, boating attracts people from distant places during summer while the frozen lake in winter becomes hub for ice skating.

There is an ancient monastery located in the middle of the village founded by Ringchen Zangpo in 996 AD. It is famous for its sculptures, murals, art works and scripture. Lotsawa Lhakhang (Translator’s Temple) is the largest part of the monasteries. The chortens, jhunkhang (community kitchen) and temples are worth visiting. Buddhist culture dominates the village. The food and clothing is very similar to the Tibetans. The small temple complex which is recent addition to the monastery is used for educational purpose.


During tenth and thirteenth centuries western Himalayan region developed a complex artistic culture under Buddhists culture. All such can be witnessed in seven temples of Nako Village.

Festivals and fairs are the other charm of the village. The tourists can also take part in the festivals. Traditional lamas dances known as Chham or mask dance are very popular in the region. The lamas through their dance show the defeat of the evil forces..

Nako has mesmerizing beauty but it is not a free zone for travelers. Tourists require inner line permit to enter the village. All the guest houses and dhabas are located near the village entrance. Since there is nothing much to see in the village a day-long trip is sufficient. But if you are looking for a place with beautiful surroundings to relax then Nako is the place.

Road to Nako


In eighth century Master Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Nako and later great translator Rinchen Zangpo founded monasteries between 958-1055 AD. Nako and Tabo monasteries were estabilished around the same period but Nako represents a different kind of Buddhism. Nako monasteries are testimony of well developed Vajranya Buddhist iconography in India.


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The Retreat Building : Residence of the President of India

The Retreat Building is the official Retreat Residence of the President of India at Chharabra, Shimla, in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is located 10 km away from downtown Shimla and is a thousand feet higher than the Shimla Ridge Top, which is part of the Himalayas.

The other presidential homes are Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi and Rashtrapati Nilayam at Secunderabad, Telangana.

The Retreat Building was built in 1850 and it was a part of the Viceroy of India property. Located on the hill top of the Mashobra, the building was taken over during 1895 by the Viceroy.

Mashobra was built by Lord Dalhousie in the 18th century. It is found in the biographies of Lady Mountbatten and Lady Edwinas. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, paid a visit to Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy and then Governor General of India, and his wife Lady Edwina. Before 1948, Mashobra used to house one of the only two Presidential retreats in India. The other Presidential retreat is Rashtrapati Nilayam in Secunderabad.

Mashobra is visited by the President of India every year and during that period the main office shifts to the retreat at Chharabra. The building of the Presidential retreat is a completely wooden structure originally constructed in 1850. The Wildflower Hall at Chharabra was the residence to Lord Kitchener as well as Lord Ripon during the British Raj, now a property of Oberoi Hotels. Today Mashobra is a well known tourist’s destination.

The Retreat Building, Mashobra, Shimla
Located on the hill top of the Mashobra, the building was taken over during 1895 by the Viceroy. The President visits The Retreat at least once a year and the core office shifts to that place during stay in The Retreat. Thousand feet higher than the Shimla Ridge Top, The Retreat is located in a picturesque surrounding. The architectural pattern and the natural beauty of the place have made The Retreat a tourist attraction in Shimla.


The redeeming feature of this building is that it is purely a wooden structure with dhajji wall construction. Originally constructed in 1850, this building has a plinth area of 10,628 sq. ft.

Prashar Lake-Deep Blue Lake with Floating Island & Epitome of Spirituality, Tranquility

Prasher Lake

The beautiful Prashar Lake lies 50 km north-east of Mandi and 64Km south of Kullu.  The lake is situated at an avg. height of 2730m (8,960 ft) in the lap of mountains. The deep blue lake lies in a saucer shaped valley and is surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The primary inflows to the natural sweet water lake are rain water and glacier runoff/meltwater and the lake depth is unclear as of now. There is a little floating island in between the lake which keeps on revolving and changes its position at regular intervals which is quite unique. The local temple of Prashar Rishi next to the lake, with its riveting Himachali architecture, blends perfectly with the landscape.


As per the legends, when the Mahabharata ended, the Pandavas made their way with Dev Kamrunag to find a suitable place for their deity. They landed at this place where the lake is currently located. When the deity and Dev Kamrunag saw the place, they were enchanted by its beauty and decided to stay there for the rest of their lives.

There is a reason behind the oval shape of the lake. As per the legends, at the request of Dev Kamrunag (based on whom this entire valley is known by the name of Kamru Valley today), Bheem, one of the Pandavas, formed a lake in elliptical shape by pushing his forearm and elbow into the peak of the mountain.

Prashar Lake looks like a blue emerald in the midst of green pastures and gigantic mountains. The surroundings of the lake are a rare site which can enchant the mind and soul of every tourist.

Prasher lake

The area has been surrounded by the dense forest and is awesome place to relax and connect with nature. An entire amazing panorama of snowy mountain ranges is visible from this location. At the top of the valley, one can be surrounded by lash green spots with cows, lambs, horses grazing and small mud huts made by Gaddis and Gujjars. The good part is that the area is completely pollution free, clean, calm, less populated, and totally untouched by the modern amenities.

Near the lake there is a forest rest house is available to stay. You can try your luck here or return to near by village if you want to stay here.

Previously road was not available to reach this lake. The last stretch of the journey is to be completed by trekking. During June 2nd week a three day festival is organized here.

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Ki Monastery – Buddhist Monastery in Freezing Spiti Valley


Spiti, locally pronounced “Piti”, it is bounded on its south and west by the valleys of Kulu and Lahaul; the region of Ladakh lies to the north and the Kalpa valley lies to the south-east. Geologically and archaeologically, Spiti is a living museum. The mountains are devoid of any vegetation and erosion by wind, sun and snow over thousands of years has laid bare the rocks. The rugged and rocky mountain slopes sweep down to the riverbeds giving the landscape a moon-like appearance. Rudyard Kipling describes Spiti in “Kim” in these words: “At last they entered a world within a world – a valley of leagues where the high hills were fashioned of the mere rubble and refuse from off the knees of the mountains… surely the Gods live here”. The topographical similarity with Tibet and widespread prevalence of Tibetan Buddhism, has led this region to be referred to as Little Tibet. Kaza the capital of Spiti Valley is located at an altitude of 12000 ft / 3650 m, our retreat in Kaza is an oasis of comfort in this mountain desert and the perfect base to see the wonders of Spiti & Lahaul: incredibly located & ancient monasteries like Ki & Dhankar; the world’s highest inhabited villages – Hikkim & Komic, the breathtaking pasture lands of Kibber & Gete, the spectacular Pin Valley National Park…


Ki Monastery or Key Gompa is also spelled Ki, Kye or Kee.

The spectacular monastery is located at an height of 4116m and 7 km from Kaza. It is the largest monastery in Spiti Valley. Established in the 11th century has ancient Buddhist scrolls and paintings. It also houses large number of Buddhist monks and nuns and a cafeteria.

It is the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley and a religious training centre for Lamas. It reportedly had 100 monks in 1855.[2] In the architectural definitions given to various monasteries, Ki falls in the ‘Pasada’ style which is characterised by more stories than one and often plays the role of a fort-monastery.

Key Gompa is said to have been founded by Dromtön (Brom-ston, 1008-1064 CE), a pupil of the famous teacher, Atisha, in the 11th century. This may however, refer to a now destroyed Kadampa monastery at the nearby village of Rangrik, which was probably destroyed in the 14th century when the Sakya sect rose to power with Mongol assistance.


Key was attacked again by the Mongols during the 17th century, during the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama, and became a Gelugpa establishment. In 1820 it was sacked again during the wars between Ladakh and Kulu. In 1841 it was severely damaged by the Dogra army under Ghulam Khan and Rahim Khan. Later that same year suffered more damage from a Sikh army. In the 1840s it was ravaged by fire and, in 1975, a violent earthquake caused further damage which was repaired with the help of the Archaeological Survey of India and the State Public Works Department.

The successive trails of destruction and patch-up jobs have resulted in a haphazard growth of box-like structures, and so the monastery looks like a fort, with temples built on top of one another. The walls of the monastery are covered with paintings and murals. It is an outstanding example of the 14th century monastic architecture, which developed as the result of the Chinese influence.

Key monastery has a collection of ancient murals and books of high aesthetic value and it enshrines Buddha images and idols, in the position of Dhyana.


There are three floors, the first one is mainly underground and used for storage. One room, called the Tangyur is richly painted with murals. The ground floor has the beautifully decorated Assembly Hall and cells for many monks.

Key Gompa now belongs to the Gelugpa sect, along with Tabo Monastery and Drangtse Monastery, one of three in Spiti.

Lahaul-and-Spiti-in-Himachal-Pradesh_2The monastery of Kee, for instance, accommodates nearly 250 monks, who reside within the sacred walls in winter, and stay during the summer with their parents or brothers, working in the fields, or employed in carrying travellers’ goods. These monasteries have their regular heads, or abbots, and the higher ecclesiastical titles can only be obtained by the candidates proceeding in person to either Shigatzee (Shigatse) or Lhassa (Lhasa).
A celebration of its millennium was conducted in 2000 in the presence of the Dalai Lama.


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Serolsar Lake: Breathtaking view of Lake in Mountains


The land of Himachal is famous for thousands of ‘Devi Devtas’. Kullu one of the districts of Himachal Pradesh has number of beautiful temples located inn scenic locations away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. One of such temples in the Kullu district is the Serol Sar temple. The place is famous for the beautiful natural lake called ‘Serol Sar’.

Serol Sar Lake and Temple History and Description:

Once we reach Serol Sar, we get to see the majestic view of the holy lake, Serol Sar spreading as wide as a football ground. Located amidst the tall Kharshoo trees at a height of about 10,000 feet, Serol Sar is no less than heaven. Just near the Serol Sar lake, we have the temple of goddess ‘Buddhi Nagin’. It is believed that goddess ‘Buddhi Nagin’ resides inside the Serol Sar lake and is the mother of 60 ‘Nag Devtas’ in Himachal.It is also said that Pandavas visited Serol Sar in Dwaparyug during their exile period and planted rice here.

Panorama 1.2

Trek to Serolsar Lake :-

The 6-km-long, lightly-trafficked road from the village of Shoja, 2600 metres, up to the pass is also an attractive day trek option for individual trekkers or families not wanting to wander off the road, which winds its way here through thick forests of Deodar and Kharsu Oaks as it heads up to the pass.

There are a few tea shops at the pass catering mainly to buses plying between the Sutlej & Beas valleys. The trail to Serolsar Lake branches off the path heading up from just below the temple atop Jalori pass.

Around a hundred metres from the temple the Serolsar path forks downwards. From here the track runs just below the southern edge of the ridge at a fairly level gradient, rising or dipping occasionally to cross rock outcrops as it winds through moss-covered oak and rhododendron forests.

Oak forest enroute to Serolsar Lake

Around a kilometer from the start point it touches the ridge line at a grassy meadow, which also offers a good view of both the Sutlej & Tirthan valley. Some 20 minutes further there a few tea shops offering basic fare. A small ridge just before Serolsar hides the lake from view until you are above it.

There is a temple at the lake and a one room Dharamsala where visitors can stay the night for a modest sum. However, the Dharamshala is open only in summer. The tea stall just before the lake may also offer basic accommodation.

The temperature of Serol sar is very cool all around the year. In winters Serol sar, experience snowfall up to 5-8 feet. The place is best to visit during summers. People visiting this place are all advised to come with their own food items and necessary woolen clothing. Now, small rest houses have also been built to provide stay facility for the devotees but even then they are advised to be well equipped with their own material.

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The Last Village of Indian Tibet Border – Chitkul | Sangla Valley Himcahal Pradesh


Kinnaur suurounded by Tibbet in the east is a beautiful district having the three high mountain ranges, Zanskar, Greater Himalayas and Dhauladhar, enclosing valleys of Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa and their tributaries. The slopes are covered with thick wood, orchards, fields and picturesque hamlets. People are honest and believers of both Buddhism and Hinduism. They believe that Pandavas came and resided in their land while in the exile. In the ancient mythology the people of Kinnaur were known as Kinnaras, the halfway between gods and humans.

In 647 AD, after the death of the Emperor Harshavardhan (Kinnaur was part of his kingdom) the entire northern India was divided into numerous principalities. According to historians, princes of some of these principalities explored the steep mountains in adventurous trails and occupied at Kinnaur. During their rule, the Kinnauries lived in perfect peace and in complete isolation from the events of the plains…or from upheavals of Tibet, Ladakh and Kashmir. Traditionally, Kinnaur’s history has been preserved by generation of Gorkchs – local oracles who recite historical narratives called chironigns during celebrations.

Sangla Valley

Sangla Valley: Sangla is a small town located between Karcham and Chitkul from about 20 kms from Karcham. The town itself is a concrete town with small shops, some hotels and restaurants.

But the attraction of Sangla lies in the valley of Baspa River down below, not in the town itself. Sangla Valley is very beautiful, stretching many kilometers from east to west, and rimmed by snow-capped peaks out of your imagination and into the real world. The forested slopes below the snow are a mix between autumn-shaded leafy trees and big green pines.


The other well-known monument of this area is the five storey fort at Kamru, which is impressive, located high on the hill just outside the village and constructed of stone and wood. Kamru was the capital of Bushahar, before it was shifted to Sarahan.





Chitkul is the last village on India China boarder in Kinnaur, located at a height of 3,500 metre in the Baspa valley and has three temples dedicated to Mathi Devi, the oldest which is said to be about 500 years old. According to a local legend, the Devi undertook a long and arduous journey before settled in this village. She visited several villages presided over by the members of her family. Lord Badirnath of Kamru is her husband. Nag of Sangla and Shamshares of Rakhcham are her nephews. When Mathi Devi finally settled in Chitkul, the village found a great prosperity and she continues to be worshipped with great fanfare. Chitkul remains closed in winters and is extremely famous for its potatoes in the whole world which are extremely costly as well.

Hardly few kms away was the Tibet border and there was a large stretch of no mans land which is manned by the Indian armed forces.


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10 Interesting Slangs That Young Himachalis Use

Every dialect has a slang version to it which is mostly created by the youngsters of that area. Be it the Maharashtrian slang or the one spoken by Bengalis, there are twisted adaptations of the original language everywhere. Let’s find out what the young Himachalis have created out of their Himachali dialect.

1. “Ara”

For the other people of the same generation who are not residents of Himachal, the word is ‘yaar’ or ‘dost’ or friend. But for Himachalis, this expression is satisfied with the word ‘ara’.


2. “Bhaiji”

Bhaiji’ means ‘brother’ and is used for any person belonging to the male clan. It doesn’t matter if he belongs to your family or not. He is ‘Bhaiji’ even if he is a complete stranger.


3. “Thus reh”

The younger lot of Himachal use this phrase too often. “Thus” for them means calm, quiet and peaceful. The phrase may also be used to shut someone up.



4. “Belma la de”

Belma’ belongs to the famous newly invented language of the young fellows, called the ‘be’ language. The phrase just means that they need more grass to smoke and need someone to bring it for them.


5. “Merko” “Terko”

In Hindi we usually say ‘mujhe’ and ‘tujhe‘ in place of these words. But, there is some sort of comfort in replacing these with ‘merko‘ and ‘terko‘, which makes the conversation more ‘Himachali’.


6. “Boom shankar”

Lord Shiva is said to reside in the Himalayas. Himachal Pradesh being a part of the massive peaks and places of worship of Lord Shiva, people have great belief in him and his existence. This belief is more evident among the younger generation and ‘Boom Shankar’ is their way of offering prayers to Lord Shiva.



7. “Ladi hai meri”

Ladi’ means wife in Himachali dialect. Just like any other young fellows, guys from Himachal have a tendency to call every other girl their would-be wife or girlfriend.



8. “Ghussi na mar”

Before you infer any wrong meanings, you must know what it actually means. ‘Ghussi’ is a lie which is said only to impress someone and is actually untrue. So, the phrase means “Don’t just say anything” in a slang manner.


9. “Khapp ho gyi”

Khapp’ may be positive or negative, depending on the situation, but is definitely something weird happening, opposite to what had been expected.

10. “Ter machi hai”

Ter’ means getting high with alcohol or weed. Believe it or not, people in Himachal love getting tipsy once in a while with the youngsters occupying a great portion of that crowd. So, they get into ‘ter’ quite often.