Nako, July 15, 2016, 1735 hours.
From the Nako Monastery, we walked into the #Nako village. To the best of my knowledge, this was my third leisurely walk around a Buddhist village in India (after Kamru – which has Buddhist and Hindu culture – and Rarang).
The village is probably as old as the Monastery (around a 1000 years at least), and walking around it was like walking around a maze.
The houses are made of mud, wood, stones, slabs of slate, and other such naturally available material. Floors inside the structures are plastered with dung and mud. Firewood stocks are aplenty. Prayer wheels (I think they are made of copper) are placed into rectangular blocks dug into the walls.
Stupas are placed at various central points throughout the village (mostly wherever little lanes are meeting in a sort of common square). The entire village and the little lanes within are lined by walls of stone and slabs inscribed with Tibetan prayers.
Most houses have cattle enclosures and you’ll find cows, horses, goats, sheep, dogs, and the like all over the village.
The farms produce Apples, Apricot, Green Peas, Potato, and Jeau (a local wheat grain).
It’s like walking through time because the village looks, feels and functions like it has been for the past hundreds of years. There is electricity though it’s very erratic, but solar panels are used extensively. And if you desire telephony, make sure you have a BSNL post-paid connection. (as of now, July 2016, Airtel and Vodafone aren’t working, and BSNL prepaid isn’t working either, The Wayfarer said it’s probably because it’s a border area).
And don’t believe it if travel planners and blogs say you can do this village as an hour or two’s pit stop – one can easily spend 2-3 days here, exploring, trekking and generally soaking in the fresh mountain air and simple life.