The Nakthan village is a quaint Himachali village situated in Parvati Valley and it falls on one of the two routes to Kheerganga. If you are in the Parvati Valley and want to see a place with Himachali Kathkuni architecture, then Nakthan is the place to be. It is a small village where villagers grow apples as their source of livelihood for the most part. That is why you will come across many apple orchards on your way to Nakthan. It might be tempting to pluck an apple but keep in mind, a lot of villagers depend on it as their only source of income.
Since the village falls on the route to Kheerganga, the villagers have adapted to the conditions of this terrain, and now, this place serves as a place where people buy their refreshments or eat a light meal while enjoying the coniferous forests on the other side of the village.
Like all villages in Himachal, Nakthan has a temple where the Devta resides, and once in every year, there is a procession where the Devta goes out, blessing the villagers. Tourists are not allowed to even touch the temple, as it might anger the Devta (local deity), bringing misfortune to the village.
How to reach Nakthan Village
Barshaini to Nakthan
If you start from Kasol, take a bus for Barshaini and you will reach the destination within an hour. After reaching Barshaini, if you walk 300 meters, you will come at a point where the road starts going uphill towards Tosh. There is one trail that goes down from the dam, where there is a bridge over the gushing Parvati River.
Upon crossing the bridge, you will be on the trail to Nakthan. The ascent is gradual at first, but, there comes a small section where the inclination increases rapidly and then eases off again. It should take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours to reach Nakthan.
Nakthan to Kheerganga
The distance from Nakthan to Kheerganga is approximately 6 km, and it takes around 3 hours to reach from Nakthan to Kheerganga. If you were to continue from Nakthan, within 30 minutes, you will reach Rudranag, which is a temple with a waterfall beside it.
One has to cross over the bridge near Rudranag to get to the other side of the mountain, upon which the high altitude meadow of Kheerganga’s beauty unravels. The bridge is built above the gushing stream that passes through a narrow gully and thus, it is white entirely. This stream is generated from the very source of the Parvati River.
After crossing the bridge, the path to Kheerganga just keeps getting steep and the altitude gain is high. The path over here is usually very slippery and muddy, owing to the small mountain streams coming from above.
Nakthan to Rudranag
The sacred temple of Rudranag is just a 10 min walk from the Nakthan Village. The temple got its name because of the serpent-shaped waterfall near the temple, and its great significance to the local villagers. The temple is near the bridge that connects us to the mountain face of Kheerganga’s location.
Places to see around Nakthan
The village itself is worth seeing and exploring rather than just being a pitstop. It would be best to visit this destination from your way back from Kheerganga to Nakthan (rather than hurrying to reach Barshaini). You should stop at Nakthan and perhaps, enjoy the tranquil lifestyle of this serene village.
The area in front of the local temple is a place where the village kids play, and one can see the simplicity and minimalism there. The forests in front of Nakthan are also mystical, especially, when clouds envelop the village with their misty embrace on the forest.
Eateries in Nakthan
Nakthan is a small village and thus, there are few accommodation options. However, the moment you enter Nakthan, there are a series of semi-open eateries that come with a view. Their menu is quite comprehensive and serves mostly to every palate.
One thing to avoid in Nakthan or Himachal, in general, is Maggi. Simply because of the fact it takes ages to digest and does you no good. You should rather eat rice or pancakes, maybe oats if you want sustained energy.
Hotels in Nakthan
There are very few homestays in Nakthan. To untangle this problem, there is Krishna homestay. The owner of the property is a very nice and accommodating person. He charges 500 INR for a room with two people. As for the food, it would be best suggested to eat whatever they are having for dinner.
Property owner will charge 100 INR per person, and the food will be locally sourced, delicious, and fulfilling. The views from the balcony are also exquisite, unraveling a mystical pleasure in the viewer’s eye.
Krishna Homestay Nakthan – 9805333357/ 9805368617
Best Time to visit Nakthan
The best time for tourists to flock to this serene destination is in the months from May to July. This time of the year is when the summer sets in properly in the valley. The entire valley bursts into colors, covered in lush green vegetation. The weather during this period is pleasant throughout the day and the trails are perfect for a decent walk. After this period, the monsoon begins, turning the trails slippery as the rainfall becomes unpredictable.
Winter in Nakthan
The temperature during winters stays in single digit throughout the day and it might drop below the freezing point in the night. Nakthan is situated at a relatively higher altitude in the valley and receives a lot of snowfall in the winter season. The trail to Kheerganga becomes covered with snow and it becomes impossible to reach there without proper equipment. Nakthan village can prove to be a good alternative during this time.
Do remember, most of the shops close down during winters.
FAQs on Nakthan
Q1. How much time does it take to reach Nakthan from Barshini?
Ans. For most backpackers, Nakthan is a resting stop in the course of reaching Kheerganga and it takes about 2.5 hours to reach the village.
Q2. Which is better Nakthan or Kheerganga?
Ans. While both, Kheerganga from Nakthan, are at distance of 3 hours apart (by foot), most people prefer to stay in camps in Kheerganga due to its location. But nevertheless, Nakthan is home to many locals and provide great comfort to chosen people.
Q3. How does it cost to stay in Nakthan?
Ans. Well, it depends. During your stay, 500 INR is the average rate for a room having a king size bed and other facilities. But if you live there for a prolonged period, they might lower the prices. (prices are subjected to inflation)
Q4. Is the Nakthan route shorter than Kalga route?
Ans. Yes, it is. From the Kalga Route, you can reach Kheerganga in 5-6 hours, where as it takes 4-5 hours to reach via the Nakthan route.
Q5. What is Nakthan famous for?
Ans. Nakthan is famous for its accommodation and hospitality in wood-styled houses near the Kheerganga nallah. It is a junction point for nomads and other travelers looking to hike to the end of the Kheerganga route. It is also the last village before ascending further in the Parvati Valley.