Temso Lake: A Lesser Known Gem in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

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The breathtaking landscapes of Kinnaur will just blow your mind. with awe.  In the upper Kinnaur lies Temso Lake, a hidden jewel waiting to be explored. This picturesque high-altitude lake remains one of Himachal Pradesh’s best-kept secrets, often overlooked by tourists and adventurers alike. The Temso lake is perched at an altitude of 4800 meters, mesmerizing visitors with its serene beauty, surrounded by barren hills that add to its allure. Before we explore Temso lake further, let us have a look at Kinnaur.

Kinnaur: An Enigmatic Haven in the Heart of the Himalayas

Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh is located amidst the majestic Himalayan peaks.  It stands as a mystical and lesser-explored region, awaiting the intrepid traveler’s discovery. Carved by the ferocious Sutlej River, which roars through the narrow valley, Kinnaur reveals its beauty and secrets to those who dare to venture here. While the Sangla Valley and Chitkul attract a considerable number of tourists, much of Kinnaur remains shrouded in enigma. Amidst this mystical land, numerous hidden gems lie scattered, beckoning the curious explorer to unveil their splendor. One such hidden treasure is the magnificent Temso Lake and its surrounding villages, promising an unforgettable journey into the heart of nature’s majesty. 

Temso Lake Trek

The lake can be reached via a short trek from the nearby villages of Labrang, Giabung, Kanam, and Lippa.  The trek from Labrang village offers the shortest route to reach this enchanting destination. The Temso lake trek is easy and very enjoyable.  Once you reach there, one can see that the the crystal-clear water of the lake reflects the awe-inspiring view, providing a truly captivating sight for all who venture to this hidden paradise. As you wander along the circumference of the lake, colorful prayer flags flutter in the wind, bestowing a spiritual ambiance upon this sacred place.

temso lake

Honoring Nature’s Bounty: Phulaich Festival in Kinnaur

If you are here, you can enjoy the vibrant festivities of the Phulaich festival, celebrated with great fervor in the month of Bhadrapada (August and September) in Kinnaur. This joyous occasion brings together the locals from various villages to pay homage to the sacred Temso lake. The festival serves as a tribute to nature, emphasizing the significance of flowers. According to tradition, the finest flowers of the season, such as the Brahmakamal (Saussurea obvallata) and Delphinium, locally known as Dongro and Loskar, are carefully picked and offered to the deities, seeking their blessings. The festival exudes a sense of unity, as people come together to celebrate the beauty and abundance of nature surrounding Temso Lake.

The Ecological Importance of Himalayan Lakes

There are numerous lakes, both renowned and undiscovered, hidden in the Himalayan mountains of Himachal Pradesh offering a plethora of ecosystem services. These natural wonders, particularly the glacier lakes, play a crucial role in the hydrology of downstream areas, serving as vital resources for the region. Despite their immense significance, many of these lakes remain unexplored due to their remote locations and challenging terrain. Consequently, there is an urgent need to gather comprehensive information about the ecological aspects of these lakes, unraveling the mysteries they hold and safeguard their delicate ecosystems.

How to Reach Temso Lake

Temso lake is located at a distance of 25 km from Reckong Peo, the district headquarters of Kinnaur.  To reach Temso lake, one has to first reach Reckong Peo, which is located 220 km from Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh.  Reckong Peo is also a popular tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh. Let us have a look at this beautiful Himalayan town.

temso lake kinnaur

Reckong Peo, Kinnaur

Located at a height of 2,290 meters, Reckong Peo is one of the most amazing places that you will love to visit for a vacation. The place has abundant natural beauty coupled with splendid locales that does the trick. This amazing headquarters of Kinnaur district is situated around 7 kilometers from Powari and 260 kilometers from Shimla. Due to its uncannily amazing locales, it is preferred by tourists and travelers all around the world.

Best Places To Visit in and Around Reckong Peo

The fresh scent of pine trees, apple orchards, and stately deodars, collectively make Reckong Peo unique. While there are many places to visit in Reckong Peo, let’s check out some of the best places for a perfect vacation.

Kalpa: The Quaint Town

Kalpa stands as a picturesque gem in Kinnaur. This quaint town is a captivating blend of traditional architecture, lush orchards, and panoramic vistas. The town’s quaint charm is heightened by its ancient temples, intricate woodwork, and slate-roofed houses. As you wander through its narrow lanes, you’ll be greeted by the warmth of the locals and treated to breathtaking views of the Kinner Kailash range. Kalpa offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, making it a perfect destination for those seeking tranquility and an authentic Himalayan experience.

Bhaba Valley: The Trekking Spot

For adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers, Bhaba Valley is a paradise waiting to be explored. This valley is a trekking haven, offering trails that wind through dense forests, alpine meadows, and glacial landscapes. The Bhaba Pass trek is a popular route, leading intrepid trekkers to breathtaking vistas and pristine natural beauty. The valley’s untouched charm, diverse flora and fauna, and the thrill of trekking across varying terrains make it a must-visit for those seeking an adrenaline-filled escapade in the lap of the Himalayas.

Kinnaur Kailash: The Abode Of Lord Shiva

A pilgrimage and spiritual center, Kinnaur Kailash (Kinner Kailasha) is revered as the abode of Lord Shiva. The sacred mountain peak, standing tall with snow-clad glory, holds immense significance for devout Hindus and trekkers alike. The annual Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama draws pilgrims who circumambulate the peak as an act of devotion. The challenging trek to this sacred site is both a physical and spiritual journey, offering breathtaking views and a deep sense of connection to the divine. There are three routes to reach the Kinnaur Kailash Shivling trail.

  • Tangling- Maling Khata Meadows – Gufa – Parvati Kund – Kinner Kailash (the most frequently trodden trail).
  • Ribba village – Bato Kanda meadows – Parvati Kund – Kinner Kailash.
  • Purbani village – Purbani Kanda – Parvati Kund – Kinner Kailash Shivling.

Chango: Home To The Four Hamlets

Chango, a cluster of four charming hamlets, is a cultural treasure trove hidden in the Kinnaur district. Each hamlet, namely Chango, Thangi, Ropa, and Khab, boasts distinct traditions, customs, and architectural styles. Exploring these hamlets provides a glimpse into the rich heritage of the region, where the locals lead a simple yet harmonious lifestyle in tune with nature. From terraced fields to ancient monasteries, Chango offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and stunning landscapes.

Leo: The Picturesque Mountain Peak

Leo, a lesser-known gem in Kinnaur, unveils its grandeur through the Leo Pargial peak. With its snow-capped splendor and untouched wilderness, Leo presents an ideal destination for mountaineers and trekkers seeking offbeat adventures. The ascent to Leo Pargial offers a challenging yet rewarding experience, granting panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and ranges. This hidden treasure promises a tranquil escape where nature’s beauty reigns supreme.  Leo village is in Pooh Tehsil in Kinnaur District and is located 57 km towards the north of the District headquarters, Reckong Peo and 26 KM from Pooh.

Kanam: The Adventure Spot

Kanam beckons adventure enthusiasts to indulge in thrilling outdoor activities against a backdrop of stunning landscapes. Whether it’s rock climbing, rappelling, or river crossing, Kanam offers a range of adrenaline-pumping experiences for those seeking an active getaway. The rugged terrain, gushing rivers, and towering cliffs create the perfect setting for outdoor adventures that will leave you exhilarated and rejuvenated.

Nako Lake: An Epitome Of Beauty

Nako Lake, cradled amidst towering mountains, is a serene masterpiece of nature’s artistry. Its crystal-clear waters mirror the surrounding peaks and create a breathtaking visual spectacle. The lake, encircled by prayer flags and ancient monasteries, exudes a sense of tranquility and spiritual harmony. Visitors can take leisurely strolls around the lake, meditate by its shores, or simply bask in the serene ambiance that Nako Lake offers, making it a true epitome of natural beauty.

To Read more about Nako Lake CLICK HERE.

Chandika Temple: A Tranquil Spot For Meditation

Nestled in the embrace of Kinnaur’s serene landscapes, the Chandika Temple stands as a tranquil sanctuary for meditation and introspection. Dedicated to the Goddess Chandika, the temple’s peaceful ambiance and stunning vistas create an ideal setting for spiritual seekers. The rhythmic chants, fragrant incense, and panoramic views transport visitors into a realm of inner peace and connection. Whether you’re a devout pilgrim or a seeker of solace, the Chandika Temple offers a serene escape for contemplation and renewal.

Suggested Reading : Enchanting Lakes in Kinnaur

Reckong Peo Weather

Reckong Peo experiences a typical mountain climate due to its elevation. The weather in Reckong Peo varies significantly throughout the year, with distinct seasons. Here’s an overview of the weather you can expect in Reckong Peo:

Summer (April to June)

During the summer months, Reckong Peo enjoys relatively pleasant weather with mild temperatures. Daytime temperatures range from around 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). It’s a great time for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the region. Nights tend to be cooler, with temperatures dropping to around 10°C (50°F).

Monsoon (July & August)

The monsoon season brings occasional rainfall to Reckong Peo. The weather can be unpredictable during this time, with both sunny days and rainy spells. The temperature remains moderate, with daytime highs ranging from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). It’s important to note that road travel and outdoor activities might be affected due to heavy rainfall.  It is best to avoid travel to Himachal Pradesh during monsoons.

Autumn (September to November)

This is the best time to visit Reckong Peo as the weather becomes clear and pleasant after the monsoon. The temperatures gradually start to drop, and you can expect daytime temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The clear skies provide stunning views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.

Winter (December to February)

Winter in Reckong Peo can be quite cold, and the region experiences heavy snowfall. Daytime temperatures hover around 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F), and nights can be extremely cold, with temperatures dropping well below freezing. The snow-covered landscapes create a picturesque winter wonderland, making it a favorite destination for snow enthusiasts.

It’s important to check the weather forecast before planning your trip to Reckong Peo, especially if you’re traveling during the monsoon or winter months. The weather can impact road conditions and outdoor activities, so being prepared for various conditions is advisable.

How to Reach Reckong Peo

Reckong Peo is the district headqurters of Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.  It is located 220 km appx from Shimla.  The various modes of transport to reach here are  as follows :

By Air

There is no direct flight to Reckong Peo. If you are coming from outside Himachal Pradesh, then one can take a flight to reach Shimla the nearest airport.

By Train

Shimla is the nearest railway station and that too a narrow gauge station, connected with Kalka the nearest major Railway station.

By Road

Travelling by road is the only option to reach Reckong Peo from Shimla, distance being 220 km.  One can take a taxi or HRTC bus from Shimla to reach Reckong Peo.  Availability and timings of the buses an be checked from the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) website.


Temso Lake, located in the mystical land of Kinnaur, captivates the adventurous soul seeking the extraordinary. With its hidden splendor and untouched landscapes, this pristine gem offers a glimpse into nature’s unrivaled beauty. Temso Lake stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of adventure and the profound connection between humans and nature. As you venture into the heart of Reckong Peo and for that matter Kinnaur, be prepared to embrace the mysteries that await, for it is in the unknown that the true magic of exploration comes alive.

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