Nubra Valley

After spending the night in the tent on the bank of Pangong, we woke up early in the morning to see the sunrise and went to stroll on the bank Pangong Lake.

After completing our breakfast we loaded our vehicle with backpacks and bid farewell to Pangong Lake. Our next destination was Hunder, Nubra valley, some 180 KM from Pangong via Durbuk, along river Shyok, Khalsar, and Diskit.

We started our steady 6 hours journey at 8 in the morning, driving along some dirt track, and on the river bed of Shyok river. In some places, the river bed and dirt track were hardly distinguishable. If at all the road exists somewhere they were not in good shape.

Prayer flags flattering, Nubra Valley.

Nubra Valley

Nubra is a tri-armed valley located to the northeast of Ladakh valley. This region is otherwise sometimes known as Ldumra, “garden of flowers”. The Nubra or Siachan River meets Shyok River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. Shyok river is a tributary of the Indus river. Nubra valley is a high altitude cold desert with very less precipitation and scant vegetation.

Nubra Valley

Sand Dunes and Bactrian Camel

It is said before 1929, the area of Nubra Valley was covered thick dense forest of seabuck throne; in fact, it was difficult to pass through it. But in 1929, the forest got washed away by last major flood due to the bursting of Khomdam Lake. Thus most of the Nubra region was left barren with the flood plain. The sands on the river bed got accumulated by wind current to form present-day sand dunes.

Along the sand dune double hump, Bacterin Camel can be seen, Initially, they were not the part of this region but they were part of Gobi Desert. During olden days, the Nubra valley was part of silk route and trader used to pass through Nubra Valley with the caravan. Bactrian camels were part of those caravans. During the journey some Bacterians got injured and physically exhausted. Traders left those Camels behind and moved ahead. Over the course of time, their numbers increased to the present state and they become part of Nubra Valley.

Now the locals for decades have domesticated Bactrian camels and now they make living out of it. On the dunes of sand Bacterian camel ride has now become a major tourist attractions of Nubra. All those who come to Nubra Valley, go for Bacterian Camel ride on Sand dunes.

Bactrian Camel.
Bacterian Camel ride.
Bacterian Camel Ride, a tourist delight.

Where we stay
There are number places in Nubra valley to explore in Nubra. Some go Turtuk the last village of India, some go to the base camp of Siachen Glacier, some stay at Diskit but we stayed at Hunder. Hunder is some 7 Km ahead of Diskit, Headquarter of the Nubra. We stayed at Nubra Organic Retreat, in a tent type accommodation surrounded by trees. Nubra Organic Retreat is one of its kind and they grow their own vegetables and fruits in a completely organic mean. A stream of water also passes through this place is feed by melting snow-capped mountains.

Cup of tea at Nubra Organic Reterat.
Swiss Tent accommodation
Pathway across the retreat
Swiss accommodation in the lap of Nature.
Organic Garden.
Dinning Hall.

Diskit Monastery´╗┐

Diskit Monastery also known as Diskit Gompa is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery (gompa) in the Nubra Valley. This Monastery belongs to Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

Diskit Monastery Houses the largest statue of Maitreya Buddha of the region. Build on a hillock, the 32 meters statue faces down the Shyok River towards Pakistan. The statue is built to protect Diskit Village, prevent war with Pakistan, and promote world peace.

Diskit Monastery
Statue of Maitreya Buddha
View of Nubra Valley from Diskit Monastery.
View of Nubra Valley from Diskit Monastery.

How to reach

Nubra lies at a distance of 180 Km from Leh by road. Leh has a well-equip airport and connects to different part of the country by air, and From Leh public transport is available for Nubra, but people prefer the journey by private car and Taxis. Journey by bus is slow and time-consuming. Biking is another option, biking enthusiasts from all over the country come to Leh to conquer Khardungla and visit Nubra, Turtuk and Siachen Base Camp. But biking here in this desolate part of the world is prone to snowfall, rainfall, and avalanches. The road is also not in the good shape, special between South Pullu and North Pullu.

The road to Nubra is very much depends on weather condition at Khardung La, which is known as “Highest Motorable road in World”.

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