In Nubra Valley, you can go through Khardungla Pass, take a Jeep safari from Leh, ride a Bactrian camel in Hundar village, and visit Diskit monastery. Explore the large landscapes of the Shyok and Nubra river basins, which have verdant oasis communities bordered by steep scree slopes and harsh, dry mountains. We spent our vacations on sand dunes, in monasteries, and in a palace that had been destroyed. At Turtuk and Bogdang, we learned about a different Balti culture.
Like the rest of the Tibetan Plateau, Nubra Valley is a high-altitude, frigid desert. It rarely rains, and there is not much plant life there, save along riverbeds. The towns are watered and have rich soil, so they can grow wheat, barley, peas, mustard, and many kinds of fruits and nuts, such as blood apples, walnuts, apricots, and even a few almond trees. People that speak the Nubra dialect, or Nubra Skat, live in most of the Nubra Valley.
The Nubra Valley is northeast of where Ladakh is. The capital of Nubra is Diskit, which lies roughly 150 km north of Leh town, which is the capital of the Indian Ladakh Union Territory. Scholars from the area suggest that its first name was Dumra, which means “the valley of flowers.” When the Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachen Rivers, they make a huge valley between the Ladakh and Karakorum Ranges of the Himalayas.
The Shyok River is one of the rivers that flow into the Indus. The average height of the valley above sea level is roughly 10,000 feet. Most people get to this valley from Leh town by going over the Khardung La Pass. To visit the Nubra Valley, people from other countries need permission to enter a protected area. Indians no longer need an Inner Line Permit to visit the valley.
This changed on May 1, 2014. Most of them are Buddhists. Near the Line of Control, which is the Indo-Pak border, beside the Shyok River, the people who live there are Baltis of Gilgit-Baltistan. They speak Balti and are Shia and Sufia Noorbakhshia Muslims. This is the lowest point of the Nubra Valley. To the north of the valley is the Siachen Glacier.
Khardungla Pass Ladakh
Northwest of the valley, the Sasser Pass and the famed Karakoram Pass connect Nubra to Uyghur. Before, a lot of trade went through this area between Xinjiang in western China and Central Asia. People from Baltistan also went to Tibet through the Nubra Valley. People from all around the area now meet in the village of Diskit in the Nubra Valley. It also has a road that goes to Leh.
The Diskit Monastery takes care of the 32-meter Maitreya Buddha statue, which is a landmark of the Nubra Valley. The communities of Sumur, Kyagar, Tirith, Panamik, Turtuk, and many others are all near the Nubra or Siachen River. Between the hamlets of Kyagar and Sumur sits the Samstanling monastery. Panamik is known for its hot springs. At Panamik, on the other side of the Nubra or Siachen River, stands the lonely Ensa Gompa.
On the Shyok River, the major settlement is called Diskit, and it is home to the 1420-built Diskit Monastery. In the 17th century, Hundar was the capital of the Nubra kingdom. It is now home to the Chamba Gompa. Between Hundar and Diskit, there are several kilometers of sand dunes, and Bactrian camels with two humps graze in the seabuckthorn “forests” nearby. As a border area, the Balti area below Hundar hamlet is off limits to anybody who does not live there.
In this location, you may also find the picturesque settlement of Baigdandu. In contrast to the traditional mongoloid traits of the Ladakhis, there are a lot of people with blue eyes, red hair, and pink cheeks. Local legend says that they were a group of Greeks who came here looking for Jesus’ tomb and stayed. The goats that make the famed Pashmina shawls may also be found in Baig Dandu. As the highest road in the world, the road to Nubra Valley is open all year.
In 2008, a new route was created that crossed the Wari La from Sakti to the east of Khardung La and connected to the main road system in Nubra through Agham, Khalsar, and the Shyok River. There are additional places where you can walk over the Ladakh Range from the Indus Valley. Even though they were vital in the past, the routes from Nubra to Baltistan and Yarkand have been closed since 1947 and 1950, respectively. Tourists couldn’t visit the valley until Hundar, the land of sand dunes, in 2010.
Maitreya Buddha Diskit Monastery
Because it is lower, the area beyond Hundar gives way to a greener part of Ladakh. Tourists did not go to the village of Turtuk in Ladakh until 2010. It is a place where people can find peace and meet individuals from a tribal society. The village is full of children and apricot trees. The Balti are the indigenous tribe. They live by their old traditions and speak a language that cannot be written down. For travelers, Turtuk has quiet camping spots with infrastructure that is good for the environment.
Tall willow and poplar trees line the village’s modest streets and roadways. The best method to get to the Hunder and Nubra Valleys is in a party of seven people. Is to rent a jeep, which takes about five hours from Leh if you leave early and do not get stuck in the traffic near Khardung La. This road is also used every day by shared jeeps, which are a suitable choice for anyone traveling alone.
Several times a week, buses for the Hunder leave Leh from the ancient bus depot. The next morning, these buses would go back to Leh. It is best to find out what time the buses leave the day before and to be there an hour before the bus leaves, since the buses are always full. The bus ride takes about seven hours and is difficult because the roads are not very good. The crowded bus is not a good way to travel since it makes you feel like sardines in a can.
Bactrian Camel Nubra valley Camel safari
People from all over the world go to Hunder hamlet to ride the distinctive Bactrian camels with two humps on the sand dunes in Nubra Valley. About 160 miles away from Leh is the town of Hunder. You reach this secluded village after driving over Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable pass. The settlement of Hunder lies about 10,600 feet above mean sea level, which is about the same height as the metropolis of Leh in Ladakh. In the Nubra Valley, 7 km past the town of Diskit is the lovely village of Hunder.
The village of Hunder situated in the wide Shyok Valley. The even-toed ungulates that make up the world’s largest living camels are native to the Steppes of Central Asia. They were brought to Nubra Valley during the time of the historic silk route commerce. During that time, the major way to get around was on Bactrian camels. At the sand dunes near Hunder, guests can ride these Bactrian camels on safari rides that last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Nubra Valley Sand Dunes
At the entrance to the sand dunes, there is a small fee that must be paid. The money from this cost is used to keep the dunes in good shape.The sand dunes in the Nubra Valley are gray, which makes them stand out. The region around the town of Hunder is dry and barren, but the village itself is a large, lush area with a lot of land that may be used for farming. In the village of Hunder, horticulture goods such apricots, walnuts, apples, and almonds are cultivated.
The settlement is also the only area in India where the sea buckthorn shrub, which has many health benefits, can be found. People often call this plant “Leh Berry,” and it is known to have biomolecules, vitamins, and qualities that make it healthy. Sea buckthorn is used in traditional medicine to treat diarrhea and skin conditions.
People also use the plant as a skin softener and add it to medicines because they think it helps with lung, stomach, heart, blood, or metabolic problems. Even in the summer, it is advisable to bring light woolens when going to Hunder and the remainder of the Nubra Valley because the temperature drops a lot at night. Hunder also does not have any ATMs, so you should make sure you have enough cash on you before leaving Leh.
There are many guesthouses, private hotels, and tents to stay in in Hunder. Hunder is known for its high-end tents, which are like five-star hotels in the middle of the desert. Many people in Hunder also provide homestays that include food for a little fee. Hunder does not have any restaurants, although most rooms or tents come with meals. There are a few general stores in the village that sell virtually anything.