Categories
Destination Guide Ladakh

3 Routes to Nubra Valley: The Best Ultimate Travel Guide to the Majestic Cold Dessert

A charming destination perched at an elevation of 10000ft above sea level

Source: b3nmaclean – Under Creative Commons license

At a distance of about 140km from Leh, lies the most exotic, must-visit destination in Ladakh, named Nubra Valley.

It is a part of the old silk road, situated in the Indian union territory of Ladakh, offering a heavenly experience to the visitors.

The valley has some enchanting monasteries to visit as well a magnificent view of Shyok & Nubra River passing through it.

The region is currently under the supervision of the military, as the route further leads to Siachen base camp. The camp back then was the highest battlefield in the world.

It is an exceptionally beautiful region, with enchanting ancient gompas, Bactrian camel ride & sulfur spring.

Traders earlier used to go through this route to traverse from areas in Ladakh, Kashmir & towards central Asian.

The arid mountain in the backdrop & jaw-dropping valley combines to give a breath-taking desert, landscape & field experience.

The interesting fact about this spot is, its attraction doesn’t lie completely on the destination but the journey.

There are some hidden locations, some admirable fauna, & roads that give you a lifetime experience.

Nubra Valley: The High and Dry Cold Dessert Valley

Nubra Valley Dessert

Source: krsaurabh – Under Creative Commons license

Location

At a height of 10,000 feet, an average altitude of 3048 Mtrs lies in this incredibly mesmerizing valley accessible to tourists for 7 months.

Diskit is the main headquarters in Nubra Valley Ladakh which is situated about 120 Km from Leh Ladakh. It is mostly the base spot for many domestic tourists.

The simplicity of this place, it’s high & dry valley painted with a shimmering river is an impossible sight to behold elsewhere.

The region is fed by 2 of the most exceptional rivers, The river Shyok & River Nubra, giving an enchanting view to watch.

Best time to visit Nubra Valley

The Valley isn’t much accessible in Winter when there is excessive snowfall. Hardly a few options are available for visitors to stay, thus not a preferable time to visit.

The best time to enjoy clear skies & pleasant climate is from April to June or September & October.

April to June is when bright sunny days hit the valley, & a little chilly weather together summing it to be an ideal time for sightseeing. It is probably the peak time, where accommodation facilities are accessible to a greater extent.

During April, apricot flowers bloom all over, the colors are purely magical. In all, it is a great family time vacation, when planning it, in these months.

If you wish to make your time a little snowier & more chilly, you can visit during September & October. It is when the cold starts to set in, you can view the full glorifying colors of Ladakh, India with a blue cloud flying above you.

How to Reach

Nubra Valley Route

Source: krsaurabh – Under Creative Commons license

Owing to the high altitude & no network of rail, Valley Nubra is only accessible through roadways.

There are 3 routes through which you can reach this beautiful destination.

There are regular buses & cabs available that will take you to the headquarter of the valley, Diskit. From there you need to rent a car to reach your destination. Let us look at the two routes:

Route 1: Via Leh > Khardung La Pass > Nubra Valley

Reaching the valley from this route covers a distance of 116 km, & passes through Khardung La, once claimed to be the highest motorable roads in India. This route covers places like Khardung La Village, Khalsar & Diskit which are spot unique in itself.

Climbing Khardung La Pass is a challenging yet adventurous road, with high ground clearance vehicles preferable through this route.

This journey can get exhausting because sharp twists & turns, deep valley overview, rough patch are bound to welcome you. Brace yourself, be prepared mentally, sleep enough a day before & get set go!

Best Action Camera under 10000

If you want to pass by Leh you can take this route

Route 2: Leh Manali Highway Manali > Hemis > Ware La > Agham > Nubra Valley.

For those travelers who wish to add a few extra hours but to experience an adventurous journey can consider this route. About 50km before reaching Leh, take a Right from Hemis on Manali Leh Highway > Take this road & explore via Shakti > Wari La > Agham > Nubra Valley.

From Pangong Lake to Nubra Valley:

Route 3: Pangong lake > Durbuk > Shyok Village > Agham > Nubra Valley

The road conditions are extremely challenging but domestic traveling from this route is possible.

At times the water at Shoyk river swells resulting in the closing of the road. Thus you must ask the locals to be aware of the conditions ahead.

The climb after Shoyk village could be challenging and a normal ground clearance vehicle won’t make it well through it.

Where to Stay

Nubra Valley Stay

Source: ashwinkumar – Under Creative Commons license

Nubra Valley has become the hottest most visited spot in Leh Ladakh travel & tourism with Diskit being the base for many tourists.

Diskit is gaining an advantage & becoming a popular choice for tourists; it offers a decent range of accommodation facilities, being the headquarter of the Valley.

However, Hundur is the best spot for accommodation in Nubra Valley, as there are huge facilities & options for tourists to stay. It ranks before Diskit as the best spot to accommodate yourself when visiting the valley.

Guest House | Hotels

For a comfortable stay option, you get to stay at decent & clean Nubra Valley guest houses, hotels & resorts that range from cheap to moderate & good budget ones.

One thing to remember is, if you are planning to have a luxurious vacation time here, it’s important to burst the bubble.

Do not expect a grand exceptional room, with top-class facilities, the finest linen, ultra-comfortable double bedrooms & versatile food at the Valley.

The place is highly remote, & it’s ideally meant for those whose priority is exploring & getting closer to nature.

Where to Eat

Surprisingly, most of the time, you will find yourself eating in a food joint or a guest house. No fancy hotel, no luxurious 3 to 5-star rating restaurant to serve your hunger pangs.

This doesn’t sound like a drawback of the place it gets you a little closer to their culture.

This eventually is the most amazing way to experience Nubra Valley Ladakh, which goes with the saying ‘when in Ladakh, be like ladakhis”.

However, there are few dhabas on the way at a few villages, you can stop by & enjoy a decent meal.

Places to Visit in Nubra Valley

There is a list of places to visit around the Valley & experience an exceptional time amidst the lapse of the mother nature:

1: Hunder Sand Dunes

Hunder Sand Dunes

Source: krsaurabh – Under Creative Commons license

About 10km from Diskit is a spectacularly famous place for camel riding in the Valley. No one could have guessed the existence of Sand dunes at a greater height; more so that a camel ride is possible.

It looks unusually attractive to view dessert on one side & glorifying mountains on the other side.

The view gets worth watching when you enjoy a camel safari in Hunder, and it ranks as the top entertaining activities in Leh Ladakh India.

2: Bactrian Camel Safari

Bactrian Camel Safari

Source: krsaurabh – Under Creative Commons license

Bactrian Camels also are known as double-humped camels are one amongst the remnants of the silk road in India.

Back then, Bactrian camel rides were the primary source of silk route for transportation and carrying loads along the rugged terrain of Ladakh.

Thanks to the residence of Hunder village, the rarest camels didn’t go extinct.

This safari lures both international and domestic travelers, as it explores through the striking apricots, oranges & berry orchids fields on one hand, and snow-capped peaks nearly on the other.

Best Budget Action Camera

3: Panamik Village and Hot Spring

At a distance of 140 km from Leh lies a majestically charming village, closer to Siachen glacier & renowned for its hot spring. The hot sulfur spring is believed to have healing properties & which is why many tourists visit to gain a new experience in life.

Panamik village is probably the last tourist spot in the Indian territory which you will be allowed to visit due to security reasons, being a remote village, there are fewer options for guest rooms.

Adding to it, there is a sacred Yarab Tso lake situated near the entrance of the village.

4: Yarab Tso, Sumur

Do you wish to explore the hidden beauty of Ladakh? Yarab Tso, Sumur stands proud of its serene filled beauty & a view so magnificent, that no place in Ladakh could match it.

Inhale the fresh breeze coming right from the mountain, amidst nature & a sheer bliss.

One needs to hike to the lake to experience beauty as there is no transportation available. Enjoy the view uphill, over the azure lake, soothe the calmness & joy of life.

5: Diskit Monastery

Diskit Monastery

Source: ashokbo – Under Creative Commons license

One extremely large & oldest monastery in Nubra Valley Dessert, founded during the 14th century founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo is the Diskit monastery.

Changzem Tserab Zangpo is a disciple of Tsong Khapa & a prominent founder of the Gelugpa order.

Step through the rocky terrain towards the hill-top & you’ll reach a beautiful prayer room. Diskit is named as “The orchards of Ladakh” for a reason, & that is because of the Shyok river flowing by & the rich green vegetation found here.

6: Samstanling Monastery

Samstanling Monastery is located in Sumlur Village, founded by Lama Tsultim Nima, around 140 years ago. For the Buddhist religion, it is said to be the religiously most important Shrine.

On the way through the Monasteries, tourists get to see the yellow-red trees, adorable flags colored differently, bushes of berry & grey snow-capped mountains.

The monastery has beautiful Buddhism painting, spectacular dharma chakra, murals & a complete Buddhism cultural aspect. It is said that the monastery housed about 50 monks.

7: Maitreya Buddha

Maitreya Buddha

Source: krsaurabh – Under Creative Commons license

Near the Diskit monastery, beholds another extremely impressive sight to behold. In the valley lies the most impressive statue of Maitreya Buddha that’s so huge & stands tall with a height of 32m.

This impeccable statue was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 2010 with 8kg gold, that was provided by the head of Gompa.

The tales heard about the statue from the villagers expressed that it was built to protect villagers from war & to promote world peace.

8: Khardung La

Khardung La pass (8th Highest Motorable pass in India), a drastically dramatic, extremely challenging & hyped to be the highest motorable road stands 5602m above sea level.

This route is the main connection of Leh to the valley. Khardung La is a militarily strategic area as it is located closer to the border of Pakistan and the Siachen glacier.

If you miss out on this challenging path of the trip, you are missing on visiting the heart of Leh, Ladakh tourism.

On the way, you will explore exceptional flora & fauna, namely Himalayan marmots and grazing yaks.

While climbing on Khardung La, one climbs to a very high altitude & then sleeps at a low altitude while reaching towards the Valley, which causes tremendous acclimatization.

9: Turtuk

turtuk

Source: krsaurabh – Under Creative Commons license

Turtuk got an acceptance by domestic visitors & went open in 2010, a destination located about 95 km from Diskit. The reason why you must include & explore this spot is that Turtuk is the northernmost, last Indian output, that’s situated just before Pakistan in Ladakh.

To write about it is like exposing a secret destination, that gives you a closer experience to heaven.

After 2010, adventure seekers & family travelers have got the privilege to visit such a mystical spot that otherwise we didn’t know existed.

You can travel your way towards Tyakshi village, situated ahead of Turtuk & from there you can view the Indo-Pakistan Border.

10: Warshi – Tyakshi Villages near Siachen Basecamp

We being the Indian tourists are allowed to visit & explore Warshi village, which lies ahead of Panamik on your way towards Siachen Basecamp.

You can cover different monasteries like Tarma Gompa & Yarma Gonboo & there is no special permit required to pass through this route.

However, the Siachen base camp remains out of sight & permission to us.

Medical Facilities in Nubra Valley

Diskit village, which is the base area of Nubra Valley, has hospital facilities, from there one can take medicines & other medical facilities in any case.

Best Action Camera

Mobile Connectivity and Internet in Nubra Valley

In Nubra Valley, the only place where a phone booth is available is at Diskit. Apart from that, the mobile network from BSNL works extremely great in the Valley, and surrounding places like Diskit, Hunder, and Sumur.

In addition to that, tourists can also enjoy & make use of internet cafes in Diskit. However, being a little remote & situated at a high altitude, loss of connection problems may occur frequently.

Petrol Pump & ATM in Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley Petrol Pump

Source: ashwinkumar – Under Creative Commons license

It is very important to keep your petrol tank full or carry extra. However, in recent time after domestic traveling & solo travelers frequency have increased. This has resulted in petrol facilities getting better & efficient.

There are petrol pumps at Deskit, also Nubra valley is mostly found to be working conditions with few guest house & homestay options available nowadays even in winter.

While talking about ATM facilities in Nubra Valley Dessert, you won’t be able to find ATMs in Nubra Valley.

However, SBI has set up an ATM, that’s said to be the world’s highest ATM in Khardung La.

The facilities here are getting better & evolving, as a reason for the domestic tourist preference to this spot increasing for vacations.

Useful Information about Nubra Valley

Permits:

Since the Valley is near to the line of actual control, an Inner Line permit is extremely important, otherwise, you won’t be allowed to reach the destination. For foreigners, protected Area Permit (PAP) is required.

Applying for Inner Line Permit can be done through an online process of applying for it. Or it can also be obtained in person from the DM office in Leh.

Make sure you sort out the permit requests before entering, as it will be easier for you to traverse around Ladakh.

Tips

  • Khardung La road is accessible to tourists throughout the year.
  • Do not try to stay longer than 15 minutes at Khardung La Pass, as the chances of suffering from Acute mountain sickness becomes possible due to the high altitude.
  • Although it depends upon your skills & driving/ riding technique, the road condition & routes require a great ground clearance vehicle.
  • Petrol options could be available from shops as the locals sell it, however, it is advisable to take from them only during emergencies. There is no guarantee of the quality of petrol offered.
  • Carry extra woolen & cozy clothes, the night can get chilly, breezy & cold. Make maximum space in the luggage for clothing only.
  • Carry Medical Kit along with you, as there are not many medical facilities available in the Valley. Plus, it is always good to have a backup rather than relying completely on a destination so unknown.

FAQs on Nubra Valley

How was Nubra Valley Formed?

The formation of the Valley occurred by the ancient glacier, that is now long receded, & has stood tall with an average elevation of about 13,000ft (4000m) from the sea level.

What is Nubra Valley Famous For?

The valley is famous for its Arid mountains in the backdrop, Hippophae shrub also known as Leh Berry, Buddhist monasteries & rarest two hump Bactrian camels. Besides, the one side dessert & another side enchanting mountain view is an exceptionally different sight like a treat to your eye.

How Do I Get From Leh to Nubra Valley?

It covers about 4.5 to 5 hours for a distance of 116 km from Leh towards the valley. This route covers places like Khardung La pass, Khardungla Village, Khalsar & Diskit. This route is one amongst the most sought after adventurous paths preferred by challenge seeker travelers.

What are the things to do in Nubra Valley?

A few of the top things to do in the valley are Bactrian Camel safari, a visit to the Diskit monastery, panoramic village, Yarab Tso, Lachung Temple, Maitreya Buddha. Also, photography at Khardung La Pass is a must to do a thing when in/around Nubra.

Is Nubra Valley Worth Visiting?

The place offers heaven on earth experience & becomes the must to visit & add a location when planning Ladakh itineraries. The adventure, scenery & view you get here is exceptional & definitely for a lifetime. The journey to reach this destination is a commendable experience in itself.

Is Nubra Valley Safe?

The valley is extremely SAFE. Being now a prominent location for domestic & international tourists gives a big hint of the safety of this spot. However, if you pack enough warm clothes, be weather updated, stay hydrated, carry a medical kit, & accommodate at a reputed cottage/ guest house. You will always be in a better position to avoid any form of uncertainty.

Can We Stay in Nubra Valley?

There are many hotels, resorts & guest houses in the valley & it’s ideally the best option to stay & enjoy an exotic view from your window. If you do not wish to stay in a hotel & enjoy mother nature, camping options are available too. The range of accommodation goes up from cheap to really good, depending entirely on your budget.

What is There to See in Nubra Valley?

The panoramic view of the village, camel safari, sand dunes, beautiful river crossing, cycling in the village & monasteries. The list goes on and on and it is endless. It's best if you ask yourself, will you be able to see everything offered here around the valley within a limited time?

How Many Days do you need in Nubra Valley?

It is not possible to enjoy the valley completely in a single day, as it can turn exhausting. Also, there are so many villages, activities to do & monasteries to cover. The best duration or time span is about 2-4 days minimum. Staying longer can help you add Turtuk (Indian’s last Village) trip too along with the places to explore in the valley.

What is the Altitude of Nubra Valley?

Considering the average altitude of the valley, it is about 10,000ft, which is 3048 meters above sea level. This just adds up to the view from the top mesmerizing & the wind too breezy.

Nubra Valley: A Journey Worth Remembering

This valley is a must-visit place & definitely should be added in your Ladakh Tourism plan. A trip to this destination not just offers great landscape & scenery, but gives you the experience of culture & vivid colors. Immerse yourself in the lapse of nature, soak fresh breeze, give peace to your mind, and experience the gorgeous gift of god.

If you have anything to share about your Nubra Valley journey or if you wish to ask anything about the trip & how to go about it. You can feel free to drop your queries or experience in the comment section below. We would love to know your side of the story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *