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Nubra Valley

Discussion in 'North India' started by Rav, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. Rav

    Rav New Member

    I am flying from Delhi to Leh, and I have my trip planned with a full itinerary. It was after reading through my plan I realised I have missed out Nubra Valley, which someone suggested to me to visit.

    I would like to know how far Nubra Valley is from Leh, and whether I can make the same day trip, or would I need more than a day to visit Nubra Valley properly?

    What are the must see places in Nubra Valley?

    Do I need to cross Khardung La pass to reach Nubra Valley?

    Please add in any extra information which would be substantial when visiting Nubra Valley.

  2. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Nubra is very scenic, but there is not much to see besides some spectacular views of nature. Depending on when you go the valley can be filled with flowers. A lot of seabuckthorn, too, which makes for a great drink and wine. Very healthy. But other than that, there is Diskit Monastery.

    Nubra is about 150 km from Leh.

  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Rav! Welcome to the forum!

    The distance between Leh and Nubra Valley is about 159 kms. Here is the route you have to take:
    • Leh > Khardung La Pass > Khardung Village > Khalsar > Diskit > Hunder > Nubra Valley.
    If you have properly acclimatised prior to reaching Leh, then you can directly go to the Nubra Valley. If not, it's better to stay at one of the higher altitude locations like Leh, for at least a day to prepare your body for the ascent. So in order to make the same day trip from Leh to Nubra Valley, make sure you have stayed in Leh for a few days already. If not, it's risky to go to Nubra Valley and the possibility of acquiring AMS might be higher.

    Here are some of the must-see places in Nubra Valley:

    1. Hunder - This is a small village where the Shook River meets the Nubra River. The area surrounding Hunder Village is desolate and arid. Hunder, unlike other places in Leh, isn't much visited or crowded by tourists. But the cold desert of Nubra Valley can be found here. To begin with, cold deserts look just like a normal desert. The difference is, the desert of Hunder is very cold and you cannot wear light clothes here. This desert came to be because of the rain shadow effect, wherein the mountains cover some areas of the region and these areas that come under the rain shadow are transformed into a desert. Here are some of the attractions in Hunder:
    • Camel Safari - Much like a normal hot desert, you can also do camel safaris in the cold desert of Hunder. The camel safaris are done on Bactrian double-humped camels. You get to explore the outskirts of the cold desert as well as the nearby villages. You can also camp nearby the desert through guest houses and home stays. The experience of seeing the sun rising from the cold desert, especially for a first timer, is quite surreal.
    • Hunder Monastery - This is a Buddhist monastery in the village of Hunder. It's relatively small although you would pass through a collection of stupas through one of its pathways, which incidentally also leads to the main road of the city.
    2. Panamik - This is the last village that foreigners can reach in this region. This village is known for its hot water springs and various Kashmiri and Tibetan artefacts. Here is the the attraction of the village:
    • Panamik Hot Spring - The hot water springs of Panama contain sulphur. It is believed that the springs can heal rheumatism and other diseases. The water of the springs are too hot though so you probably won't be able to last here for more than a few minutes. There's an entry fee of Rs. 20 and there's a changing room as well for tourists.
    3. Diskit - This is the administrative centre of Nubra Valley. There's not much to see here but a major attraction here is the:
    • Diskit Monastery - This is a 14th century monastery located in a hillock in the village. There's a 32 metre statue of Maitreya Buddha here. The monastery is also known for the murals around its walls.
    Yes, you would need to pass through Khardung La to reach Nubra Valley. This pass is about 5,359 metres above sea level. You cannot stay here for more than 15 minutes as the high altitude can cause AMS to individuals.

    Here are some tips that I can give you:
    • Make sure that you are acclimatised before reaching Khardung La and the succeeding towns. It is required to at least have two days of acclimatisation to avoid acquiring AMS.
    • There are no hotels around these areas and only home stays or guest houses are available. These are basic accommodations only so you cannot expect much from them.
    • Transportation options are sparse around these remote villages so it's best to bring your own vehicle or hire a vehicle for your convenience.
    • There's also a petrol station in Diskit, however availability of petrol is not assured. So make sure you fill your vehicle's tank in Leh and bring an extra bottle of fuel in case of an emergency.
    I hope this helps.

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