Nubra valley sub-district lies north-east of Ladakh with Deskit village as its main headquarters. It takes about 5 -6 hrs to reach Nubra from Leh (115 km). The shyok river meets the Siachen (Nubra) river to form a large valley separating Ladakh from Karakoram ranges. It is about 150 km from Leh city and lies at an average height of 10,000 ft or about 3,048 m above sea level. A perfect place to acclimatize! The village offers all the facilities and may even have BSNL network in some areas. However, you may need an INNER LINE PERMIT to travel to Nubra valley and Khardung La Pass, which can be procured from Leh. The valley is beautiful in with its breath-taking backdrop, clear skies, flowing water and transiting landscape. The valley is however closed in the winter.
Khardung La Pass
One of the highest motorable passes falsely claimed as the highest previously lay 11 on the list with the height of 5,359 m (17,582 ft) ASL. It is the pass that connects Nubra valley to Leh (40 km). Believe me; this pass can get really cold with the freezing wind, so get your thermal and gloves on. Avoid waiting at the pass for too long to avoid altitude sickness in case you did not get a chance to acclimatize.
Panamik – Yarab Tso
Panamik village (15 km from Diskit village) at the height of 10,600 ft or 3231 meters; is known for its natural sulfur springs, visited by tourists in flocks. So we decided to take a detour to a sacred high altitude lake. A small trail of 20 min uphill from Panamik village on foot can get you there. It is considered sacred, and tourists are prohibited from washing hands or having a bath in the lake. You can also visit Samstanling monastery in Sumur. Yarma Gomba and Yarma Gonboo are other attractions beyond Panamic.
Hunder (10000 ft) is famous for its sanddunes in the cold desert and double-humped Bactrian camel rides. I do not love riding animals for pleasure and hence restrained from the ride. But the backdrop of snow clad mountains and sanddunes were stunning. We stayed in a lovely home-stay in hunder, with some lovely people who greeted us with laughter and some hot traditional butter kawa. Kawa is my favorite tea since my visit to Ladakh.
Diskit is the main village in Nubra and is famous for its 106 ft tall Maitreya Buddha statue. It also houses one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Nubra.
Tur-tuk is a small village close to the Indo-Pak border about 95 km from Diskit. It is by far the most beautiful self-sustainable village I have been. The people are so warm and kind, so we just could not resist staying here. The village is just picked out from the famous storybook Heidi. Here there are frequent power cuts at night (after 8 pm up till morning), and children have to travel distances to attend school. Winters are rather harsh; they live life in simplicity and content with it. The pure joy we got staying in the village made it the best part of our entire trip. The landscape is different from Nubra valley with a closer view of the Karakorum range. The village is known for its apricots, walnuts, and berries; with the sound of water, greenery and freshness. About 20 km to Tyakshi village, you can see the Indo-Pak border.
INNER LINE PERMIT
Environment Fee: Rs. 400/-
Location of application: Leh DC office (between 9 am to 3 pm)
Documents required: Passport photos, attested, and original copies of Nationality identity proof, written application with travel interest and travel dates.
Permit Validity: 3 weeks (Indians) and 1 week (Foreigners)
- Time: 2-3 days
- Warm clothes, sunblock, and sunglasses
- Confirm about the permits
- Always carry extra food and hydrate
- No ATMs so carry cash
- No proper network coverage for contact