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Himalayandiaries

Nubra

 

north pullu

NUBRA VALLEY
The land which is known for it’s white sand dunes, flowers, orchards, and double humped Bactrian camel. It was originally called Ldumra which means valley of flowers.

Nubra lies North east across the Khardungla pass from the town of Leh. The road is open through out the year. There is also another route over the Wari La from Sakti connecting the road to Nubra via Agham. The main town of Nubra valley named Diskit is 150 kilometres from Leh.

Diskit monastery
The view of the valley is picturesque and breathtaking. Nubra valley is high altitude cold desert which has very rare precipitation and scanty vegetation except along the river beds. The main river of the valley is Shyok. The Shyok river meets the Siachen River to form a broad valley on whose one side are the Ladakh ranges and other sides are the Karakoram mountains.
A journey across the high Khardungla, and then a descend towards North Pullu and ultimately into the wide valley makes your heart pound with excitement and thrill. The drive goes along the Shyok River and then you reach Diskit. Diskit is the headquarters of Nubra, so it more like an overgrown village which has a lot of government offices. There are ample hotels, guest houses, Home stays and tented campsites here.

Nubra

Hunder is located 7 kilometres from Diskit. Till 2010 tourists were allowed to come as far as this place. The areas beyond this place was closed for tourism. Hunder is a quite little village with small houses, which are scattered. There is also ample amount of greenery near the village, because of the water of the streams. The thing which is interesting is the area huge area of white sand, which gives an impression of a desert. The formation of ripples on the small dunes with snow capped mountains in the horizon is amazing. On one side steep cliffy mountains, then white sand area, and a river flowing nearby just takes your breath away. Here you can find the rare double humped bactrian camel. You can take a ride on it for a decent sum.

Hundar, nubra valleySumur is a quite and peaceful village in the Nubra valley. It has wonderful green and yellow mustard fields. It has the famous Samstemling Gompa, which was founded by Lama Tsultrin Nima about 150 years ago. Sumar also has it’s own sand dunes and camel rides. The road to Sumur bifurcates just before Diskit. It is 23 kilometres off the main road. There is also the village of Tegar near Sumur.

If you continue on the road ahead you will reach Panamik, which is surrounded by snow capped mountains. The scenic beauty and it’s hot sulphur springs attracts lots of visitors every year. Panamik is 22 kilometres from Sumur.

Turtuk and beyond

Turtuk is a tiny hamlet at the end of the road before the Line of control. It is the extreme corner of the Indian border, so it is a challenge reaching here. The road is treacherous at places after Hunder , and there are a lot of landslide areas. There are a lot of sensitive army bases here so permits were not issued before 2010. Now you get permits from the D.C. office in Leh to go there. The drive is along the River Shyok, and there are views of snow capped mountains all along the way. But once you reach Turtuk, you will forget the fatigue and you will know why this place is termed as heaven on earth. Turtuk is basically a muslim dominated village unlike buddhist dominated Ladakh. This village is also known for its wonderful, and welcoming people. It is also at a lower elevation than most habited Nubra. Unlike the barren landscape of Ladakh, Turtuk is full of green pastures. Apples, Apricots, Tomatoes, Cauliflowers and cabbages are grown in plenty. This place has a few humble home stays. Turtuk is still culturally intact and there are still very few visitors. In all Turtuk is a travellers paradise, here the smiles of the people are more sweeter than the apricots.