The Shyok river meets the Nubra or Siachen river creating an engrossing sight of rugged mountains, rich green oasis villages, white sand deserts and glimmering streams. The raw and stark contrast seen in Nubra Valley is unparalleled and takes your breath away. Located in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir, Nubra rests in the slopes of the Karakoram mountain range at an average elevation of 3,048 metres. One of the most beautiful regions in the world, Nubra is well known among seasoned travelers. Deriving its name from “Ldumra”, literally meaning the “valley of flowers”, Nubra remains one of the most pristine locations for an intimate interaction with the nature at an unimaginable scale. The five best places one must visit while in Nubra are detailed here.
1. Diskit Monastery
Built in 1420 AD, Diskit Monastery or gompa is oldest as well as the second largest monastery in the Nubra Valley. Located 150 kilometres from Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, it rests just above the flood plains of the Shyok river at an elevation of 3,144 metres above the sea level. It was established by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, who was a disciple of the founder of the Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The glamorous sight of the monastery perched on the hilltop among the snow-clad Himalayan mountains is itself a scintillating experience.
2. Khardung La
Traversing one of the world’s highest motorable road at an elevation of 5,359 metres is a titillating experience. Located 40 kilometres from Leh, in the Ladakh range of mountains, this “pass of the Lower Castle” is a doorway to the valleys of Shyok and Nubra. What used to be a caravan route from Leh to the region of Kashgar in Central Asia and a part of the famed silk route, Khardung La or Khardung Pass is now a trail of strategic importance to the Indian Army and is used to deliver supplies to the Siachen Glacier. Experienced bikers and automobile drivers from all over the world cross over this pass which is a tantalizing and the most unique experience.
Luring people away from the charm of the Nubra Valley is the rapturous region of Hunder. Located 150 kilometres from Leh, at an average altitude of 10, 000 feet, Hunder is a small village on the banks of the Shyok river. Historical records stress the importance of the site of Hunder. Part of the ancient silk route, it is still one of the most important strategic points located in close proximity to the Siachen Glacier, the highest point of conflict between India and Pakistan where the Line of Control (L.O.C) ends. But most popularly known for its pervading white sand and numerous Bactrian camels, Hunder is a high altitude cold desert. Safari rides are offered on these camels which are an echo of the erstwhile era of the Silk route trade.
Located in a stark contrast to rugged mountains and snow-capped peaks, the lush green settlement of the Panamik village is found in the Nubra Valley, 150 kilometres from Leh. Situated very close to the Siachen glacier, this village is the last civilian settlement before the Siachen base camp. Known for its therapeutic sulphur hot springs, this village attracts curious travelers from all over the world to its infatuating location in the northern end of the Nubra Valley at an altitude of 10,442 feet above the sea level. Renowned for the Bactrian camels and Pashmina goats, the sight of Panamik is bewitching. Lying on the Indo-Tibetan border, it rests on the base of the trekking trail to the Ensa Monastery, a site famous for its wonderful murals. Accessible through Khardung La, Panamik can only be visited during summers.
A newly discovered paradise, the gates of Turtuk were thrown open to the tourists in 2009, 31 years after it was recaptured by India from Pakistan, Turtuk village remains an unblemished sight in the face of nature. Located 205 kilometres from Leh and 92 kilometres from Diskit, it rests on the edges of the Shyok Valley, close to Nubra Valley. It also gives rather magnificent views of the indented peaks of the mountains in Pakistan, the front line of which is just 7 kilometers away.
An electrifying sight, Nubra is a region of utmost importance and unbelievably engrossing sights. Just five of many such fascinating regions, the valley of Nubra has an unbeatable charm.
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