Originally known as Ldumbra, which means "The Valley of Flowers", Nubra Valley is popular for its picturesque topography, monasteries and endemic camels. It is situated in the northeast part of Jammu & Kashmir, and is about 150 km away from Leh, the capital of Ladakh district.
Nubra Valley is formed as Shyok river meets Siachen river, separating Ladakh and Karakoram ranges. Although this valley is almost 10,000 feet above the sea level, it is a high altitude cold desert with a beautifully spread river flowing through it.
This breathtaking valley is surrounded by snow-capped Himalayan ranges, and looks like a landscape of moon during the winters. In summer, the valley transforms its colours completely with fruit gardens, wheat, barley, and mustard fields, along with apricot and almond produce. Thus, the valley bears another title, "The Food Bowl Of Ladakh".
How To Get There?
Entry: Khardung La Pass in Leh is the most common access to Nubra Valley. Indian citizens need to have an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit the valley. As Indian tourists, you only need to show your valid photo ID Nationality Proof at the Army check-posts.
By Air: Kushok Bachula Rimpochee Airport in Leh is the closest airport to the valley, at a distance of 160 km. From Leh, you can hire a taxi or board a bus to reach the Nubra Valley. The Srinagar International Airport, at a distance of 590 km, is an alternative option.
By Road: Nubra can be reached by private cars from Leh by first driving through the Khardung La Pass, and then to Khalsar. A few kilometers past Khalsar, the road gets divided into a Y-intersection; the road on the left leads to Diskit, while the road on the right leads to Panamik.
Here are the places you can visit around the Nubra Valley.
Diskit Monastery, also known as Diskit Gompa, is one of the largest and oldest (as early as 1420 AD) monasteries belonging to the Tibetian Buddhists. Diskit is about 75 km away from the Nubra Valley. A major tourist attraction here is a 102-feet-tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha facing the valley. It took almost four years (2006-2010) to construct this magnificent statue of Buddha.
About 19 km from the Nubra Valley is the Panamik village, known for its hot sulphur springs. Tourists can go for a dip in the hot springs, which has separate sections for men and women. It is special because of its curative properties. This little village also serves as the base camp for the trek to Ensa Gompa. You can shop in Panamik, as it happens to be a good place to buy Pashmina shawls and woolen socks. Dry fruits like walnuts and almonds are also sold at a reasonable price here.
Founded nearly 140 years ago by Lama Tsultim Nima, Samstanling Monastery is located in Sumlur village. It is one of the main monasteries in the region and it houses almost fifty monks. The monastery can be singled out from a distance due to its distinct traditional hues of gold, maroon and white.
PC: Ashwin Kumar
Yarab Tso Lake
Perched around 15 km away from Diskit, in the beauty of Sumlur village lies the Yarab Tso Lake. To find this lake, you must hike for about 15-20 minutes and after that, the lake reveals itself in all its marvel and glory. It is also known as the hidden lake for the same reason.
Hunder Sand Dunes
The beautiful white sand dunes of the cold desert - this is nothing less than pure magic. Located at around 85 km from the Nubra Valley, Hunder is home for the endemic species of bactrian camel with double-humped back, so make sure to go on this one-of-a-kind camel safari.
Best Time To Visit
Summer is the best time to visit the Nubra Valley, since it is very pleasant and has just the right amount of cool. Since the temperature during the winters may drop till -4 degree Celsius and monsoons might see perpetual cloudbursts, March to June is the right time to visit the Nubra Valley.