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Nubra Valley Tourism And Travel Guide
12° C / 53.6° F
March to June
2 to 3 Days
Lishok Bakula Rinpoche Airport (120 kms)
Jammu Tawai (750 kms)
Located at the confluence of Rivers Shyok and Siachen, separating the Ladakh and Karakoram ranges is Nubra Valley. It is 150 km from Leh and holds the distinction for being the world’s highest motorable pass. Situated at a high altitude of 10,000 m, Nubra Valley is a gem of a place boasting of magnificent scenic beauty. Peaceful and serene, it is one of the remotest corners of the country with little connection with the outside world. Tourism in Nubra Valley has much to offer in terms of places to see and things to do. Here is a snippet of travel guide to see in the area around Nubra Valley.
How to Reach
The airport closest to Nubra Valley is Lishok Bakula Rinpoche Airport in Leh. One of the highest commercial airports in the world, Leh is well connected with some major cities like Delhi, Srinagar etc by private and public carriers. From Leh tourists have to hire a cab or take a bus to reach their destination (120 km to Nubra Valley).
Owing to its high altitude Nubra Valley does not have a railway station. Closest railhead is Jammu Tawi Railway Station in Jammu, located 750 km from the valley. Tourists first need to travel to Leh from Jammu before heading towards Nubra Valley.
Nubra Valley is accessible only by road. Tourists travelling from Leh have to reach Nubra via Khardung La Pass, the world’s highest motorable pass. Leh is accessible to most major cities of the neighbouring states. From here a cab or a bus can transport tourists to their destination.
Getting by in Nubra Valley:
As one of the remotest corners of the country, transportation facilities are limited in Nubra Valley. Hired jeeps, hitch-hiking trucks and sometimes even military vehicles can be requested for stranded tourists.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summer (March to June):
After the extremely harsh winter that Nubra Valley experiences, weather improves considerable during summer. The weather is clear and pleasant, which allows tourists to move around in the valley and explore its beauty. Summer also ushers in Hemis festival, which is celebrated with much fervour. Summer is also the best time for trekking and camping in Nubra Valley.
Monsoon (July to September):
Nubra Valley like most hilly regions receives considerable rainfall during monsoon. The torrential rains accompanied by frequent mudslides and landslides can pose a threat to tourists travelling to the valley. Nubra is best avoided during the monsoon months.
Winter (October to February):
The least favourable time for visiting Nubra Valley is during winter. Located at an altitude of 10,000 m, the winters are cruel. With temperatures dipping well below the freezing point, it is ridiculously cold and impossible to move around and explore the area. Winters however kick off skiing season and for ski enthusiasts, winter might be a good time to visit.
Things to Do
A safari ride on the back of a two humped bactarian camel is a thrilling adventure and must not be missed. Camel safaris are extremely popular here and they start from Hunder and move till Turtuk. There are two safari timings to choose from, 09:00am to 12:00pm and from 03:00pm to 06:00pm.
A visit to Panamik Village:
One of the most picturesque villages on Nubra Valley, Panamik is a real treat for the travellers. The sun kissed snowy peaks of the surrounding mountains and the lush green cover is truly captivating. It also serves as the base camp for trekkers heading towards Ensa Gompa. Panamik is also popular for the world famous Pashmina shawls as it rears Pashmina goats.
The most popular activity in Nubra Valley is trekking. It is a trekker’s paradise as its stunning landscape offers fantastic trekking trails. The trek starts from Sabu village and moves on to Digar La, crosses Shyok River, before reaching Agyam village. From here trekkers head towards Khalsar village and then downhill to Diskit via Sumur.
Camping in Nubra Valley is an amazing experience. The fascinating landscape, the mountains, the lush green cover and clear blue skies offer irresistible opportunity for camping.
A trip of Monasteries:
A trip to Nubra Valley without a visit to the beautiful monasteries that it boasts of is an incomplete one. The Diskit Gompa is the oldest monastery in the valley. The milk white building amidst the rugged landscape of the valley stands out like a fascinating creation. The Samstanling Monastery is located in Sumur Village and the brightly coloured monastery is a treat to the eyes. The statue if Maitreya Buddha in Diskit is a 32 m high statue dominating the surrounding landscape.
What to Eat
Nubra Valley is one of the remotest corners of the country which makes it tough to provide luxurious options for accommodation and food. The food is simple but full of flavours. Sipping on a steaming hot Thukpa on a cold evening is a heart-warming experience. You must try the delicious Ladakhi cuisine which has some awesome dishes on offer. The Sku or mutton soup that is available is delicious. Kashmiri food like Rogan Josh, Korma etc are equally mouth-watering.
The options for shopping in Nubra Valley are quite limited. The only place to shop is in Diskit, and you can pick up a souvenir of your trip from here. Beautiful turquoise jewellery, Buddha heads, prayer wheels, Kashmiri carpets and world famous Pashmina shawls are sold here. Kashmiri and Tibetan handicrafts are also found. The curio shop near Diskit monastery sells some lovely curio pieces.