One of the most stunning regions of the Himalayas, Nubra Valley comprises of two rivers Nubra and Shyoks which offer scenic backdrops on a grand scale. Surrounded by green villages, thrilling slopes and arid mountains the valley is also home to beautiful monasteries all around.
Indians doing the Leh Ladakh tour need inner line permit while foreign tourist requires to obtain a protected area permit before entering this place. This region connects the eastern Tibet with Turkistan through the popular Karakoram Pass. Located on the ancient Silk route, visiting Nubra Valley is quite an experience!
Best time to visit Nubra Valley:
Summer is the best season to plan a Ladakh trip. The beautiful Nubra valley can be best explored during the months between May to June and September to November. The weather is pleasantly warm, and you can enjoy the stunning scenic views of this paradise. Climate is always cold here, but summers are bearable with a warm and pleasing temperature. Winters are harsh and cold and visiting Nubra in this chill is highly unadvisable. Temperature dips drastically to as low as -4°C in the evenings, making it extremely cold.
Being at a higher altitude of approximately 10,000 ft, the temperature ranges between 8°C to 20°C during summers and -10°C to 15°C during winters. The month of July and August experience heavy rainfall in this region. The Khardung La pass is closed due to excessive rains and snowfall. Winter starts from November to February, making Ladakh inaccessible as most of the roads are closed, and there is less connectivity.
It is recommended to carry woollen clothes, gloves, shoes and gears while travelling during offseason.
Top Attractions in Nubra Valley:
Camel Safari in Hunder Sand Dunes
Riding a two-humped camel in a desert surrounded by snowcapped mountains at 3,100 meters above sea level seems like a fantasy. At Hunder, you will get to live this fantasy. Take a safari on the double-humped camels called the Bactrian through the sand dunes of the Hunder – ‘The Desert in the Sky’. It offers a very picturesque landscape but is usually crowded during the peak season.
The Diskit Monastery, also known as Diskit Gompa is the oldest and largest Buddhist Monastery in the Nubra Valley. It was founded by the Changzem Tserab Zangpo in the 14th century. The Monastery is associated with the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Drive up to the Monastery and enjoy the view of the beautiful Nubra Valley from the top.
Opened for tourists in 2010, Turtuk is a remote village that is rich with the inhabitant Balti Muslim’s culture. Walk around the town situated on the bank of the Shyok river, through buckwheat and barley fields, scanty little homes and narrow pathways to meet the warm Balti families. The village lies on the border touching Pakistan’s Gilgit – Baltistan region. Visit the Balti Heritage Museum here to get an insight on the Balti culture. Turtuk is the closest habitat connected to the Siachen glacier
This village should be a must visit the location in all Leh Ladakh tours.
The Maitreya Buddha sculpture makes a distinguished landmark in the valley. The statue stands tall in Diskit with a height of 106 feet facing the Shyok river and attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year. The sight of the Buddha statue during sunset is simply mesmerizing.
Yarab Tso Sumur
Sumur village is located close to the Diksit Monastery. Like Hunder it is also well known for the sand dunes. Besides that, it also leads you to the sacred Yarab Tso lake among the desert type terrain. It has one of the prettiest sights in the valley.
At an altitude of 5,359 meters, the Khardung La pass is the ‘highest motorable road in the world’. This is the only road to reach Nubra Valley. It is a very popular tourist attraction. Tourists on a Ladakh trip ensure that it is a part of their itinerary. You can expect to see some traffic here, but the view of the gigantic mountain ranges and the gorgeous valleys from here is absolutely delightful.
Samstanling Monastery was built in 1840 and is located at the foot of the barren mountain in the Sumur village. The Monastery does have a rather modern look and is home to around 100 monks residing there. There is a serene and peaceful spiritual aura across the entire Monastery with chanting from its two prayer halls being heard throughout.
How to reach Nubra Valley
The best option to reach Nubra Valley is from Leh. Most Leh Ladakh tour packages offer to stay at Leh for acclimatization before embarking on the journey towards Nubra Valley.
The most common and best route from Leh to Nubra Valley would take you approximately 5 to 6 hours. This is mainly dependent on the breaks taken and the time spent at Khardung La. It is highly recommended to restrict your halt at Khardung La to under 15 minutes as exposing yourself to the freezing weather outside for longer than that can result in AMS.
Here’s a quick guide for the 116kms route;
Leh to Khardung La Pass (40 km)
Khardung Village (34 km)
Khalsar (23 km)
Diskit in Nubra Valley (19 km)
Accommodations in Nubra Valley
Variety of stay options are now available in Nubra Valley. Depending on your luxury preference and comfort, you may choose from home-stay options, tents or hotels. Many of these options can be found online and also facilitate the advance online booking. Based on the time of year that you are out for your Ladakh tour, tents would offer an adventurous experience to stay the nights under the sparkling stars.