Nubra Valley - 5 Things to Know Before Visiting
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About Nubra Valley
Nubra valley (valley of flowers) located to the north east of Ladakh valley is a high altitude (3048m above sea level) cold dessert. The valley was once part of the historic Silk route which connected once connect south to central Asia. It's now predominantly a sensitive military zone as it shares boundaries with Pakistan and China.
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Nubra valley is a tri-armed valley located to the north east of Ladakh valley. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. The Shyok river is a tributary of the Indus river. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. i.e. 3048 metres above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La pass from Leh town. Foreign nationals are required to get a Protected area permit to visit the Nubra Valley. Since 1 April 2017 Indian citizens are also required to get an Inner Line Permit to visit the valley.
Like the rest of the Tibetan Plateau, Nubra is a high altitude cold desert with rare precipitation and scant vegetation except along river beds. The villages are irrigated and fertile, producing wheat, barley, peas, mustard and a variety of fruits and nuts, including blood apples, walnuts, apricots and even a few almond trees. Most of the Nubra Valley is inhabited by Nubra dialect or Nubra Skat speakers. The majority are Buddhists. In the western or lowest altitude end of Nubra Valley near the Line of Control i.e. the Indo-Pak border, along the Shyok River, the inhabitants are Balti of Gilgit-Baltistan, who speak Balti, and are Shia and Sufia Nurbakhshia Muslims.
Siachen Glacier lies to the north of the valley. The Sasser Pass and the famous Karakoram Pass lie to the northwest of the valley and connect Nubra with Uyghur (Mandarin : Xinjiang). Previously there was much trade passing through the area with western China's Xinjiang and Central Asia. The people of Baltistan also used the Nubra valley for passage to Tibet.
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Diskit town in the valley have become the congregation centre for people of the region. Diskit is the headquarters of the Nubra Valley and thus has lot of government offices with basic facilities. It is also connected by road with Leh. The 32 metre Maitreya Buddha statue is the landmark of Nubra Valley and is maintained by the Diskit Monastery.
Along the Nubra or Siachan River lie the villages of Sumur, Kyagar (called Tiger by the Indian Army), Tirith, Panamik, Turtuk and many others. Samstanling monastery is between Kyagar and Sumur villages, and Panamik is noted for its hot springs. Across the Nubra or Siachan River at Panamik, is the isolated Ensa Gompa.
On the Shyok (pronounced Shayok) River, the main village, Diskit, is home to the dramatically positioned Diskit Monastery which is built in 1420 AD. Hundar was the capital of the erstwhile Nubra kingdom in the 17th century, and is home to the Chamba Gompa. Between Hundar and Diskit lie several kilometres of sand dunes, and (two-humped) bactrian camels graze in the neighbouring "forests" of seabuckthorn. Non-locals are not allowed below Hundar village into the Balti area, as it is a border area. The village of Baigdandu is also located in this area. There is a marked presence of people with startling blue eyes, auburn hair and rosy cheeks as against the typical mongoloid features of the Ladakhis. Local lore has it that they were a Greek tribe who came in search of Jesus Christ's tomb and eventually settled here. Baigdandu is also known for the goats that give you the famous Pashmina shawls.
The main road access to the Nubra Valley is over Khardung La pass which is open throughout the year. An alternative route, opened in 2008, crosses the Wari La from Sakti, to the east of Khardung La, connecting to the main Nubra road system via Agham and Khalsar along the Shyok River. There are also trekkable passes over the Ladakh Range from the Indus Valley at various points. Routes from Nubra to Baltistan and Yarkand, though historically important, have been closed since 1947 and 1950 respectively.
The valley was open for tourists till Hunder (the land of sand dunes) until 2010. The region beyond Hunder gives way to a greener region of Ladakh because of its lower altitude. The village of Turtuk which was unseen by tourists till 2010 is a virgin destination for people who seek peace and an interaction with a tribal community of Ladakh. The village is stuffed with apricot trees and children. The local tribe, Balti, follows its age old customs in their lifestyle and speak a language which is just spoken and not written. For tourists Turtuk offers serene camping sites with environment friendly infrastructure.
Content retrieved and modified from Wikipedia: Nubra Valley. Work released under CC-BY-SA
Attractions Near Nubra Valley
16.18km from Nubra Valley
The monastery has statue of Cho Rinpoche (Crowned Buddha) in the prayer hall, a huge drum and several images of fierce guardian deities.
45.44km from Nubra Valley
Khardung la located in the Indian union territory of Ladakh, is undoubtedly one of the monumental mountain passes all over the world though its exact elevation is still a controversy. The mountain pass not just serves as the gateway to the remote Nubra and Shyok valleys but also offers astonishing views of the twisting roads up the mountain and the awesome valley.
60.81km from Nubra Valley
Objects and cars on this hill road may appear to roll uphill in defiance of gravity.
The Lamayuru Monastery
85.55km from Nubra Valley
The Monastery consisted originally of five buildings, some remains of the four corner buildings can still be seen. Lamayuru is one of the largest and oldest monasteries in Ladakh, with a population of around 150 permanent monks residing. It has, in the past, housed up to 400 monks, many of which are now monasteries in gompas in surrounding villages.
132.35km from Nubra Valley
High mountain pass at an elevation of 5,328 meters. Although claims to be the worlds second highest motorable pass, it is actually 12th or so highest motorable pass.
135.93km from Nubra Valley
Nestled in a remote corner of Ladakh, the Zanskar Valley is one of the most enchanting places to visit. It is located in the eastern corner of Jammu and Kashmir and is separated from Ladakh by the Zanskar Mountain Range. It is a part of The Tethys Himalayas which is formed with weekly transformed sedimentary series. Zanskar Valley is known for its wide views and sceneries, cave monasteries and mostly travelled to for its trekking trails and river rafting experiences and the Suru Valley, the two
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Nubra valley is a desert with white sandunes in the Himalayas. Double jumped camels live here and riding the camels is a main attraction here. The white sandy desert is said to be formed when the Himalayas were formed due to tectonic collision and Nubra valley rose up from under the ocean.