If you’re wondering how to reach Nubra Valley from Leh, this travel guide will make you look no further. Nubra Valley is a beautiful valley carved by the river Shyok and river Nubra between Ladakh and Karakoram ranges of the Himalayan mountains. It is a snow desert and you can see the strange presence of large sand dunes, river water and mountain snow at the same time.
This valley was a gateway to Central Asia through Karakoram Pass and runs right upto the Pakistan border in north-west. Lately the road upto TurTuk village of the Baltic region in the Karakoram range is opened to tourists.
How to reach Nubra Valley
Most tourists choose to go to Deskit or Hunder along the Shyok river about 150KM north of Leh. Roads are fairly good and open all round the year. You have to pass Khardung La which is claimed to be the World’s highest motorable road. It is advisable to be acclimatised even though Nubra itself is about 10,000ft high which is a similar altitude to Leh. Taxis are available from Leh and many like to ride motorcycles to Nubra.
On the way to Nubra Valley
The drive to Nubra Valley is exciting due to Khardung La Pass which you must cross and is claimed to be the World’s highest motorable road. Plan to spend some time at South Pullu before reaching Khardung La pass and enjoy the view of the pass above. At Khardung La have tea and snacks at the World’s highest restaurant and buy some souvenirs from the World’s highest souvenir shop. After crossing North Pullu but before reaching Nubra valley, there are several locations which give a bird’s eye view of the Valley. Plan to stop for a few photographs and to enjoy the view. Visit Deskit monastery which is beautifully located and stands out in the Deskit skyline.
Where to stay in Nubra Valley
There are many good places to stay in Deskit and Hunder. A few well-equipped hotels and many nice homestays are available. Tents are also available at Hunder Camp. During season it is best to book in advance from Leh to ensure that you find what you expect in terms of facilities. In winter it can be a challange to find good accommodation because most of the hotels and camps are closed from October to April.
Things to do at Deskit and Hunder in Nubra Valley
Nubra valley offers a wide range of recreations. Spend some time trekking on the hills around the Shyok river especially on the north side. The views are beautiful.
Take a ride on the Double Humped Camel. Ladakh is one of the only places in the whole world where this camel is found in its natural habitat.
Some homestays offer nice food cooked Ladakhi style. Even ordinary veg noodles have a distinct taste and flavour. Plan to eat at these places to get the local taste.
Look out for the local Seabuckthorn plant which is also called the Leh Berry. These orange coloured berries are tasty. You can also buy canned juice of these berries here and in Leh.
Go for a walk in the sand dunes of Nubra valley and enjoy the presence of desert, river and snow at the same time.