Nubra valley- a cold desert
High mountains beckon and dare all to come and scale their tough vertical heights. Perception in the minds of the people about Leh Ladakh is mixed thought from beauty of the Himalayas to its cold and relentless terrain. In reality, Leh is just the beginning of the end to discovery of great many unheard of destinations. For explorers, Ladakh unveils great valleys, high snow mountains and culture which are absolutely unique in every sense. A ride of 150 km north from Leh gets to the Nubra valley at the height of 10,000 feet from the sea level. Two rivers Siachan and Shyok meet to form a tri faceted ‘Y’ between Ladakh and Karakoram Range. Diskit is the capital of Nubra and access to valley is through Khardungla pass from Leh.
Nubra Valley- reasons to visit
Suddenly the feeling dawns of warm sunlight as if coming out of the cold haze. As you approach Nubra valleyit seems to welcome all with sprawling arms. Valley of Nubra is green despite fewer rains it experiences. In September excursionists can watch lots of crop variety growing in the field. Popularly known as ‘Food bowl of Ladakh’ Nubra valley has wheat, barley, mustard and pea fields. Besides, one can see fruit orchards of apricot, walnuts, almonds and apples in the valley.
Incredible serenity of Nubra valley with high mountains, flowing river, soothing greenery, unique villages and Buddhist local villagers leave an indelible mark on the minds. Inhabitants of Nubra valley are mostly Nubra skat speakers. Beyond the valley is line of control of Pakistan border, there Balti people and shia muslims live, who have speak Balti lingo.
The town of Diskit is administrative center for the valley and government offices functioning here. Located on Shyok side, peace of the place touches the hearts and soon you realize the reason. The Influence of Diskit monastery which was built in 1480 AD is unbelievable. Built on a hilltop monastery belongs to Yellow hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Karakoram Range view is breathtaking from the top. Main point of interest is a large statue of Buddha which is 32 meter high. Skillfully built this Buddha is place facing towards the valley.
Along the Nubra river close to Siachin glacier, at the height of 10442 feet above sea level, there is Panamik village. That is famous for the hot springs said to have curative powers. Panamik’s importance is there because too, that this village is the northern most beyond which foreigners are not allowed. Its scenic presence in Nubra valley is astounding and sulfur springs are the big attraction.
Diskit has one more unique natural phenomenon; 8 km away from the town is the desert of white sand dunes. A cold and white desert which is unbelievable to contemplate that on such height nature can play a trick like this. Hunder sand dunes are for double hump camel rides. This is the only place where double hump camels are found. Rides from Diskit to Hunder village are offered for the tourists. Who can ever think of greenery and desert hand in hand, at one place.
Yarab Tso Lake
15 km from Diskit town holy Lake of Yarab Tso is located close to Sumur village. The Lake is a visual delight.
Nubra Valley is the great place to buy Kashmiri and Tibetan Carpets, Shawls and woolen socks. Even nature’s gifts like apricots, almonds, walnuts are there to buy. Shops also offer Tibetan Artifacts and souvenirs.
Access to Diskit and stay
Leh boasts of the highest air field in the world and is connected to Delhi and Chandigarh by air route. From Leh taxis are available to Diskit. Starting from Leh to Diskit via Khardungla pass takes about 8 hours drive by road. Permits are required for foreign tourists but not for the Indians. In Diskit there are few good hotels to stay to make your visit memorable in this amazing ‘Valley of flowers’