Nubra Valley in LehLeh is also known as the land of Tall Passes. It is one of the most visually appealing parts of the Himalaya and it’s juxtaposed between China, Pakistan and India. The Nubra Valley lies north of Leh and it is an austere yet breathtakingly beautiful valley.
There are many charming villages and spots of scenic beauty in the Nubra Valley.
What to see in Nubra ValleyThe famous Silk Route is situated in the Nubra Valley and this place has got loads of references in literature, movies and music. The silk route is actually an arduous stretch of rocky land between Leh and Yakhand (a Chinese trade town). For several hundred years textiles, wool, animal fur, snake skin, turquoise, indigo and precious metals were passed through this route sometimes legally and often illegally. This kept on happening till 1950 when China shut down its border. The amount of trade accomplished in this narrow somewhat dangerous valley that it got named as the Silk Route.
If you are interested in geology, geography, politics, human history or simply nature then you will be fascinated by the Nubra Valley as it remains largely untouched by civilization and yet has seen frantic trade activity. The Siachen Glacier which is believed to be the second biggest glacier in the whole world is situated in the Nubra Valley. India and Pakistan have fought many battles in this ice-land but since 2003 there have been no further disturbances.
The Shyok Valley can be reached via the village Khardung and it is a place of immense natural beauty. You will see some of the oldest Tibetan monasteries in India inside this valley and all of them stand on acres of land which are separated from each other by huge chunks of rocky land. Surprisingly there are large numbers of wild camels9 Bactrian camels with 3 humps) in these parts and feral goats with long beards and big hairy coats.
Monasteries and Villages in Nubra ValleyNubra Valley houses many villages and monasteries which have many interesting tales to share. Check them out below:
Diskit VillageIt is the most commercial area of Nubra Valley but it’s still n larger than an overgrown village. There are many tiny shops here which sell Tibetan artifacts at surprising prices. The Diskit Gompa is a monastery which is artfully situated on top of a huge rock. Long engraved series of mounds with Buddhist Prayer and chants scribbled inside them are called Mani walls and they are uniquely found in Nubra Valley. You will also find Snow white domes called Chortens which contain holy relics owned by Buddhists.
The prayer session in the Diskit Monastery is an ethereal experience in itself with chanting monks dressed in iridescent amber gowns and resonating cymbals. If you have employed the services of a Ladakhi guide then you can witness the terrifying statue of a local deity carrying the head of a Mongol trespasser in its hands.
Hunder VillageAnother Village which can be of great tourist interest is the Hunder Village (land of Sand Dunes) which is about 10 KM away from Diskit Monastery. The Hunder village has been covered several times by national Geographic Chanel for its exquisite beauty. The Hunder village is known for the peculiar culture of Buddhist-Nurban heartlands which are mainly populated by Buddhists and Muslims. The Shyok River is of particular interest as it presents excellent opportunities for photography.
Turtok VillageTurtok is a tiny village quite near the Hunder Village and a mere 50 km away from Pakistan border. This village is famous for its Apricot orchards and almost 70% of the apricot production of India comes from Turtok village. The Turtok village has a Turtok Gompa and a handful of tourist lodges which offer basic facilities but make for an amazing authentic experience.
Sumur- Sumur is arguably the biggest village in Nubra Valley. There is a 19th century palace called Zamskhang over here which has great architectural and tourist value. If you want to eat decent meals in some other cuisine apart from typical food found in Leh then this is the best place. There are some shops here too and a beautiful Gompa called the Samastaling Gompa.