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A visit to Ladakh, no matter what duration can be considered incomplete without a visit to Nubra Valley. The Nubra Valley encompasses the region beyond Khardung La and consist of three Valleys, Shyok Valley lies to its east and South East, the Siachen region in the North, open only up to Panamik and the Hundar Region to the West and North West, that extends upto Turtok, newly opened to visitors. Some of the most interesting features of Ladakh can be found in the Nubra Region.

The Siachen Glacier (the highest Indian Army base) flows into the Nubra River, a tributary of the bigger Shyok river which runs parallel to the Indus in the south. Once an ancient trading route between Tibet and Turkistan, this valley is one of the most fertile regions of Ladakh. Local people call it Ldumra or the valley of flowers as one can find carpets of wild roses during summer and lavender after the monsoon. This region is also known for its ‘forests’ of the highly nutritious local orange berries called seabuckthorn. Farmers also grow apples, apricots and barley here.

Diskit (or Deskit) is the administrative capital of this area and also its main village. Between Deskit and Hundar (or Handar) lies an area which is full of sand dunes like any desert region in the plains. The double humped Bactrian camel can be found in this desert.  Beyond Hundar is an area where the Balti tribe lives known for their strikingly Greek features of blue eyes and brown hair.  This region near Turtok on the India-Pakistan border has been recently opened to visitors.

Nubra valley is accessible only through the high pass of Khardung La (18380 ft) once considered the highest motorable pass in the world. It is situated only 150kms from Leh and is dotted with ancient ruins and monasteries (Deskit, Ensa Gompa and Samtanling Gompa) which make trekking in the region that much more interesting.   

The nubra regions offers great opportunities to trek like Lasermo La that joins the Nubra region with Phyang, Nebuk La that connect Aghyam to Pangong Valley, Digar La that connect Aghyam to Saboo in the Leh Valley, Likir La connecting Likir with Nubra. Newer regions are opening up here. The Shyok river also offers possibility for rafting as the Shyok Valley along with the Saser Mustagh Range offers great peaks for Mountaineering like Saser Kangri, Mamostang Kangri, Rimo Range, Apasaras Range, Karpo Kangri, Argan Kangri etc.

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 02-Aug-2011 Nebuk La (Nubra Valley) View