Nubra Valley

Tourism in Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley is among the top places to explore in Ladakh and is probably on every traveler’s bucket list. The beauty, the landscapes, and the excitement of being in a surreal place invite thousands of travelers every year to the ‘Land of High Passes’. Nubra Valley is fondly called the ‘Orchard of Ladakh’ and was originally named Ldumra meaning the ‘Valley of Flowers’. Located approx. 160 km from Leh, the valley is surrounded by snow-clad Himalayan mountains and is sandwiched between Tibet and Kashmir.

Nubra Valley is primarily famous for its Bactrian Camels, which have two humps, unlike other camels we have learned about. There is a Bactrian Camel Safari organized at Hunder Sand Dunes, which will make your trip here memorable.

This valley falls on the ancient Silk Route and till date is a major trade center for woolen textiles like Pashmina wool and horticultural crops. Plus, apples, apricots, almonds, walnuts, wheat, barley, etc. are the local produce of Nubra Valley.

After passing the magnificent views and one of the highest motorable roads in the world, Khardung La, you will reach the Nubra Valley. If you look at the valley from far, it seems parched and dry, which is not true. Also, this region is predominantly Buddhist and thus, has various centers of Buddhist learning. For instance, Diskit Monastery and Hundur Monastery.

Here is the detailed information about Nubra Valley -

Note: Considering the volatile nature of the Ladakh region, an Inner Line Permit needs to be obtained to visit Nubra Valley and other places in Ladakh by Indians. For foreign nationals, a Protected Area Permit (PAP) is issued to visit Nubra Valley. You can get an Inner Line Permit issued from the District Magistrate’s Office (in person). For Protected Area Permit, choose Tourism of India and get a smooth experience.


The altitude of Nubra Valley

The valley is situated at a height of 3,048 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level.

Best Time to Visit Nubra Valley

Summer is the best time to head to this valley as you get to experience the pleasant weather and witness the greenery. As winter approaches, Nubra Valley starts to look like the surface of the moon, which is why it is also referred to as the Moonland.

How to Reach Nubra Valley

By Air


To reach Nubra Valley, Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport in Leh is the nearest airport. 120 kilometers from the airport, the valley can be accessed by a private cab or bus after your flight. The Srinagar Airport in Jammu and Kashmir is also a convenient air travel option. This domestic airport is serviced by almost air carriers of the country compared to the airbase at Leh.

By Train


The nearest railhead to Nubra Valley is Jammu Tawi Railway Station. The railway station is 370 kilometers away. The rail routes ends here as it it’s the northernmost reach of the railways in India. From the railway station, a private cab or bus takes you to the valley.

By Road


The most convenient and scenic option of travelling to Nubra Valley is by road. Use the National highway to reach Leh and then the Khardung La pass road. The valley is well-connected to important tourist destinations of India such as Leh, Manali and Delhi. Apart from private taxis/cabs, private and state-run buses ply the route on a regular basis. There are both, air-conditioned and regular bus services.

Tourist Attractions in Nubra Valley

Diskit is the administrative center of the Nubra Valley. It is nestled on the edge of a desert on the Shyok-side valley, eight hours away, on the other side of the Khardong La (La means Pass). To reach this place one should carry along plenty of water, because the increase in height by over 2000 meters, can give anybody severe headache and nausea. The road is paved till south Pulu, a military check post, where the permits are checked and the details entered. This is an unforgettable excursion that makes Indiana Jones look like a kindergarten excursion.

Surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, the distinct smell of smoky kitchens, goats, chang (local brew) and butter tea and the fatal edge of the 100-meter sheer cliffs always closer than one really appreciates. One can spot various modes of transportation hundred meters below, at their final resting place.

Surrounded by the rising mountains of the Himalayas and superb views down the Leh valley, the thrill is replaced by a feeling of utmost beauty. Snow lingers all year round on the mountains with prayer-flag topped peaks. A literally breathtaking experience indeed. 

Descending into the valley, only the first few km are tricky. Soon, following a mellow stream, one would come into a surprisingly green landscape with rugged stone formations rising up into the sky with the peaks in the background. They look like they have been poured over with sugar. A real fairy tale landscape. As drastically as the landscape had changed from 'moon-land' on top of the Khardong La to a green oasis, one would enter a desert, easily comparable to the Thar in Rajasthan.

Diskit seems like a ghost town, an oasis of tranquility. An enjoyable day's walk brings one to Somoor, half way to Panamik. Army trucks are the only means of transportation in the valley.

A Ladakhi meal is served sitting around the massive black stove in the kitchen, the most important room in any Ladakhi house. It is the place to warm up on a freezing winter night, the place where the family meets, the homework is done and the prayers are said.

Tiger is only another three km towards Panamik. It makes an easy afternoon stroll, inhaling the beauty and the calmness of the impressive, stimulating countryside. Coming across a local, one can be sure to be greeted with a warm smile and a joyful Julee.

The furthest place the permit allows one to visit in the valley is Panamik, the last settlement of any size before the Tibetan border. It's not very wise to proceed further than the provided barrier at the northern edge of the town since this is a rather sensitive border area. It is completely controlled by the Indian Army, usually with very friendly soldiers.

The 250 years old Ensa Gompa, nestled on top of a rock overlooking snow-peaked mountains across the valley is much further away than it looks. It takes at least a six-hour walk to reach, which involves crossing the river at Hargam. The hot springs on the outskirts of Panamik invite one for a literally sizzling bath experience, which will most probably be the first contact with hot water since one leaves Leh.

The Nubra Valley is one of the last treasures of our planet, living in sheer isolation for most of the year in the heart of the great Himalayas. A real Shangri La, with no 'Baywatch', no mobile phones and no Ray Ban sunglasses.

Places to Visit in Nubra Valley

On your stay in Nubra Valley, don’t forget to visit these attractions -

  • Diskit Monastery
  • Maitreya Buddha
  • Samstanling Gompa, Sumur
  • Yarab Tso Lake
  • Turtuk Village
  • Panamik Village

Things to do in Nubra Valley

Here are the famous things to do in Nubra Valley to make your stay more exciting -

  • Camel Safari at Hunder Sand Dunes
  • Quad Biking at Hunder Sand Dunes
  • Camping

Accommodation in Nubra Valley

Places to Stay in Nubra Valley

You will find guesthouses and tents for camping at the mid-budget range in Nubra Valley. For deluxe camps, go to Sumur or stay in a hotel at Hunder.

Some popular hotels in Nubra Valley -

  • Hotel Sten-Del
  • StepInn Nubra Valley
  • Lchang Nang Retreat
  • Hotel Real Siachen

Some popular camps in Nubra Valley -

  • Nubra Ethnic Camp
  • Mystique Meadows Camp
  • Apple Nubra Cottage
  • Valley Flower Camp

More Tourist Destinations in Ladakh

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