About 10km west of Diskit stands Hunder village. Camels can often be seen grazing on the dune-like landscape between the foot of the mountains and the braided Shyok River. It’s a pretty village, ideal for ambling, with a small roadside monastery known as Chamba. Opposite the gompa, a long mani wall indicates part of a traditional pilgrims’ route orbiting several other shrines set high in the cliffs. You can follow a lovely trail clockwise up into the hills ‒ it might look implausible but is straightforward, though you’ll need a head for heights ‒ which skirts another medieval watchtower and more terrific views.A recently opened stretch of the Shyok Valley which descends gradually towards Pakistan is now drawing more travellers. From Diskit or Hunder the approximately 90km journey to Turtok makes a fine day-trip. It’s a gorgeous drive, the generally well-metalled road shadowing the spectacular river valley for much of the way with occasional detours through great boulder fields. And wild though it is, several scattered villages reveal a clear transformation from the mainly Buddhist Nubran heartland around Diskit to an overwhelmingly Muslim culture towards Turtok.An elderly monk pauses in the modest prayer hall of Chamba Monastery in Hunder village in the Shyok River valley. Locals here speak Balti just as their neighbours do in the adjoining Pakistani region known as Baltistan. Several villages stand high above the main road and Turtok is among the largest and prettiest. Famed for its apricots, you might easily spend a few hours strolling through the village and across its fields to a tiny and still-maintained little gompa perched on a low ridge. There are a handful of simple guesthouses catering to its embryonic tourism; it’s a friendly but conservative place so visitors really should tread sensitively.
After finishing off our rides the next stop was the Diskit Monastery. It was only few minutes away from the camel ride point but the road to this monastery is so picturesque ! Diskit Monastery is one of the oldest & the largest Buddhist monastery in Nubra. The highlight of this monastery is the 32 metre statue of Maitreya Buddha near Diskit Monastery facing down the Shyok River towards Pakistan.
The sand dunes of Nubra are not my favourite, but then its very subjective. What I did love was the amazing two humped camel, thats indigenous to this territory. The place is ideal for photography and some amazing reflections and scenes can be captured.
After the lunch we drove for another 30 minutes and reached Hunder. This place is famous for the Bhaag Milkha Bhaag spot where you can see Farhan Akhtar training for the games in the movie. This place is also famous for its ATV rides. We spent good 40-50 minutes waiting for our turn since there are just 3 ATV bikes available here.This was my first time on an ATV and boy did I enjoy !! I tried to operate the bike but the handles were too tight for me. So, I let the boy take control. And let me tell you the one pillion riding enjoys more. They take you over the sand dunes, stop by on a river side and click your pictures. Amazing experience !Overall this was a fun experience and I would highly recommend this place.Cost: INR 500 per person
It was now around 5 in the evening, so we left for Hunder where we spent the night at Wachan Guest house. Now, you have the option to stay in Diskit as well but we chose Hunder because it is quiet-er and closer to the Camel ride site which we had planned for the next day.PS: We LOVED the guest house and the hosts were very warm and welcoming.We had our dinner at a restaurant called Bonfire. It was close by and we loved the ambiance. But the food was a total disappointment. Not one item that we had ordered came out to be good. A big THUMBS DOWN from us.The food at the guest house on the other hand was very homely and we relished their french fries.