What Diskit is to the Shyok Valley, Sumur is to the Nubra. It’s another somewhat spread-out village with many charming houses. The main attraction here is Samstanling Gompa which stands behind and above the village at the foot of barren mountains. Built in the 1840s, it’s been considerably modernised yet still preserves an ethereal atmosphere along with two main prayer halls. Nearby and looming over the ruins of an ancient village, the atmospheric crumbling Zamskhang is now being restored. Often described as a ‘palace’ but actually a local governor’s home (probably from the 19th century when Ladakh’s royal family still resided in Leh’s palace), it’s worth a brief detour.Continuing up the valley, you might pause at Terisha Tso, a tarn completely hidden in a bowl of jagged ridges. There’s a tiny shrine here and under clear blue skies it’s a gorgeous spot. Nearby Panamik is, for foreign tourists, more or less the end of the Nubra Valley road and its hot springs barely merit a glance. The real aim of coming here is to cross the Nubra River and head back down its western bank towards Ensa Gompa.Perched high above the valley, a brand new access road with tight hairpin bends climbs steeply to Ensa, once probably the last word in beautifully remote Nubran monasteries. This ancient gompa is being expanded and while construction work has, for now, diminished the atmosphere, its original small hall remains intact. Located amidst a spring-fed hollow greened by dwarf willows, it’s still a ravishing spot. Two slender trails connect the gompa with the main valley road far below and, at least for the southern route, you’ll need to tread very carefully while descending the increasingly vertiginous path.
Situated in Sumur village of the picturesque Nubra Valley, the Samstanling Monastery is considered to be an important Buddhist shrine. The founder of this monastery was Lama Tsultim Nima, who establishes it is 1841 (probably the newest that we visited). Painted in bright and beautiful shades of re, golden and white, the gompa can be spotted from a distance. The flights of stairs that lead to the shrine is also colored in red and adorned with brightly colored traditional prayer flage. Point to be noted: Doors. Awesome bright red doors.