Nubra Valley: Ladakh's Own Gateway to Beauty and Splendor

Photo of Nubra Valley: Ladakh's Own Gateway to Beauty and Splendor by Osheen jain

Nubra Valley is a mysterious place tucked up in the lap of the Himalayas that is filled with an enigmatic culture, mesmerizing valleys, double-humped camel rides, captivating sand dunes and challenging roads. The Shyok River meets the Nubra River in this mesmerizing village that separates the majestic Ladakh and Karakoram mountain ranges.

Nubra Valley is also known as a cold desert due to long stretches of Sand Dunes that offer a serene view between Hunder and Diskit. The rays of the sun bring life to the vast never-ending stretch of sand dunes, that proves you are at a high altitude cold desert.

If you are planning to visit Leh Ladakh, Nubra Valley is a must-see on your itinerary. In the current blog, I will be discussing how you can make the most of your visit to this surreal valley.

Nubra Valley: An Overview

Here's some handy information for Nubra Valley, that might help a first time traveller in planning a visit to Nubra valley.

Travelling to Nubra Valley

Photo of Nubra Valley: Ladakh's Own Gateway to Beauty and Splendor 1/1 by Osheen jain
View of Sun Rise from our Guest House

The most accessible and common route taken by travellers for Nubra Valley is via Khardung La. This happens to be the highest motorable pass in the world and has a different charm to it during early May. Although it is not too cold up here on clear days, one can suffer from sunburns when the sun is shining bright.

The distance between Nubra and Leh is 150 km and takes roughlt 5-6 hours.

Leave early for Nubra so you can enjoy a beautiful sunset from the sand dunes over barren mountains in Hunder. As the route has its own beauty and charm, you might want to take multiple haults for pictures, and need some extra time. Thus, leaving as early as possible after light breakfast is highly recommended.

How to reach from Leh to Nubra valley by Taxi?

Private taxis will charge you around 10000 INR or more for a 2 day trip to Nubra Valley. This will cover Dikshit and Hunder. If you wish to cover Panamik and Turtuk Villages, it will cost about 5000 INR over and above the previous cost.

How to reach from Leh to Nubra Valley by Bus

Nubra valley is fairly connected with Leh through public transport. For budget travellers, a bus is a great option to reach Nubra valley. You can take a direct bus from Leh to one of the locations and from there you can use the local bus or shared cabs to cover the others.

Tip: Do check the Bus timetable and chart at the Leh bus stand to confirm the timings as they are prone to changes.

Leh to Dikshit Bus Service

Three buses run from Leh to Dikshit every Saturday at about 6am from the bus stand in Leh. The same bus returns to Leh the next day.

Leh to Turtuk Bus Service

There is a direct bus from Leh to Turtuk. It runs every Saturday at 6.00 am from Leh bus stand. It returns to Leh the next day.

Leh to Hunder Bus Service

There is no direct bus to Hunder from Leh so you can take the bus to Skuru from Leh. It runs at 6 am from Leh, every Tuesday.

Accommodation Options in and around Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley ( Diskit and Hunder) can be visited in two days, and Pagnimik and Turtuk might require an extra night stay. The two main villages are Diskit and Hunder, where you can find guesthouse options that offer budget stay. They have well-maintained rooms and usually have a great view and small gardens to enjoy some quality time in the lap of the mountains.

As these two villages are only 11 km apart, taking accommodations in either village will not be a problem. During peak seasons, all guest houses are usually pre-booked. So, look up some good guesthouses online, contact the person in charge, and get your room booked beforehand. You might have to pay a small amount in advance for booking. This shouldn't be a problem as people here lead a simple life far away from deceit and fraud.

Places to Visit in and around Nubra Valley

There are four main villages that you should cover during your stay in Nubra Valley:

1. Maitreya Buddha

Splendid view of Nubra Valley from the Buddha Temple

Photo of Buddha Maitreya Temple, Khar Road, Leh by Osheen jain

Apart from these villages, a 32-meter tall statue of Maitreya Buddha facing towards the Shyok river has been built with 8 kg of gold. White Sand Dunes amidst mountains and the Bactrian Camels (double hump) Safari is the speciality of this valley.

2. Camel Safari in Sand Dunes

A view of vast Sand Dunes in Nubra Valley

Photo of Nubra Valley: Ladakh's Own Gateway to Beauty and Splendor by Osheen jain

People leaving for camel riding amid heavy winds

Photo of Nubra Valley: Ladakh's Own Gateway to Beauty and Splendor by Osheen jain

A double hump camel waiting for his owner

Photo of Nubra Valley: Ladakh's Own Gateway to Beauty and Splendor by Osheen jain

Among the picturesque landscape of mountains and sand dunes, one can enjoy the double hump camel safari in Nubra Valley. Costing as low as Rs 200 per person, one can really enjoy the double hump camels in Hunder village of Nubra Valley. This is a one of a kind experience, as double hump camel safari over sand dunes in the lap of Himalaya is something you don't want to miss.

A picture of me trying to survive the strong winds in Nubra Valley's sand dunes

Photo of Nubra Valley: Ladakh's Own Gateway to Beauty and Splendor by Osheen jain

In conversation with a local, I found out that there are two groups that run the Bactrian Camels safari and they have turns on alternate days. People here know how to live in peace.

Budget Travel to Nubra Valley

A trip to Nubra Valley during April end and early May will be quite different from a visit in peak season. This trip will be an enriching experience for its natural beauty and barren mountains that stretch for as far as your eyes can see. The trip to Nubra Valley can be stretched to 2 to 3 days depending on your length of travel as Pangong Tso, Chang La, Alchi, and Leh are also covered by most travelers in one trip. Plan for a ten to eleven days trip as Leh isn't something you want to rush about.