Ladakh The Shangrila

Ladakh The Shangrila -- Nubra Valley

Location: 150 km north of Leh
Altitude: 3500 m
Significance: Historical heartland of Ladakh
Also known As: Orchard of Ladakh

Places to see: Drok-pa village, Baigdandu village, Shyok Valley, Diskit and Hundar

How to spend time/Attractions: Camping, Photography, Trekking and Mountaineering. Nubra Valley is the geographical backbone, and the historical heartland of Ladakh.

The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La from Leh where one will first encounter the Shyok Valley. To enter the Nubra valley, one must cross over the Shyok River via a small bridge and pass through a military checkpoint. Non-locals require an "Inner Line" permit (easily obtained in Leh town) to pass. The Sasser Pass and the famous Karakoram Pass lie to the northwest of the valley which connect Nubra with Xinjiang. Previously there was much trade passing through the area with East Turkestan and Central Asia. The Nubra valley contains the small towns of Sumur and Panamik. Sumur has a Buddhist gompa or monastery while Panamik is noted for its hot springs. Most of the people are of mixed Tibetan and Central Asian origin and speak varieties of the Balti language.

The beautiful village of Baigdandu is located in the valley. Here one can suddenly find beautiful people boys and girls with startling blue eyes, auburn hair and ruddy cheeks as against the typical mongoloid features of the Ladakhis.

Buddhist monasteries flourished in the valley among which the famous Diskit Gompa. This monastery, over 350 years old, is the oldest in the Nubra region. It is also one of the largest.The monastery belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) Sect. The Nubra valley is accessible from Leh via a number of high passes. One of them is the Khardong-la, the highest motorable pass at 5600 m.