Nubra valley, the northern most region of Ladakh occupies a special position in the religious, trade and cultural history of ladakh. This valley is considered to be the most charming and beautiful in the whole of Ladakh. Nubra is famous for different species of flora and fauna. For this reason the region itself is otherwise sometimes known as Ldumra the garden of flowers. Nubra boasts some of the greatest monasteries which are definitely worth visiting. There is a tradition of visiting the area for pilgrimage to see the old monasteries and historical sights, such as the natural rock statues of Gonpo Kagyat i.e. the 8 manifestations statues of Mahakala. For this reason nubra is otherwise considered as Mandala of Mahakala. And ofcourse, many visitors come here to enjoy camel safari in famous Nubra sand dunes. Nubra valley is ideal for travellers with passion for the outdoors. The landscape is majestic, composed of rugged lofty ridges interspersed with seabuck thorn forest, white sand dunes, spectacular snow peaked mountain and glacier melted rivers & streams. Valley lies in beyond Khardongla pass, the highest Motorable Road in the world, 18380 ft above sea level.
FORMATION OF SAND DUNES AND ABOUT THE BACTRIAN CAMELS SANDUNE
Before 1929, the area where we can see the famous sand dune was covered with thick dense forest of seabuck throne; in fact, it was difficult to pass through it. But in 1929, forest got washed away by last major flood due to bursting of Khomdam Lake. Fortunately or unfortunately, most of the Nubra region was left barren with flood plain. The sands on the river bed got accumulated by wind current to form present sand dunes.
Literal meaning of Hunder is hun-first, ter to-established, as it name goes this village was the first to establish in Nubra valley. Hunder village is the largest, the most beautiful and charming village. Hunder was the capital of Nubra valley when this valley was under the King Bagaram. His ruined palace and his private shrine can be still seen and worth visiting. He was famous for constructing skalzang mani wall on which there is a stone engraving of thousands Buddha s name,which is unique in entire Ladakh and Tibet too. Hunder, a quaint little hamlet in Nubra Valley, located just 125 kms or 4-5 hours journey by road from Leh is perched at an altitude of over 10,200 fts. Village offer a spectacular view of 360 degree of the snow clad mountain and covered with a glittering blanket of white sand dune in lower region like a bride. With summer temperature ranging from 10-25 degree Celsius, and between minus 5 to 18 degrees in winter, the pleasant climates & lush green , natural environs of Hunder offer a welcome respite from the heat and dust laden environ of crowded cities and town in the plain. Caravan of Bactrian camels in the white sand dune, gurgling stream snaking through the sand dunes, shepherds hawking to flocks of sheep, lone eagle hovering above . Hunder offers a serene experience in the lap of nature, discerning tourist seeking a communion with nature untouched, untamed and unspoilt can enjoy many pleasant surprises waiting to be discovered.
Perhaps the most important thing to do whenever you are travelling to high altitude is to acclimatize yourself well. Do not start your adventure the very morning you land in Leh. Plan your trip in such a way that you have at least 3 days (while it is advisable to acclimatize for a week) in hand. Take rest. Get used to the altitude, weather and water. Drink plenty of water and always keep yourself covered up. Even if you feel the slightest discomfort, consult a doctor. Remember to get your BP checked and do not indulge in extensive travelling if you have a high BP. You might feel dryness of throat and nose, which is okay.
Always have layered clothing on. You might feel that just a T-shirt and jeans with a heavy jacket is enough to keep you warm but no, thats not the way to go about it. Ladakh is a very windy place, and by windy, I mean the kind of wind that makes your eyes burn and bones freeze. Get your thermals on. Always wear socks and hand gloves. And the most important bit: keep your head covered no matter how warm you feel already with all the clothes on
Yes, all of us girls love to take our fancy boots out the moment we step into a cold hilly region. But Ladakh is not a place for fashion. Get thick soled lightweight trekking /mountain shoes. I would recommend only trusted brands like Woodland, Quechua, Solomon for this. If you really want to enjoy the region you might want to trek long ways. These shoes will help you get a solid grip and enough comfort while climbing uphill.
While Leh is a very modern town and buzzing with tourists during the peak season, certain parts in the region may not be that happening. The barren terrain is home to Buddhists and Shia Muslims. The closer you move towards the Kashmir Valley you find the Sunni population dominating. It is advisable to respect the peace and nature. Cover your head. Do not show skin and be polite. These are very simple and friendly people who understand Hindi and English as well and are ever smiling and helpful. Do not take pictures of the local people without permission.
Ladakh is not a place that you can visit just about anytime. Do your homework well. The NH1 and the passes connecting the region are usually cut off during winters. Zozila Pass opens only after May 15. The best time to visit is between June and August.. There are regular flights from Delhi to The airport is small but pre paid cabs are available.