Monday, June 28, 2010

Nubra Valley in Ladakh

In Nubra there is an ancient Gompha, about 350 years old at Dikshit town. This Gompha is known for having spectacular view of the whole valley from its roof top.        ( Kashmir )

The road to the Nubra valley of Ladakh region passes through Khardung La which is considered the highest( 18380 ft or 5600m) motor able road in the world, from Leh, a distance of 170km. While going up in a vehicle on this road one feels out of breath in these rarefied air. Although, the duration of the drive in such rarefied air hardly lasts for an hour. There is nothing to worry on this context. But the awesome bareness of long mountain ranges around, with varying shades of colours on the ridges, dotted with small green patches of hamlet make the whole area picturesque. The view from Khardung La is surpassing. One sees endless peaks of Zansker ranges spread out in the front and the magnificent Saser Massif looming large overhead in the North.

Nubra has a fertile land. It was originally part of the trade route between Turkistan and Tibet. The valley produces fruits such as apples, apricots, walnuts and grapes. Besides this, grain and mustard are cultivated here. With scanty vegetation and virtually no rainfalls, special breed of sheeps are reared here which produce a special wool known for famous Pashmina or Karakul. Seabuck thorn is visible in large areas with lilac hue over the vast expanse of land make good scope for juices. River Nubra and river Shyok, both meander lazily through this broad and fertile land, often making way through the sandy beds, flowing northwest to join the river Indus in Baltistan(Pakistan).The altitude of Nubra Valley is a little less than that of Leh, between 10,000 ft or 3,050m at Hunder and 10,600ft or 3,230m at Panamik, with the summer temperature ranging between 15 to 20 degree C.             ( Gulmarg )

Double humped Bactrian camels are found in this remotest area of village Hunder in Nubra valley in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Anthropologist say that these double humped Bactrian camels are the left over breed of the camels that were used for transporting trade consignments in ancient times through the 'Silk Route', that connected Tibet-Turkistan-Central Asia and Roman empire at the other end. From India foreign travelers used to import cotton, spices, perfumes, sugar and opium. In return they exported silk, Chinese pottery, sheep wool and a special kind of meat, locally called 'dumbkath'(sheep).

These creatures abandoned in village Hunder, by the then passing caravans on the 'Silk Route' have been domesticated by some families for whom these double humped camels have become source of earning. The climatic condition, the geographical contours and surrounding of incredible sand dunes and long wide patches of sandy soil, dotted with thorny shrubs akin to the Sahara desert are conducive for the growth of this species. By appearance these animals are strong. They have a thick coating of fur which can sustain them to brave the harsh winter when temperature dips to minus 20 degrees and above in winters. These species are found in less numbers.

These animals are being used by foreigners as well as locals for their joy ride, along the sandy banks of river Nubra in the area, the last point for civilian movement. The road beyond this village leads to the Siachen glacier base. These camels are also used in winters and summers by the Indian army to carry luggage and ration from one point to another.         ( Adventure Tourism in kashmir )

In Nubra there is an ancient Gompha, about 350 years old at Dikshit town. This Gompha is known for having spectacular view of the whole valley from its roof top. Hunder village is 7km ahead from Dikshit town. The Gompha houses over 90 monks.

The other place of interest in Nubra valley is Panamik, a place of hot springs. Panamik is ahead of Tigre and Sumur villages in this far flung area. Samanling gompha, more than 150 years old, is easily approachable by road and even by foot from village Tigre. In Tigre village a women cooperative society performs cultural shows for tourists. They also sell hand spun and knitted garments to visitors. The money earned is used for the welfare of womenfolk in the region. The area is rich in poplar trees and the green belt has become a good nestling ground for various Himalayan birds and other migratory birds.

Camping facilities are available for staying at Hunder, Tigre and Sumur villages. At Dikshit and Nubra, good hotel accommodation is available.      ( World's highest motorable pass )

How to visit:-

Delhi to Leh by Air

From Leh to Nubra by road

Second choice:

By road from Delhi-Manali-Rohtang Pass-Leh( 2 days)

No comments: