As it is rightly said, ‘Journey is often better than the destination”, no other experience upholds this sentence more justly than a trip to the hidden Shangri-la that is Nubra Valley. While the valley itself has lots to offer, what with its green barley fields, sparkling blue water, and endless sand-dunes with bacteria camels trotting about; it is the breath-taking path to the valley that delights travelers the most. From its extremely narrow roads to some unbelievable sharps and cuts, the road to this green wonderland is paved with its fair share of difficulties and challenges which certainly adds to the adventure. However, keeping aside the swooping roads and hilarious road signs, this journey is a visual joyride, offering a spectacular 360-degree view of several mountain ranges in a surreal, dreamlike manner.
The Ladakh range, on which one drives to reach the Nubra Valley, is a segment of the Karakoram mountain ranges in Nubra Valley that extends to the southeast for 370 km from the mouth of the Shyok River in the Ladakh region to the Tibetan border. With a crest line of about 6,100 m, the range parallels the northeast bank of the Indus River. Composed entirely of granite, these rugged and jagged mountains experience temperatures up to 30 degree Celsius in summers and -30 degree Celsius in winters, standing testimony to the unusual weather of this region.
One can also spot the Stok range, the home to the famous Stok Kangri peak which is the part of mountain ranges in Nubra Valley, situated towards the south of Leh, originating from the sparsely green Stok Valley. For the most part of the year, Stok Kangri is covered in a sheet of white snow, adding to the exhilaration of a number of tourists who climb it every year. One also gets to cross the renowned Hemis National Park of its snow leopard fame while making this expedition to the peak.
From the Khardung-la, one can see all the way south over the Indus valley to the seemingly endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range composed of sharp, serrated peaks, separating the Zanskar region from Ladakh. The show stealer is, of course, the mighty Karakoram, lining the landscape almost symmetrically, with its pointy, snow-capped peaks lining a clear, blue sky. Home to the Siachen Glacier, this range extends all the way from Pakistan to India and finally to China. One can easily see the Saser Kangri from here, the easternmost subrange of the Karakoram Range.
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