Nubra Valley

True to its name, the ‘Nubra’, which essentially means green, is a fertile and well-cultivated oasis, in the face of a wide, formidable expanse of sand. Nubra Valley is often referred to as the ‘Great Himalayan Desert’, it does absolute justice to the absurdly magnificent landscape of the Ladakh region as a whole, for where else would you find sand dunes and camels on a mountain?

Nubra - valley

Local scholars even say that its original name was Ldumra i.e. ‘the valley of flowers’, clearly demarcating the area as the greenest in all of the district. The region comprises of two rivers─ Nubra and Shyok that cross barren lands and jagged mountains, and eventually form tiny little valleys composed of habitable villages that boast of the best climate in the otherwise arid and stark region, a claim I can personally support from my overnight stay at a cozy hotel in Nubra. While it was still cold for city amateurs like us, Nubra was certainly a warm break from the harsh cold of Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri.

In addition to its striking landscape and balmy weather, the region also has a rich history to brag about. For instance, not everybody knows that several local communities once participated in an extraordinary trans-Himalayan trade network through this route. For centuries, huge caravans of wool, opium, spices and precious materials such as coral and turquoise, gold and indigo were transported through hazardous passes between Leh and Yarkand (in China). While the trade died in the late 1950s when China sealed its borders, it gave this valley a uniquely nostalgic reputation in the sub-continent.

Sharing boundaries with three countries, Nubra Valley has dealt with several geopolitical conflicts and border disputes over the years. However, this hasn’t deterred tourists as hoards of adrenaline junkies are spotted braving their way through the treacherous Khardung-la pass (in addition to the extremely steep roads and bends along every corner), the highest motorable road in the world that advises you do not exceed your little sojourn beyond 20 minutes, to reach this exquisite piece of land, nestled between the most surreal mountains and skies.

A getaway to the largely inaccessible Siachen glacier, Nubra Valley, with its tiny hamlets of handsome homes and barley fields, thrown in with ancient Buddhist monasteries and a handful of Bactrian camels, seems like the final pit stop for those who crave human touch, before plunging into the unnerving world of icy-glaciers and piercing winds.

Also, check out:

Nubra Valley:

Geography of Nubra Valley

Mountain Ranges in Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley

Things to do in Nubra Valley


Additional information about Ladakh

Adventure Sports in Ladakh

Best time to visit Ladakh

Demography of Ladakh

Festivals of Ladakh

Flora of Ladakh

Frequently asked questions about Ladakh

Geography of Ladakh

Health and safety precautions for Ladakh

History of Ladakh

Information on Ladakh

About Ladakh

Monuments and Museums in Ladakh

Passes in Ladakh

Shopping in Ladakh

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About Leh

Attractions in Leh

Authentic food of Leh

Connection of Leh with nearby places

Palaces in Leh

Information on Leh

Monasteries in Leh

How to get to Leh?



History of Pangong

Pangong – Flora and Fauna and Geography

Tso Moriri:

Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri – Flora and Fauna

Tso Moriri Trek Map


Zanskar – Flora and Fauna

Zanskar Range

Zanskar River


Shyok and Siachen

Solang Valley


Sumur and Tegar

Parang La Trekking


Parang-La-Pass Trek Map

Stok Kangri Trek Map

Tarsar Marsar Trek Map