The spectacular drive from Leh to the Nubra Valley crosses the Khardong La (5602m), the world’s highest motorable mountain pass. From the pass, one can see all the way south over the Indus valley to seemingly endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range, and north to the giants of the Saser massif. The villages in the Nubra Valley (meaning Green) are irrigated and fertile, producing wheat, barley, peas, mustard for oil, and a variety of fruits and nuts, including apple, walnut, apricot and even a few almond trees. Before partition, the Nubra Valley was a centre for trade, as the famous Silk Route passed through this area. Every year,over 10,000 pack animals - horses, yaks, Bactrian camels, and an especially sturdy breed of local sheep - traversed the Nubra region, carrying Varanasi brocades, Chinese silks, pearls, spices, Indian tea, pashmina wool, salt, indigo, opium,carpets, and gold.

These days, international borders mean that the valley is completely cut off from the outside world for 8 months of the year, but from June to Spetember when the pass connecting it with Leh is open, it becomes an enchanting, and enchanted, place to visit. Surrounded by high mountains, the valley is in a rain shadow, and so remains dry, with pleasant sunny days,and cool nights, throughout the summer. Once in the valley, distances are short and roads are well maintained. It is a very beautiful area, inhabited by exceptionally friendly Ladakhi people, and life seems tranquil and idyllic here.

What to see

Getting There

General information