The Nubra Valley in Ladakh is a high-altitude valley on the Nubra and Shyok rivers. Nubra was once on the Silk Route between Tibet and Turkestan and the valley is a mix of desert sand dunes and lush green villages.
On the Shyok River, the main village, Diskit, is home to the dramatically positioned Diskit Gompa. Hundar was the capital of the erstwhile Nubra kingdom in the 17th century, and is home to the Chamba Gompa. Between Hundar and Diskit lie several kilometres of sand dunes, and bactrian camels graze in the neighbouring "forests" of seabuckthorn. Non-locals are not allowed below Hundar village into the Balti area, as it is a border area.
The beautiful village of Baigdandu is also located in this area. There is a marked presence of people with startling blue eyes, auburn hair and rosy cheeks as against the typical mongoloid features of the Ladakhis. Local lore has it that they were a Greek tribe who came in search of Jesus Christ's tomb and eventually settled here. Baigdandu is also known for the goats that give you the famous Pashmina shawls.
As with the rest of Ladakh, the religion is mainly Tibetan Buddhism meaning that there are many gompas to visit. Diskit Gompa that hangs from the edge of a cliff above a pretty village is particularly spectacular.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...