Known for the vast stretches of sand dunes surrounded by the majestic mountains, gorgeous monasteries, with Bactrian camels roaming around – Nubra Valley is situated in the northernmost corner of the country, offering a unique landscape and scenic vistas. Located at a distance of about 150 km from Leh, Nubra Valley was originally known as the ‘Orchard of Ladakh’, as numerous varieties of flowers grow here.
Located at an altitude of 3048 m, Nubra Valley extends up to Turtuk to the northwest and Siachen Glacier to the northeast with the Sasser and Karakoram Pass connecting Nubra with Xinjiang, forming the Old Silk Route.
Crossing the awe-inspiring Khardung La, and driving along the Shyok River on the winding roads – we finally made it to the valley that separates Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. Never before have I seen anything like this – where the river bank merges the sand dunes, with a patch of lush grassland beyond the barren lands, and the snowclad peaks stretching till the horizon where the clouds occasionally peck a kiss on them!
Finding Our Way To Nubra Ecolodge:
While on one side of the Shyok River lies the popular places like Hunder & Diskit known for camel riding and pristine monasteries, on the other side, there are less popular villages like Sumur & Panamik which are no less beautiful. Most travelers prefer to stay in Hunder where the number of homestays/ guesthouses is in abundance, we opted to stay in Nubra Ecolodge in Sumur.
Run by a local family who firmly believes in sustainability & ecotourism, Nubra Ecolodge is the perfect place to unwind amidst nature while witnessing the breathtaking views of the mountains & the changing colors of the sky, living in comfort & gorging on delicious home-cooked meals, and of course, spotting the Milky Way!
The 11-acre farmland surrounding the Ecolodge has been planted with poplar, willow, apricot, and apple trees, along with vegetable gardens. It commands a 360-degree view of the Karakoram mountains as well as the Sumur sand dunes on the banks of the Nubra River.
Accommodation At Nubra Ecolodge:
There are 5 Cottages with decks and 4 Safari Swiss Tents with decks and ensuite bathrooms, all facing either the snow-capped mountains or the Nubra River valley. The main lodge has 4 guestrooms on the first floor with a huge terrace overlooking the orchards, and the mountains. There’s a dining hall on the ground floor of the main building, as well as an open deck to sit and chill.
Cottages – The cottages are meant to offer you the best experience of the Nubra valley landscape, surrounded by a view of the mountains, the sand dunes, and the river flowing at a distance. You can simply curl up in the cozy corner and gaze at the splendid views through the large windows of these cottages.
Safari Swiss Tents – If you’re looking for a more rugged yet splendid experience, then you must opt to stay at one of the Safari Tents which offers spectacular views of the mountains and valley. The tents form a decent-sized room on a large platform with an attached bathroom as well as a large deck where you can sit and enjoy your morning cup of tea, filling your lungs with freshness.
Guest Rooms – The large guest rooms on the first floor of the main building are perfect for families and can easily accommodate 3 people in each room, which comes with an extra bed. The rooms have a desk where one can sit and work, while enjoying the mountain views. There’s a huge terrace connecting all the rooms, and it’s the perfect place to sit and spot the stars at night.
How To Reach:
From Leh, you can get a cab or a bike to Nubra Valley which will take around 5 to 6 hours, crossing Khardung La. Once you reach the Nubra Filling Station (a petrol pump located at a T-point), take the Sumur-Panamik Route. Crossing the Nubra River, drive straight for around 20 minutes, until you find the board of Nubra Ecolodge. Turn left and drive off-road for 2 minutes, and you’ll reach this gorgeous property.
Things To Note:
– While network connectivity is poor in this region, the Ecolodge provides WiFi facilities.
– Only the postpaid BSNL mobile network will work in Nubra Valley.
– For Indian Nationals, Inner Line Permits are required to travel to Nubra, which you can get here.
– In the present situation, the property requires a mandatory RT-PCR report (tested before reaching Leh) along with ID proof.
Cost for 2: 7000 INR + tax (including Dinner & Breakfast)
If you plan to visit Nubra Valley during your next Ladakh Trip, make sure to spend at least a night here at the Nubra Ecolodge and embrace the best of nature that’s there in store for you!