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Sightseeing in Nubra Valley

Sightseeing in Nubra Valley is all about visiting its various gompas, sulphur springs, and monasteries.

Beyond Khalsar, after crossing the confluence of the Shyok and Nubra Rivers, you reach Sumur, with the Samstem Ling Gompa. Built in 1841, this Gelugpa (Yellow Hats) monastery houses over a hundred monks. A large statue of Buddha, flanked by Maitreya and Mahakala dominates the Du-khang.

A two-hour ride beyond Sumur takes you to Panamik, best known for its hot sulphur springs. Traditional two-storey houses and prayer wheels are alternated with short scrubby vegetation leading down to agricultural fields next to the Nubra. A refreshing bath in the tubs at the hot springs does a lot for a travel weary body, with enough time left to explore the gompa across the river. Though the monastery is not in regular use, you can chance upon one of the monks who will show you what is believed to be the footprint of Tsong-kha-pa. Panamik is the northern-most town up to which travellers are allowed within India and is quite an interesting place to visit in Nubra Valley.

Turning westward along the Shyok River, you reach a vast expanse of sandy desert and boulder-filled landscape. The town of Diskit, tucked away along the mountainside is towered by the Karakoram and Ladakh Ranges. The old town with a gompa built in 1420 can be interesting sightseeing place in Nubra Valley for travellers.

Curious tales of a Mongol demon who was slain near the monastery are recounted when you enter the dark precincts. 7 kms north is the small village of Hundur, nestling within a forested patch. This is the farthest point to the west of Leh for visitors. Guesthouses and camps are available at Diskit, simple but quite adequate with food included in the charges.

Hundur has limited options, and can be covered from Diskit. Buses return to Leh from Diskit, taking about six hours for the journey. Diskit is also connected to by a bi-weekly bus service to Sumur and Panamik.

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