Leh is the first town that we visited in Ladakh. It offers spectacular panoramic views of the Himalayas and the usual Saris and Kurtas of the lowlands was replaced by the traditional Tibetan/Ladakhi cloaks. Once in Leh, one of the must thing to do is to visit the Nubra Valley.
Nubra Valley is the northernmost Indian territories. Located about 150 km away from the city of Leh, this valley separates the Karakoram ranges and Ladakh. Compared to the rest of Ladakh, Nubra valley is a high altitude desert with low chance of precipitation except on the highest peaks. It offers a unique spectacle of snow-capped mountains, miles of sand dunes, vegetation and bare mountains along river banks all in one vista.
Because of the proximity to the borders, a special permit to go up in the Himalayas outside Leh is needed. Every travel agency offers this tour and they also arrange the permit for an additional cost. You have to go in groups of at least four though if you go by jeep and checkpoints along the way verify that you've properly entered/exited the area.
On the way to Nubra Valley, we passed by the highest motorable pass in the world at 18,380 feet. This pass is commonly known as the Khardung La Pass. I got a special feeling when I was at Khardung La knowing that it was the highest motorable road in the world (some say that a road in Tibet is higher than this pass). I along with my group moved around the pass and in just a moment we are all catching our breath. Before continuing our journey, our group decided to eat hot noodles at the only cafeteria in that area which they also considered as the highest cafeteria in the world.
Portable Comfort Rooms
After staying for a while in Khardung La, we continued our journey to Nubra Valley. The next check post was at North Pullu, where the road had stones of different sizes, watery and muddy too; making the ride all the more challenging.
The road after North Pullu was in good condition. We passed by a small village where the view of the Himalayas was magnificent. I remember that the entire view was like a painting. After a while, we finally reached Nubra Valley. I was really awed by the magnificent and natural beauty of nature that was in front of me.