Nubra valley & Pangong lake tour

Nubra valley & Pangong lake tour, Ladakh Map

OVERVIEW


This combined Nubra valley and Pangong lake tour will take you to some of the most amazing natural and cultural attractions of Ladakh.


You will first drive to the Nubra valley via Khardung La pass (5,602 metres) and visit Diskit monastery, Hunder sand dunes where you can enjoy a camel ride and Samstanling monastery in Sumur. With one or two extra days, you could add Turtuk village and Panamik hot spring in your itinerary.



Then, you will go to Pangong lake via a small and isolated road along the Shayok river. Finally, you will head back to Leh via Tangtse and Chang La pass (5,360 metres).



On the way back to Leh, you will visit the top attractions of the Indus valley: Chemrey monastery, Hemis monastery, Stakna monastery, Thiksey monastery, Shey palace and Stok palace.



You can decide whether you want to add Turtuk and Panamik in your itinerary. The duration of this tour depends on the number of places which you want to visit in the Indus valley:

  • Nubra valley and Pangong lake (3-day tour or 4-day tour) from ₹ 19,871 / car  
  • Nubra valley with Panamik and Pangong lake (3-day tour, 4-day tour or 5-day tour) from ₹ 21,117 / car  
  • Nubra valley with Turtuk, Panamik and Pangong lake (4-day tour or 5-day tour) from ₹ 27,151 / car  

Pangong Lake, Spangmik village, Nubra valley and Pangong lake tour, Ladakh
Diskit monastery in the Nubra valley, Nubra valley and Pangong lake tour, Ladakh

Places to visit during the Nubra valley & Pangong lake tour

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Khardung La Pass (5,602m)

Khardung La Pass (5,602m) with snow, Ladakh

Khardung La pass, at 5,602 meters above sea level, is the highest motorable road in the world. As the highest point of the trip to Nubra, it has become an attraction for the tourists. With a tinge of chilly wind and the overview of the landscape, the place provides a beauty of its own. Medical support for high altitude sickness and small eatery shops make the journey comfortable and memorable alike. Khardung La is well known as the gateway to the Nubra valley.

Diskit Monastery

Diskit gompa in the Nubra valley, Ladakh

Diskit is the administrative headquarter of Nubra valley. Diskit monastery is situated on a hill in the village that is both the oldest and the largest monastery in the whole valley. It belongs to the Gelugpa sect and was founded by Lama Jangsem Sherab Zangpo, one of the disciples Je Tsong Khapa. The monastery holds a splendid view of the valley with Shayok river leisurely snaking through. The massive statue of Maitreya Buddha is one of the major landmark of Nubra.

Hunder Sand Dunes

Camel at Hunder Sand Dunes, Nubra valley, Ladakh

Hunder sand dunes were formed after a historical flood in 1927. Today, these formations mesmerize the visitors with its beautiful landscape. The sand dunes are also famed for their double-humped Bactrian camels. You can relish your evenings strolling through the beautiful nature or enjoying an evening of folk dance and music by the local artists. The village also holds a historical importance as it enshrines the ruins and remains of the royal palace.

Sumur, Samstanling Monastery

Samstanling Monastery in Sumur, Nubra valley, Ladakh

Sumur village or Sum-yur, translates into ‘three streams’. Amidst the green fields and dense orchards of Sumur lies the beautiful monastery of Samstanling. The monastery was built in 1847 and is home to almost a hundred monk residents today. The village offers a quaint and blissful stopover while on your beautiful journey. A small sand dune can also be spotted and leisured in Sumur.

Turtuk

Turtuk village at sunset, Nubra valley, Ladakh

Turtuk village is known for its scenic beauty and its history. The village was once a part of Baltistan in Pakistan. However, in the Indo-Pak 1971 war, Turtuk was brought under India. The Balti culture can be witnessed distinctively through their food, clothes, and their language. While on your tour, you could also visit a Balti heritage museum, ruins of a Brokpa fort (the first settlers of Ladakh), a 16th-century old mosque and many such curious attractions.

Panamik Hot Spring

Nubra valley at Panamik village, Ladakh

Situated close to the Siachen glacier, Panamik is known for its hot water spring, considered to be therapeutic with medicinal benefits. The spring water contains high amount of sulphur, and the amchis (traditional doctors) recommend bathing in the hot springs to for cure rheumatism and many other ailments.

Shayok Valley

Shayok valley and river, road from Nubra to Pangong, Ladakh

Shayok valley is situated along the Shayok river. It is a "Yarkandi" (Central Asian) name probably christened by the Central Asian traders who ventured on this treacherous route for centuries. It is a part of the ancient trade route from Yarkand (Central Asia) to Ladakh. Today, a rough road stretches from Nubra to Shayok for tourist to explore.

Tangtse

Tangtse gompa, Ladakh

With around 40 households, Tangtse, erstwhile known as Dagtse which means “on the top of a hill or a crag”, refers to a small mound over which the village sits. The settlement is believed to be around 400 years old and currently serves as headquarter of Durbuk block of Changthang region. This small quaint village is the gateway to the famous Pangong Tso.

Pangong Lake

Prayer flags at Pangong lake (Pangong Tso), Ladakh

Pangong lake is known for its mesmerizing beauty, breathtaking views and also for its strategic importance. One-fourth of the lake is in India and the rest in Tibet where it is known as Tso Nyak (the Black Lake). It is around 145 km from Leh and in recent years, many Bollywood movies have been shot around the lake. Also, due to its geopolitical relevance, the lake flashes in the media quite often. These factors have resulted Pangong Tso gain prominence in the tourism industry.

Spangmik

Field at Spangmik, Pangong lake, Ladakh

Spangmik is a small settlement on the bank of Pangong lake. In summer, tourists can halt or stayover at the camps or homestays in the village. The small settlement is situated between Pangong lake and Thang Chenmo mountains close to the Chinese border. Due to its strategic importance, the Indian army keeps the village accessible. Therefore, it can be visited round the year.

Chang La Pass (5,360m)

Road over Chang La Pass (5,360m), Ladakh

Chang La pass, at an elevation of 5,360 m, is one of the high mountain passes in Ladakh. The climb is steep with chilly wind. We advise not to stay for long on the top of the pass as it might cause high altitude sickness. However, the treacherous valley opens up into green pastures and vastness of plains as descending towards Changthang.

Chemrey Monastery

Chemrey Gompa (monastery), Ladakh

In the way to Chang La, you can visit the Chemrey monastery perched majestically on a crag. It has an assembly hall, protector’s chamber, Dolma lakhang and a statue of Guru Rinpoche. In the 17th century, Lama Stagtsang Raspa founded the monastery under the aegis of King Sengge Namgyal. The monastery also has a small museum displaying old artefacts and antiques. The annual festival of the monastery is observed in of the ninth month of Lunar Calendar.

Hemis Monastery

Buddha statue, Hemis monastery, Ladakh

Hemis gompa is the biggest and the richest monastery of Ladakh. It was founded by Lama Stagsang Raspa and is associated with Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Hemis is known for its frescos, sculptures and statues. The monastery enshrines a beautiful thangka of Padmasambhava, displayed for public once every twelve years during the Hemis festival. Hemis Tsechu, the monastic festival, is celebrated in the fifth month of Tibetan Calendar.

Stakna Monastery

Stakna Monastery, Ladakh

Stakna monastery sits on a small hillock that appears like a tiger’s nose (Stak-na). Chosje Modzin, a Bhutanese scholar, founded it in the 16th century. The monastery belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and is headed by Stakna Rinpoche. It has no tradition of the sacred mask dance but celebrates the hurling of votive offerings.

Thiksey Monastery

Thiksey Monastery and mani wall, Ladakh

The spectacular Thiksey monastery is located 20 km from Leh. The famed monastery resembles the Potala palace of Lhasa in Tibet. It has four main edifices: the assembly hall, deity shrine, Tara Goddess and Maitreya Buddha temple. Rest of the monastery consists of quarters for the monks. This grand monastery also has a library housing scriptures and Buddhist texts. The monastery was founded by Jangsem Sherab Sangpo in 15th century.

Shey Palace

Shey Palace with mountains, Ladakh

Shey palace was built in the memory of King Sengge Namgyal by his son Deldan Namgyal in 1655. It served as the capital of Ladakh and the ruins of the first palace could be still found in its vicinity. The Palace is famous for the huge statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. The palace-cum-temple comprises of an assembly hall, the main temple and a shrine. Since the monastery is affiliated to Hemis gompa, it is associated with the Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Stok Palace

Stok Royal Palace, Ladakh

The Namgyal dynasty traces its origin to its founder, Lhachen Pal-gi-gyon who reigned on Ladakh in the 10th century. Stok palace was built by them in 1820, and continues as residence to the Namgyal descendants. The four-storied palace overlooks the Stok village. Every floor has a courtyard for the king and his family to enjoy the picturesque sight below.

Best time to visit Nubra valley & Pangong lake

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Pangong lake in winter and in summer, Ladakh

Tips for planning a trip to Nubra valley & Pangong lake

Altitude and acclimatization

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Permit for Nubra valley & Pangong lake

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Phone and Internet service in Nubra valley & Pangong lake

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Accommodation in Nubra valley & Pangong lake

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Monk at Diskit monastery, Nubra valley, Ladakh

Suggested itineraries for Nubra valley & Pangong lake

Nubra valley and Pangong lake (3-day tour)

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Nubra valley and Pangong lake (4-day tour)

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Nubra valley with Panamik and Pangong lake (3-day tour)

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Note: In 3 days, you will be able to spend only a small amount of time at each location. If you want more time for the visits, we recommend that you to do this tour in 4 days or more xxxxxxxxxx.

Nubra valley with Panamik and Pangong lake (4-day tour)

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Nubra valley with Panamik and Pangong lake (5-day tour)

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Nubra valley with Turtuk, Panamik and Pangong lake (4-day tour)

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Nubra valley with Turtuk, Panamik and Pangong lake (5-day tour)

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Author: Lhundup Gyalpo
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