Nubra Valley

Key Points
  • Ideal Duration: 1 day
  • Best Time: Jun-Sep
  • Nearest Airport: Leh

Nubra Valley is located towards North East of Ladakh Valley. From sources of old people reveal that the real name of Nubra was Ladumra which means Valley of Flowers. This huge ancient beauty dates back to the second century BC. Like the rest of the Tibetan plateau, Nubra is a high-altitude cold desert with scarce rainfall and little vegetation except on the river banks. The villages that produce wheat, barley, peas, mustard and a variety of fruits and nuts are irrigated and fertile, including blood apple, walnut, apricot and almond trees. Most of the Nubra Valley is inhabited by Nubra Boli or Nubra Scottish speakers. The majority are Buddhists. In the western or lowest elevations of the Nubra Valley near the Line of Control, i.e. the Indo-Pak border, along the Shyok River, there are Gilgit-Baltistan, who speak Bali, and Shia and Sufia Nurbakhshia are Muslims.


They belong to the Hinayana sect of Buddhism and are the oldest and outstanding example of rock-cut Buddhist temple art in India. Nubra Valley, which was originally known as Ladumra, means 'Valley of Flowers', which is situated at an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level. This area is known as the garden of Ladakh. During summer, tourists get a chance to see the pink and yellow wild roses that grow in the region. The history of this destination dates back to 7th century AD when the Chinese, Mongolia, and Arabs came here as invaders. Before Islam, Buddhism dominated the region. To reach the Nubra Valley, tourists would have to take the Khardung La Pass from Leh, which is the highest pass in the world.


The culture of the people living in Nubra Valley is similar to the rest of Ladakh. Music is important for these people and the most commonly used instrument to play their traditional music. Music is often played during Buddhist monks' festivals. Music is often accompanied by religious chanting in Sanskrit or Tibetan language. According to popular tradition, people use masks for performing dance. As most dances tell some kind of story, these are quite interesting to watch. The most common theme is the fight between evil and good, in which good always wins. Apart from their love for music and dance, people living in the Nubra Valley are often skilled with their hands. Men and women excel in the art of weaving.

Main Attractions

1. Maitreya Budh: Maitreya Buddha, considered to be the Buddha of the future and also known as the Laughing Buddha, is one of the major attractions of the Nubra Valley. This statue stands at a height of 32 meters. This huge statue stands in the open area on a hilltop, and overlooks the Shyok River in the direction of Pakistan. The idol was constructed with donations collected from the original inhabitants of the valley. In addition, 8 kg of gold was donated by the chief of the Gandhe Thepa or Gelugpa, known as the Yellow Hat Sect, and Abot of the Riju Math. The construction process was started in April 2006. After its completion, the statue was consecrated on 25 July 2010 by the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai-Lama. According to locals, the Maitreya Buddha statue was built to promote peace and to protect the village of Diskit.

2. Sambastlinga Monastery: Sambastlinga Monastery or Gompa is a famous Buddhist site in the Nubra Valley. Tourists visiting the Nubra Valley are recommended to visit this monastery. Situated between the village of Kagar and Sumur, it was founded by Lama Tsultrim Neema. Travelers visit this monastery mainly due to the collection of Buddhist schools, murals, and Buddhist sculptures. In 1962, Tibetan spiritual guru His Holiness the Dalai Lama was invited to inaugurate seven temples of Gompa. There are around 50 monks living in the monastery whose daily needs are met by the governing faction of this monastery.

3. Ansa Monastery: Ansa Monastery, otherwise known as Ensa Gompa, is located in proximity to Panamik village. Travelers should visit this 250-year-old monastery as it is considered one of the major attractions of Nubra Valley. The monastery is located on top of a cliff from where tourists can glimpse the beautiful snow-capped peaks of the Nubra Valley. The Buddhist murals which are present there are the major attractions of this monastery. Travelers going to Panamik village will have to travel a long walk for at least 4 hours before reaching Ensa Gompa.

4. Lachung Temple: The Lachung Temple is one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in the region. Tourists recommend visiting this temple which is located in proximity to Diskit. A highlight of the temple is a statue of Tsong-Kha-pa or 'Mana from Onion Valli', a popular Tibetan religious philosopher who stands tall wearing a Gelugpa or yellow cap, which is typical of him. Tsong Kha-Pa established the Buddhist school called the Yellow Hat Sect.

Places in Nubra Valley

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