The “Lost World” of Nubra, India

Nubra is an isolated valley and even closed to outsiders, a place away from any path of travel and accessible by a path that is the biggest step up the planet, frozen most of the year (even in summer). India is another place that reminds me of the little known area of Zanskar. Nubra is a space walled desert the Mountains Karakoram, and shaped by the Shyok River which has underpinned much of life, including the ancient cultures that inhabit it.

In its extension, succeeded by rocky deserts, incredible dune areas and environments where grazing pastures for Bactrian camels. It’s also highlighted by landscapes that sometimes look like postcards from another planet. Nubra Ladakh region, the “land of high passes” is often referred to as the “Little Tibet” because of its appearance and indigenous culture.

Interestingly, despite their appearance and inhospitable to its original name (Ldumra) refers to a “valley of flowers”, but in practice it is a strange high desert, where rainfall is low, as the vegetation only emerges with the riverbeds.

Access to the Nubra Valley is no easy task for two reasons: there is only one way to Nubra Valley (although a couple of years ago was running another), a road in height, but also there are access restrictions in certain areas for non-residents, mainly because it is a border area. The stay allowed is only seven days, and it is advisable to book early boarding houses, especially in summer when demand increases.

From Leh, the former capital of the kingdom of Ladakh, Nubra is part of the route in what is now the province of Jammu and Kashmir, a region that even in summer is covered by a layer of ice.

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