3rd Phase of our trip included little arduous journey to Nubra valley via famed Khardungla Pass (which was little incorrectly touted as world’s highest motor able road). We spent 36 hours in Nubra valley exploring local Monastery, exploring time lapses around Maitreya Buddha statue, Silhouette photography around San Dunes, shooting reflections of impressive landscape in the streams around Nubra. We also tried ATV ride amidst sand dunes, at the same place, where few critical scenes of Bhag Milkha Bhag movie was host.
Here is little trivia from Wiki on Khardunga La. Though it is not highest motorable road, it was almost one of the highest, and ride was rocky and fun. It took about 2 hrs of drive to get here from Leh. Below immersive footage will give an idea of what we have experienced during the drive.
Khardung La (Khardung Pass, la means pass in Tibetan) is a mountain pass located in the Ladakh region The local pronunciation is “Khardong La” or “Khardzong La,” but, as with most names in Ladakh, the romanised spelling varies.
The pass on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies part way up the latter valley. Built in 1976, it was opened to public motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier.
The elevation of Khardung La is 5,359 m (17,582 ft). Local summit signs and dozens of stores selling shirts in Leh incorrectly claim that its elevation is in the vicinity of 5,602 m (18,379 ft) metres and that it is the world’s highest motorable pass.
Driving to Khardung La
Time Lapse videos around Maitreya Buddha Statue of Nubra
Nubra is a tri-armed valley located to the north east of Ladakh valley. Diskit the capital of Nubra is about 150 km north from Leh town, the capital of Ladakh district, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. i.e. 3048 metres above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La pass from Leh town. Most of the Nubra Valley is inhabited by Nubra dialect or Nubra Skat speakers. The majority are Buddhists. On the Shyok (pronounced Shayok) River, the main village, Diskit, is home to the dramatically positioned Diskit Monastery which is built in 1420 AD. Hundar was the capital of the erstwhile Nubra kingdom in the 17th century, and is home to the Chamba Gompa. Between Hundar and Diskit lie several kilometres of sand dunes, and (two-humped) bactrian camels graze in the neighbouring “forests” of seabuckthorn. (source: Wiki)