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Sand Dunes of Nubra

Dunes of Nubra

Nubra is a cold desert at 10000 ft above sea level and the color of the sand is unlike anywhere in India. These dunes lie close to the Hunder village which sits like an oasis in the middle of the cold desert. The weather is not friendly here and it gets pretty cold once the Sun hides behind the clouds. The strong breeze keeps blowing the fine sands, reshaping them into new shapes.

The valley lies between the two well-known Himalayan mountain ranges of the Karakoram (on the North), and the Ladakh (on the South). To reach Nubra one has to drive across the Khardungla pass.

Just before we entered the Nubra Valley, there was a sort of adventure ride. There are three blocks Turtuk, Diskit, and Panamik.

On the way we passed Diskit Monastery

The entrance to Diskit Monastery

The Maitreyi Buddha near Diskit Monastery

A new day at Hunder Sarai Resort in

We were staying at the Hunder Sarai at the Hunder village. The camps are surrounded by the barren cold snow mountains near to the sand dunes and the camel ride area. In between the gardens, outside slows a stream of crystal clear water. They serve good food.

Despite its arid and challenging conditions, Nubra’s cold desert boasts a unique ecosystem adapted to the harsh environment. Nomadic communities, such as the Changpas, have traditionally herded livestock in this challenging landscape, showcasing the resilience of life in the cold desert.

The Nubra region is the northernmost of Ladakh and in fact of all of India. It is fed by two main rivers: the Shyok and the Siachen. Both originate from the Siachen glacier but on either side of the western Karakoram Range.

The climate of the regions is extremely harsh with scanty rainfall along with less moisture contained in the air. The minimum temperature in winter drops to -30 °C, and the maximum temperature is around 25 °C in the summer. In Nubra valley, the source and supply of water from glaciers is the only option for irrigation purposes, and portable water which is owing through the two main rivers such as Nubraand Shayok, originates from the Siachen glacier and Remo glacier, respectively.

As the day passes, the winds pick up and create a kind of sandstorm. The sand dunes of Nubra are situated at the confluence of the Nubra and Shyok Rivers, creating a surreal desert landscape surrounded by majestic mountains. The dunes, predominantly composed of fine-grained sand, are sculpted by the relentless forces of wind, carrying sand particles from the riverbeds and depositing them in the valley. This continuous process shapes the dunes into undulating patterns, creating an ever-changing canvas of nature’s artistry.

Even though the sand was harsh, we did get some wonderful photos.

Time passed quickly and soon the Sun was setting behind the mountains. The Nubra region is well known for its role as a gateway between the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia in modern times.

It was a trade route between Yarkand (present-day Xinjiang, China) and Leh, the capital of Ladakh, till the closing of borders in 1949.

Thanks for reading.

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