The large, desert valley of Nubra is formed by the meeting of the Shyok and Siachen rivers. This wide, high altitude valley separates the Ladakh and the Karakorum ranges and is accessed by the 5600m Khardung-la pass. Having cycled up the Khardung pass three times over the past years I have never managed to descend the pass into Nubra. This time however, I could finally continue down the ‘other side’ to the most northern extent of Indian Himalayas that is still within legal reach (bordering with Pakistan and Tibet).
First views of the Nubra villages descending from the 5600m Khardung-la.
The majority of the Ladakhis living here are Buddhist with a minority of Shia and Sunni Muslims. (Diskit monastery).
Nubra is 150km from Leh and is typified by stark contrasts of barren landscapes splashed with green and yellow of the glacial fed, wheat and barley fields.
Ben makes way for wheat and barley loaded yaks in Khardung village.
'Himalayas' rise like fortresses on all sides. A superb downhill all the way down to the Shyok river.
Road safety is of utmost importance on such descents.
Views back toward the Khardung pass we had just crossed (Khardung village in the distance).
Ben and Carlos stop for yet another amazing view.
Overlooking the Shyok River which originates from Pangong Tso, a 5000m lake shared by India and Tibet. See more on Pangong Tso here http://bridgetsbikeblog.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/along-the-indus/
Biscuit break for everyone at Khalsar, the first village we found along the Shyok.
A rare rainbow on the way to Diskit, one of the larger villages in Nubra.
The 35m Maitreya Buddha that sits below Diskit monastry looking toward Pakistan. The Dalai Lama unveiled the Buddha in 2010 when it was completed.
Diskit monastry door.
Views over the vast confluence of the Shyok and Siachen rivers from the monastery.
Watch your step!
Monks of the monastery.
Prayer wheel view toward Hundar village.