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Tales From Ladakh: Khardungla to Nubra Valley

Trip to Khardungla & Nubra Valley is one of the must visit attractions when you are traveling to ladakh. This is not a regular road trip, be prepared for landslides, long traffic jams,breathlessness, spectacular views of valley and tasteless food(that’s better than nothing). The view of mountains keep on changing and you will end up taking hundreds of pictures of landscapes. Every time you have to remind yourself that you are traveling in India, not anywhere out of the world. There is one place in nubra valley, which literally blows you away, where at the same place; you can see desert, snowfall, waterfalls, river and cultivation.  

On the day before our trip to khardungla, we packed all medicines, sufficient food(snacks) and also discussed about our plan for the next two days. Before this trip, I read many blogs that many people faced altitude sickness while going to Khardungla. So I instructed the team on do's/don't on our trip to Khardungla. We had very light breakfast and started from hotel at around 8AM. It took almost 2 hours to reach khardungla. Till khardungla, road is good and you can get a good view of leh town, valley. 

After 2 hours of journey, we reached Khardungla. Even though we went in summer, the temperature at KTOP was less than 10 degrees and wind was so strong & cold. For some time because of the altitude and cold winds, I faced breathlessness, but within few minutes, i got adjusted. Thumb rule is, when you are at KTOP, don't run or don't do any strenuous thing out of excitement. They were many signs reminding you that you are at the highest motorable pass in the world, you will definitely feel that you are on top of the world. There is a medical camp, cafeteria, medical facilities, temple on top of khardungla. And interesting part is cafeteria is considered as highest in the world. 

After spending 30 minutes taking pictures and enjoying the view of valleys, we went inside the cafeteria. You will get tea, noodles, momos in cafeteria. So we had tea and noodles in the highest cafeteria in the world. We should really appreciate the Indian army for organizing highest cafeteria in the world. One thing you must remember is that you should not spend more than 30 mins in Khardungla. As we spent more than 30 mins, we immediately boarded the cab and started towards north pulu. My advice to everyone who wants to visit Khardungla is, take diamox tablet before you start to Khardungla, that will definitely helps you. 

Road from Khardungla till north pulu is not good and be prepared for the bumpy ride. North pulu was half a way distance from Ladakh to Nubra valley. It took almost 1 hours for just 15km. We stopped at north pulu for lunch. This is a small village, which has all basic facilities. Lunch was not so good, but we should not expect more than that in a remote village. After lunch, we started towards nubra valley, which is almost 80 km from North pulu. After north pulu, there is no village till you reach nubra valley. 

After north pulu, landscape keep on changing and you will definitely enjoy the loooong ride till Nubra valley. From thirty miles before nubra valley, suddenly landscape changes to desert + snow capped mountains. Till then, I never saw deserts, I'm sooo excited and enjoyed a lot watching those beautiful desert landscapes. As per our plan, we have to visit diskit monastery and sand dunes on the first day of out two day trip to Nubra valley. But we came to know that there was a landslide happened on the way to diskit monastery. So we started towards our camping place, Tirth camp located in Nubra valley. We reached Tirth camp by 4PM. 

Tirth camp is too good and it is far above our expectations. There are around 10-15 tents with all basic facilities. But only draw back being common bathrooms. The food is also good. In the evening we spent time discussing various funny & silly topics. Even though the wind is so strong & cold, inside tent it was hot and we were able to sleep with out any problem. So our next plan was to visit diskit , hunder and camel ride. I will be explaining them in details in next post....

About Khardungla:
Khardungla or KTOP is located at a distance of 40km from ladakh, at an altitude 18,380. This is considered as the highest motorable pass in the world. Even though the distance from ladakh is just 40km, there is almost 6k increase in altitude within 2 hours. This pass connects ladakh valley and Nubra valley. This is very crucial pass for army as it connects ladakh with Siachen, which is considered as highest battle field in the world. This road is closed from October to April due to the heavy snow fall.

Where to eat in between Khardungla & Nubra Valley?
There is one cafeteria at KTOP,which serves noodles, momos and tea. This is the highest cafeteria in the world. Apart from this there are no eating options available near Khardungla. Other option is, there is one small village (North Pulu) with all basic facilities at around 15km from Khardungla. Better have some snacks @Khardungla cafeteria and plan lunch in the village.  

About Nubra Valley:
Nubra valley is located at a distance of 150 km from Ladakh, at an altitude of 11k. Nubra valley is considered as the highest altitude cold desert in the world.

Where to stay in Nubra Valley??
There are many tented accommodation available in nubra valley. We stayed at Tirth camp and it was awesome. For accommodation options check this:

Next Part: Diskit , Nubra Valley , Hunder San dunes, Double humped camel ride..


  1. This post is well written with fabulous images. I appreciate the effort put in to jot down the
    whole experience. I started feeling reminiscent about the whole trip to ladakh.

    Keep up the good work and keep blogging :)

  2. Amazing blog. I got my trip planned from RLTgo it was an experience i will remember always.


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