in Leh, which used to be an important station
on the famous silk route leading from Leh to
Kashgar through the two passes of Saser and
Karakoram. The main attractions of this area
are the Bactarian Camels (Double Humped Camels)
that were brought from Afghanistan centuries
ago and are now the sole survivors, Khardung-La
Pass (world's highest motorable road at 18,380
feet) and the monasteries of Deskit and Samstaling.
Opened not too long back to
the outside world, it is a double bonus, for
not only is it a beautiful place but even the
way up to Nubra offers enchanting landscapes.
Once there, relax, have a cup of tea and wonder
how man achieved an admirable task - construction
of a road in the toughest of terrains and in
the most unpredictable of climate, to have made
a connection between two regions through a mountain
- this pass definitely deserves a moment.
This mountainous desert land,
Nubra has the distinction of being the most
fertile belt in the region. And that's not all.
The Valley is divided into two parts - Panamik
and Diskit. While the former is noted for it’s hot sulphur springs and the best flowers in
the area, it is the latter that fascinates tourists
for its silver sand dunes, flanked by green
forests. A visit to the farm which breeds camels
is a must but if good fortune strikes, then
spotting a camel on the dunes is the photographers’
There is also an old monastery
in Diskit where the lamas are only too happy
to offer butter tea to visitors. If the doors
to the inner chambers are locked, one simply
has to look for the head lama in his room and
keys are produced immediately - there is no
room for disappointment in this enchanted land!
Another enchanting experience
of a lifetime is the Nubra glacier situated
on the southern slopes of the Karakoram Range
in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. It
is a large glacier located in a huge amphitheater
that is ringed by towering peaks.
This glacier gives rise to
the Nubra River, which in turn flows, into the
Shyok River. Small glaciers in hanging valleys
feed the Nubra glacier and they occur on all
sides of the glacial amphitheater. The central
part of this glacier takes the form of a vast
snowfield. Lateral moraines are found along
the flanks and at the junction of the tributary
glaciers and the main glacier. No vegetation
is to be found in this tract as it lies above
the snow line.