Of all the places that I was looking forward to see in Ladakh, Nubra valley was a special one. Why? Because it’s an amazing combination of amazing landscapes and culture.
It was almost dark by the time we returned from Turtuk (the last Indian village).
A little before Hunder village, we stopped at a monastery which seemed to be abandoned. Our driver (and guide) took us inside. There was just one monk staying in this desolate place. The prayer room was lit-up with beautiful candles. The environment is so pious that you cannot help closing your eyes and pray for a while.
The only thing we could do was to take some quick snaps of the landscape and enjoy the togetherness of our awesome team and gear up for the next day.
I got up early in the morning to try some shots.
Then came the time I was waiting for. Ajay, Patrick and me set out to the sand dunes. We passed by some some traditional houses and the tall trees.
Some chortems on the way.
The village road changed into a narrow path through shrubs. We were wondering if this is the right way. There was no one who we could ask.
Then we came across a house. She was kind enough to tell us that we were on the right path.
As we approached the plains, we witnessed a spectacular sunrise. It was one of the best I had ever seen.
The mountains, the sand dunes and the small and still water bodies together made it look no less than heaven. I got so excited and my number of clicks per second was at the highest. I strived to find the best angle and took efforts to make a striking composition.
We could see some traditional houses far away.
The whole landscape was dominated by the mountains around and the Buddha statue near the Diskit monastery.
We kept walking on the sands.
The texture on the sands were awesome. The morning sun created the magic.
Long shadows are characteristics of the rising and setting sun. I tried to used them to make an interesting composition.
It was time to go back to the village. It was not the end for the photographic opportunities. We found some stones with the prayer mantra – Om Mane Padme Hum inscribed on them. You will find them almost everywhere in Ladakh.
There were children going to schools waiting for the bus.
Some were enthusiastic.
Some were not so.
Some were still enjoying their childhood, taking a ride on their back.
Fortunately, there was a festival at the local monastery.
People were coming from the nearby villages wearing traditional dresses.
We came back again to the sand dunes, this time to see the Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus) or the two humped camels.
These are very rare unfortunately find mention in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They have a characteristic two humps. With their adaptability to harsh climatic conditions and a comfortable seat for the humans, they were the preferred mode of transport since ages along the Silk Route.
We enjoyed sitting beside the small streams, which are tributaries of the Shyok River.
Though I didn’t want to leave the place, we had to… because there was so much more to see and so less time.
How to reach – There are SUVs easily available on rent that take people to these far-flung places. You can also hire a bike if you are more adventurous. There are no buses to these places.
Where to stay – There is accommodation of all types in Hunder village. Nubra Organic Retreat is one of the best.
Read about my next visit to the same place here. You won’t believe how different it looks.
Thank you for reading this post. Hope you liked spending time here. I will be back again with another interesting place.
You can read my previous posts here.
This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.
He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours and Photowalks.
Trainer of the Year – Photography Workshops