June 22, 2016

Hunder Village & the Desert in the Sky

The so-called “desert in the sky” attracts us with imagination of riding camel on the “silk road” across the cold desert and stark Himalayas in Nubra Valley in Ladakh. But then we have to travel about 150km away from Leh and to cross the Khardung La, which according to the claim of Indian Army plaque at the top, is “World’s Highest Motorable Pass,” in a snowy and windy day.

Hunder, lying at an average altitude of 3,050 meters, is a small village where the Shyok River meets Nubra River. It lies on the important ancient silk route starting from Kashgar (Xinjiang, China), through Tibet and ended somewhere here in Ladakh. 

The high altitude desert, with rolling expanse of sand dunes and barren landscape, is typical here.

Hunder is most popular for the camel rides in the high altitude cold desert and for its Buddhist monastery known as Hundur gompa situated close to the Diskit monastery. It is one of the oldest monasteries of Nubra valley.

Unfortunately the dream of riding camel can not come true in the end due to a sand storm. Strong wind makes everywhere filled with sand and it is actually a bit dangerous to get outside.


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