Day 9: 17 August 2013: Part 3: Deskit to Karu via Wari La

With the rains giving no reprieve, we decided to do something unthinkable… to proceed towards Karu crossing over Wari La during the evening.

Will we be able to reach Karu today going through a road less traversed and known to be difficult, driving through the unwanted part of the day? Stay tuned…

We started around 1530 from Deskit Gompa and decided to skip going back to the Deskit market for lunch. We’ll rather have something on the way as time is of essence now if we have to cross Wari La.

Sun playing games with the clouds (more…)

Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley is a tri-armed valley located to the north east of Ladakh valley. Diskit the capital of Nubra is about 150 km north from Leh town, the capital of Ladakh district, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. The Shyok river is a tributary of the Indus river. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. i.e. 3048 metres above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel over the Khardung La pass from Leh town.

Diskit

Diskit Monastery also known as Deskit Gompa or Diskit Gompa is the oldest and largest Buddhist monastery (gompa) in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh, northern India. It belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelugpa, in the 14th century.It is a sub-gompa of the Thikse gompa.

Turtuk

Turtuk is a city in Ladakh. A remote village of about 4,000 residents, inhabited by ethnic Muslims, a few kilometres from the ‘line of control’ (the de facto border) between India and Pakistan, on the Indian side. Until 1971 a part of Baltistan, shared strong economic and cultural ties with Tibet. The residents speak Baltistani, and some Ladakhi and English.

Nubra Valley

The area of the Shayok river past Hundar, including the three villages of Changmar, Bogdan and Turtuk, were only opened to foreign tourists in 2010, so they are still quite new in their contact with tourists and the West, and feel rather unexplored.
Turtuk is the penultimate village open to foreign tourists before Pakistan. You can go on for a few KMs to the village of Shaksey (with a single guesthouse). There is another village before the Line of Control, closed off to foreigners as of August 2012.

Panamik

Panamik is approximately 150 kms away from Leh. It is quite a scenic village. Road to Panamik is well laid. People are friendly and helpful. The color of the trees during the months of Sep and Oct turns to yellowish red and is a treat to watch. The gentle Nubra enhance the charm. The mountains just rise from the valley as some child has made them of mud. Snow can be seen on the peaks.

NUN KUN PEAKS

The Nun Kun mountain massif comprises a pair of Himalayan peaks: Nun, 7,135 m (23,409 ft) and its neighbor peak Kun, 7,077 m (23,218 ft).[3] Nun is the highest peak in the part of the Himalayan range lying on the Indian side of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. (There are higher peaks in the Indian part of the Karakoram range.) The massif is located near the Suru valley, about 250 km (160 mi) east of Srinagar, the state capital.

NUN-KUN PEAKS

Kun is located north of Nun and is separated from it by a snowy plateau of about 4 km (2.5 mi) in length. Pinnacle Peak, 6,930 m (22,736 ft), is the third highest summit of the group.

Drang-Drung

The Drang-Drung Glacier is likely to be the largest glacier in Ladakh other than Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram Range, with a maximum length of 23 kilometres (14 mi) and at an average elevation of 15,680 ft (4,780 metres). The glacier lies in the north eastern Himalayan Range known as Zanskar Range, situated 142 kilometres (88 mi) south from Kargil and 331 kilometres (206 mi) east from Srinagar the capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chandra Taal

Chandra Tal, is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) in the Himalayas. Mountains of scree overlook the lake on one side, and a magnificent cirque presents a view on the other. The name of the lake originates from its crescent shape. Situated in the Spiti part of the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh (India), Chandra Taal is a popular destination for trekkers and campers. The lake is accessible on foot from Batal as well as from Kunzum Pass from late May to early October. There is also a motorable road from Batal which is 16 km (9.9 mi) away from Chandra Taal, but before August, its condition can be bad. The road from Kunzum Pass is accessible only on foot, and it is about 8 km (5.0 mi) from Chandra Taal.

Kaza-Batal

The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. the land between Tibet and India.

Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.

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