On the Shyok (pronounced Shayok) River, the main village, Diskit, is home to the dramatically positioned Diskit Monastery. Hundar was the capital of the erstwhile Nubra kingdom in the 17th century, and is home to the Chamba Gompa. Between Hundar and Diskit lie several kilometres of sand dunes, and (two-humped) bactrian camels graze in the neighbouring "forests" of seabuckthorn. Non-locals are not allowed below Hundar village into the Balti area, as it is a border area. The beautiful village of Baigdandu is also located in this area. There is a marked presence of people with startling blue eyes, auburn hair and rosy cheeks as against the typical mongoloid features of the Ladakhis. Local lore has it that they were a Greek tribe who came in search of Jesus Christ's tomb and eventually settled here. Baigdandu is also known for the goats that give you the famous Pashmina shawls.
The main road access to the Nubra Valley is over Khardung La pass which is open throughout the year. Its status as the highest motorable road in the world is no longer accepted by most authorities. An alternative route, opened in 2008, crosses the Wari La from Sakti, to the east of Khardung La, connecting to the main Nubra road system via Agham and Khalsar along the Shyok River. There are also trekkable passes over the Ladakh Range from the Indus Valley at various points. Routes from Nubra to Baltistan and Yarkand, though historically important, have been closed since 1947 and 1950 respectively.
The valley was open for tourists till Hunder (the land of sand dunes) until 2010. The region beyond Hunder gives way to a greener region of Ladakh because of its lower altitude. The village of Turtuk which was unseen by tourists till 2010 is a virgin destination for people who seek peace and an interaction with a tribal community of Ladakh. The village is stuffed with apricot trees and children. The local tribe, Balti, follows its age old customs in their lifestyle and speak a language which is just spoken and not written. For tourists Turtuk offers serene camping sites with environment friendly infrastructure.
Critiques | Translate
imageme (1790) 2014-07-26 11:43
HI Tathagata, Magnificent landscape taken with nice light and tones. The people and the animals give scale. Thank for sharing
CLODO (35144) 2014-07-26 23:18
I like the shadows on the mountains, creating a dramatic feeling; the lines on the surface of the ground lead our eye on the tiny silhouettes at the bottom right. Super large landscape format well adapted.
Have a lovely day
timecapturer (49288) 2014-07-27 3:42
this is awesome - I love it! An image full of drama, atmosphere and wonder. I love the light and the sense of scale here but it is the crop and distant landscape textures that make it both compelling and powerful. Stunning imagery!
Enjoy your Sunday - B.
Noel_Byrne (32532) 2014-07-27 4:46
This is a very beautiful image, clever idea to compose the riders like this, they look tiny beside this amazing natural landscape which looks almost like great waves rising over them. I would expect to see an image like this in national geographical. Beautiful work.
- Copyright: Tathagata Das (tatsnew) (76)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-07-15
- Categories: Decisive Moment
- Camera: Nikon D7100, Nikkor 18-105mm AF-S DX F3.5-5.6G ED VR
- Exposure: f/6.3, 1/640 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-07-26 11:15