Every adventurer’s top bucket list item is the drive from Leh to Nubra Valley, and for a good cause too! The journey is surreal, filled with adventure, stunning natural scenery, and views of the Himalayan, Zanskar, and Karakoram mountains. The distance from Leh to Nubra is 160km.
A biker’s paradise, Nubra Valley is home to Diskit, Turtuk, Panamik, and several other unspoiled locations. There are countless locations to discover, coupled with vibrant local customs that have captured the interest of many tourists.
On the five-hour journey from Leh to Nubra Valley, you will cross either the Khardung La or the Wari La, two of the highest motorable highways in the world. Even though the ride can be a little choppy at times, the mountain views are spellbinding and make up for it. Is there anything better than being surrounded by mountains, culture, and adventure? On your Leh-Ladakh journey, Ladakh will draw you back into its abundant domain because it is one of India’s best-kept secrets.
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How to Reach from Leh to Nubra Valley
By Bus: Choosing a bus from Leh would allow you to travel in Ladakh like a local. The cheapest form of transportation is them. However, these buses don’t make any stops along the journey for sightseeing. Both government and private entities run regular bus services to and from the Nubra Valley. There are approximately 8–9 buses operated by the state’s JKSRTC department that connect different villages such as Diskit, Hunder, Panamik, Turtuk, and Sumur.
Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, three buses travel from Leh to Diskit. It leaves from the Leh bus stop around six in the morning. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 a.m., a different bus departs from Leh for Skuroo in the Nubra Valley. Additionally, a second bus to Turtuk leaves the Leh bus station every Saturday at 6 a.m. Before the L.O.C., it was the last village in Nubra Valley. All of these tickets are easily obtainable at the Leh bus station. Depending on the bus and the route you take, the one-way bus ticket ranges from 200 to 300 rupees per person.
- Read here the best time to visit Leh Ladakh
By Bike: Given that you’ll want to stop at Khardung La for some exploring, the entire bike/car route to Nubra Valley from Leh will take you roughly 5 hours. In Leh, you can look for bike rentals, which are very easy to locate. Though the prices might not be adjustable, there are more than enough rental options to pick from.
If you’ve taken a bike rental with you to Leh, you might need to return it to your hotel and get a new one in Leh to get to Nubra. You are free to take the same van to Nubra and other locations while on your cycling vacation in Ladakh if you are taking your bike or car to Leh.
Contact your hotel’s manager or operator if you have questions regarding your rental alternatives. He’ll set it up for you. Although it may sound appealing, it is not recommended for beginners to ride a bike through Leh’s picturesque roads. Only those with prior expertise biking on hazardous roads are advised to do so.
There are numerous ways to get to Nubra from both the Leh Bus Stand and the Leh Airport. However, taking a shared taxi is a preferable choice if you wish to go from Leh to Nubra Valley at your own pace. Given that they are speedier and more pleasant than buses, they are far more convenient. The cost per person is often in the range of INR 400.
By personal vehicle: There are multiple ways to get to Nubra Valley from Leh. These are accessible via the Agham Shyok, Wari La, and Khardung La Passes.
Route 1: Leh to Nubra valley via Khardung La Pass
1. After passing Din Brothers, travel northeast from Leh.
2. After passing the SBI ATM on the left-hand side, turn slightly left from the Omni Van Taxi Stand.
3. Turn slightly to the right to pass the SSP and FRO on the left.
4. Take the Khardung La Road to the left.
5. After passing the Khardung La Gompa on the left, turn right to stay on Khardung La Road.
6. Make a second left.
7. Take a right turn to pass the Hotel Rimo on your right.
8. Take Charasa Road to the left.
9. To stay on Charasa Road, turn left.
Route 2: Via Wari La
For those who are up for an adventure and a challenge, this is the best path. From Leh to Nubra Valley, there is a longer, more challenging, and considerably less popular path. In comparison to the journey via Khardung La, the route via Wari La is not only more difficult but also takes more time.
The road is broken in some spots and not frequently traveled. In essence, you will be driving on dirt, pebbles, and occasionally even water. Due to a lot of snowfall at the Pass in June, this road will be blocked. Remember that it’s not one of your typical high-altitude passes.
Wari La Pass, perched at a height of 17,400 feet, is particularly challenging to cross. The last 20 miles of the pass are quite steep. The trail also has several water crossings in store for you.
Except for Sakti, which you can only access after crossing Wari La, there are no villages in this area where you can pause for a snack.
Nevertheless, very little can match the excitement of traveling via the notorious Wari La Pass! Along with a once-in-a-lifetime journey, you get to brag about drastically different landscapes and perspectives.
Under Cliffhangers customer experience The Wari La Pass path, one of the top places to visit on your vacation to Leh, is unquestionably something to take into consideration if you’re an experienced biker and not afraid of heights.
Some people might even decide to travel through the Wari La route to return to Leh via the Khardung La route to travel to Nubra.
1. Take a trip from Leh Taktok.
2. Continue on Taktok through Chang La to Pangong Tso. Beautiful Pangong Tso Lake is sandwiched between India and Tibet, which may be seen from the opposite side.
3. Leave Taktok on the highway that leads to Khalsar.
4. Take the route heading to the settlement of Agam after crossing Khalsar.
5. After leaving the settlement of Agam, the road splits, with the right branching off in the direction of Wari La and the left-branching off to Shyok village. Pick the correct path.
Route 3: Via Shyok Road
Additionally, this is not truly the path you take from Leh to Nubra Valley. It is more of a route from Pangong Tso to Nubra Valley or the other way around.
It takes roughly 6-7 hours to get from one location to the other using this road.
It is suggested that you travel to Nubra Valley through the Khardung La road and then proceed directly to Pangong Lake via the Shyok road. By doing this, you will avoid having to travel from Nubra Valley back to Leh, saving you a day.
Even sedans and hatchbacks can navigate the entirety of this road because of its easy driving conditions. Although there are a few rough spots in between, the trip will be fun.
Facilities throughout the route
Given that Nubra is roughly 150 kilometers from Leh, it is crucial to be aware of the gasoline orders and gas stations along the way to Nubra in advance to avoid any hiccups. It is recommended to refuel at Leh itself and bring extra fuel for the trip.
If you happen to run out of gas en route, there is a gas station at Diskit. Here, you can refuel your tanks. Remember that this might be the lone gas station in Nubra Valley. In the nearby settlements of Hunder, Panamik, Turtuk, and others, there are no gas stations. You just need one tank of gas from Leh unless you intend to travel to Pangong Tso.
It is generally advised that you acquire some abilities before embarking on your bike tour to comfortably enjoy the experience. A few mechanics are accessible throughout the voyage, though. While a technician may be able to assist you, it never hurts to be prepared with a few tricks. Depending on your budget, another choice is to hire a mechanic for the entire trip. You won’t have to search for a technician in times of need, but one will undoubtedly be helpful. Finding mechanics when you need them may be quite difficult outside of Leh.
There are a lot of dhabas, restaurants, and eating establishments in Leh that serve steaming hot, tasty meals, but Khardung La may not have as many options. You can also choose to eat in the restaurant at your hotel or camp, go out to dhabas, or stay in a homestay. At the formidable Khardung La Pass, there may be few to no dining alternatives, thus it is advised that you bring ample food.
Is Leh to Nubra Valley via Shyok Road safe?
The hardest route is certainly this one. It is not necessarily incorrect to classify this road as “Dangerous” and to rank it last among the best roads. The only time people utilize this road is to travel directly from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso, or vice versa since it takes just 6 hours to get between the two locations.