Few kms ahead from Khalsar the road bifurcates into two, road on the left leads to Diskit while the road on the right goes to Panamik.
Nubra Valley - The End of the Road!
Nubra Valley about 150 km north of Leh is where the Shyok River meets the Siachan River to form a large valley seperating the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. Siachen Glacier lies to the north of the valley. The Sasser Pass and the famous Karakoram Pass of the silk route fame lie to the northwest of the valley and connect Nubra with Xinjiang. Panamik in Nubra valley is the last village up north this side that is open to tourists. Nubra valley is as a must do in a Leh trip and it is identified as a tourism circuit by the local administration of Leh district.
Ensa Gompa - Panamik
8 kilometers trek from Panamik down to the river bridge at Hargam and across it is the 250 year old Ensa Monastery. The monastery located atop a hill overlooks the snow capped mountains of the Nubra Valley.
Nubra Valley is about 150 kms from Leh and the minimum duration required to visit Nubra valley from Leh is atleast 2 days. Stay can be arranged in Diskit or Panamik.
Diskit is about 15 km off the Khalsar - Panamik route a little ahead of Khalsar. The main attraction of Diskit is the Diskit Gompa built in 1420 AD. Set atop a small hill The Diskit Gompa offers beatiful view of the landscape. Founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo of Gelugpa sect of Buddhism, Diskit Gompa is the oldest and the second largest Buddhist monastery in Leh Ladakh after Thiksey monastery.
Turtuk - Shyok Valley
Opened for tourists in 2009 Turtuk offers beautiful view of the Shyok Vally. Turtuk was under control of Pakistan however India took over control during Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. There are few memorials built in memory of soldiers on Main Road going towards the zero point of India Pakistan Line of Control. Turtuk is 80km beyond Hunder and the way to Turtuk from Hunder is very scenic.
Panamik is the last village accessible to tourists. Panamik is known for two things - centuries old Ensa Gompa and hot water springs! Hot water springs is not much but a stone shack on the hillside. A bath in the sulphur rich hot spring however is believed to be curative in nature.
Celebrated as the highest motorable pass Khardung la is the gateway to the Nubra and Shyok valleys. A photograph at K top by the board which says Worlds Highest Motorable road Alt 18380 ft is amongst the cherished souvenirs for many travelers after a trip to Leh!