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Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley is about 150 km north of Leh, the capital town of Ladakh, 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 the Karakoram Ranges. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. above the sea level. The common way to access this valley is to travel from Leh over the Khardung La, highes jeep able road of the world, 5606 m, to Nubra valley. Non-locals require an Inner Line Permit (easily obtained in Leh town) to enter Nubra.

Like the rest of Ladakh, Nubra is a high altitude desert with rare precipitation and scant vegetation except along river beds, where irrigated, and on high slopes. The villages are irrigated and fertile, producing wheat, barley, peas, mustard for oil, and a variety of fruits and nuts, including apple, walnut, apricot and even a few almond trees. Most of the Nubra Valley is inhabited by Ladakhis who speak Ladakhi; the majority of them are Buddhist, with a minority of Shia and Sunni Muslims. In the western or lowest altitude end of Nubra Valley, along the Shyok River, the inhabitants are Balti, speak Balti, and are Shia and Sufia Nurbakhshia Muslims. Siachen Glacier lies to the north of the valley. The Sasser Pass and the famous Karakoram Pass lie to the northwest of the valley and connect Nubra with Xinjiang. Previously there was much trade passing through the area with East Turkestan and Central Asia.

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