Shyok Valley Travel Guide
A trip to Shyok Valley is equally memorable and highly enjoyable. People usually stop by at this place while heading towards Pangong Lake from Nubra Valley. Shyok might be a smaller valley but has a great gift of huge mountains and beautiful vistas around it. The valley receives water from the Shyok river that flows through Nubra Valley. Here is a complete guide of Shyok Valley including how to travel, where to visit, and more.
Ladakh is truly a treasure of India and one of the most visited places in the country. Known for its enchanting valleys, beautiful lakes, pristine rivers, serene environment, and challenging passes. Visiting Leh Ladakh is a dream of many and even seasoned riders face challenges in completing the circuit. There are a lot of places to visit in this newly made union territory and people from not just India but around the world visit here every year. This has triggered the locals to develop the most visited attractions of Ladakh without messing up the pristine areas. Over the past decade, the entire Ladakh region has developed a lot be it the roads, places to eat, places to stay, or the attractions. All in all, the beauty of Ladakh is something that is unfathomable and with more and more youngsters getting intrigued to visit here, things are becoming better on the development front.
One of the best places to visit in Ladakh is Shyok Valley. It is yet another pristine and a bit offbeat destination as compared to the others in the region. This is a valley that’s equally beautiful and mesmerizing situated between Leh and Pangong Lake. With stunning beauty all around, enthralling trails, and lesser people; you can enjoy the serenity of the place to the fullest.
Tourist Attractions in Shyok Valley
For people traveling from Sumur to Nubra Valley, it is a few-hour drive. To reach here, the best way is to follow the Shyok River. Lesser people visit here but that doesn’t mean Shyok is even 1% less beautiful. Here are the top tourist attractions in Shyok valley:
True that Diskit is a part of the Nubra Region but when talking about the region it comes in the Shyok Valley. It is the largest and arguably the first village in the Shyok Valley. Diskit is a small village that is popular for its Tibetan Style Monasteries. Diskit is the first settlement on the route to Pangong Lake after crossing Khardung La Village. It has a stupa which is a humongous Buddha Statue which is also one of the finest attractions of Shyok Valley. People generally stop by this village to explore its elements and enjoy clicking pictures of the valley. Surrounded by rugged mountains and snowclad summits, Diskit has a completely different essence to impart in the minds of all travelers. The monastery of Diskit is a masterpiece in itself. There are several levels in which the monastery is built. The stupa is connected to the other complexes using wooden steps. The prime attraction of Diskit is the 106 ft. tall statue of Maitreya Buddha that is located on the top of a hill.
The entire region of Ladakh experiences high snowfall that makes accessing various parts of it a bit difficult but Shyok Valley is not amongst them. One of the best times to visit Diskit village of Shyok Valley is during October-November when this place is beautifully decorated by the locals. In one of these months according to their calendar; Diskit people celebrate the Gustor festival which is celebrated for 2 days. Also, this is probably the best time to visit Shyok Valley.
Diskit is the first village on the route to Pangong and the stupa is a show-stealer. But that doesn’t mean it is the only attractive or enchanting place to visit in Shyok Valley on a bike trip. Diskit is also important because it is the administrative center of Nubra. But approximately 7 km ahead of Diskit, lies another wonderful and attractive village that goes by the name of Hunder. Like any other place of Ladakh, Hunder is also popular for its pristine attractions, beautiful destinations, and natural beauty all around. Mountains at the backdrop treat the eyes with a lot of amusement. This place comprises white-colored houses, various water channels, white sand-dunes, and a few green patches of vegetation.
But that’s not the prime attraction of Hunder. One of the best things to do in Shyok valley, especially in the Hunder region is the camel safari. You get a rare species of camel in this region and that’s the double-humped camel. It is named Bactrian Camel and people do enjoy taking a safari on the white desert on Bactrian Camel at this village.
Another very important and enchanting place of Ladakh in the Shyok Valley is Turtuk. It is one of those places that cannot be missed during your Shyok valley tour. Turtuk is also beautifully made because it is known to be the youngest region of the Union Territory. Turtuk is about 50 km from Hunder and a wonderful place to visit.
Best Time to Visit in Shyok Valley
The best time to visit Shyok Valley is either in the summer or in the winter. Both these seasons are apt for people to visit here. From May to July, Ladakh experiences summers, and November to February is winter here. Make your plan accordingly. Both the seasons are like different faces of Ladakh and do prepare your trip accordingly.
How to Reach in Shyok Valley
Want to know how to reach Shyok Valley? It is easily accessible by road from Leh. All you need to do is take the road from Leh to Nubra crossing South Pallu, Khardung La pass, Khardung La village and follow the Shyok River. It is towards the South-East direction. You can visit here using your vehicle after getting the inner line permit. Those who are not visiting here on their vehicle can take a bus or hire a cab or taxi from Leh bus stand/ Leh taxi stand.
- Make sure that the entire riding time or driving time is done during the daytime. Avoid traveling at night. Wake up early and start to ride/ drive at dawn.
- Keep all the essential items in the backpack including extra punctures, tool kit, lubes, clutch wire, break wire, and foot pump.
- Keep yourself covered with layers of clothes throughout the road and ride/ drive with caution.
- Do keep yourself hydrated to keep problems at bay. It is also advised to munch on a few snacks at every halt.
- Make sure your bike gets rest throughout the trip because it is not just you taking the beating but the machine as well. This is the reason why short breaks at intervals are important.
- Keep a puncture kit, tight seal bottles to fill petrol, and a foot air pressure to fill in the tires if required.
- Make sure that the chain is lubricated every now and then. Change the engine oil if required. Do keep chain lube and clean, engine oil in spare.
- Visit all the attractions after planning the entire trip.
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