About 150km north of Leh, the small beautiful village of Hunder is like an oasis in the cold desert of Nubra valley. Though the surrounding areas are arid and desolate, the village is a vast expanse of green and abounds in forests of sea-buckthorn, popularly also known as ‘Leh berry.’
But because Hunder is a remote village, it isn’t as popular as other places in and around Leh. However, there’s an incredible lot to see and do here. One of the highlights of the village is the Hunder Gompa, one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Nubra Valley. With gorgeous old frescos and a stunning Buddha statue, this monastery is also the best place to catch a sunset.
Another monastery worth exploring is the Diskit Monastery, especially during the Hunder Festival, when the scene comes alive with the Cham dance, and display of other traditional sports and arts.
The remoteness of Hunder however, is the reason why it’s such a great place for trekking and camping. It’s a rare opportunity for campers and trekkers to stay in the homes of the locals here, who also includes authentic food in the nominal rent they charge. Nubra Organic Farm is also popular among those who plan to go camping here.
Perched at an altitude of 10, 000 feet, Hunder is where the Shyok river meets Nubra river. A trip to Hunder from Leh requires travellers to cross Khardung La – the world’s highest motor-able pass. If you’re fond of road trips, this one has the potential to become your favourite.
Hunder is also popular for the Bactrian double-humped camel rides; these camels are not found anywhere else in India. The camel safaris transport you to the era of the ancient Silk Route trade; and the vast stretches of sand dunes between Hunder and Diskit are covered on the safari. Other places to visit in Nubra Valley if you have the time are: Pangong Lake, Tso Moriri and Turtuk.