If you are looking for a place to experience the beauty and culture of Ladakh, look no further than Hunder village. Hunder is a remote village located in the Nubra Valley region, famous for its sand dunes, cold desert and Bactrian camel rides. It is also home to one of the oldest monasteries in Nubra Valley, the Hunder Gompa. Here are some facts and anecdotes about this amazing place that will make you want to visit it soon.
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How to reach Hunder village
Hunder is approximately 160 km from Leh, the capital of Ladakh. To reach Hunder, you have to cross Khardung La, one of the world’s highest motorable pass at an altitude of 18,380 feet. The road is scenic but challenging, so make sure you have a reliable vehicle and driver. You also need to obtain an inner line
permit from Leh to visit Hunder and other places in Nubra Valley.
What to see and do in Hunder village
Hunder village has a lot to offer to the visitors who want to explore its natural and cultural attractions. Here are some of the things you can see and do in Hunder:
- Sand dunes and camel rides: Hunder is known for its sand dunes that lie between the village and Diskit, another popular destination in Nubra Valley. The sand dunes are a result of wind erosion that has created a cold desert landscape. You can enjoy a camel ride on the double-humped Bactrian camels that are native to this region. These camels were once used for trade along the ancient Silk Route, but now they are a tourist attraction. The camel ride costs around INR 200 per person for 15 minutes.
- Hunder Gompa: Hunder Gompa is one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in Nubra Valley. It belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and dates back to the 14th century. The monastery has a white temple (Lhakhang Karpo) and a red temple (Lhakhang Marpo), both adorned with colourful murals and statues. The monastery also offers a panoramic view of the valley and the mountains.
- Hunder Palace: Hunder was once the capital of the former Nubra kingdom that ruled over this region until the 17th century. The palace of the king, known as Langchen Khar (Elephant Palace), still stands in ruins near the village. You can also see a fort on a hilltop called Gula, which was used for defence purposes. These historical sites give you a glimpse of the rich past of Hunder and Nubra Valley.
- Sea-buckthorn forests: Hunder is also blessed with lush greenery that contrasts with the barren desert. The village has forests of sea-buckthorn, a medicinal plant that grows abundantly in this region. Sea-buckthorn is known for its health benefits and is used to make juices, jams, oils and cosmetics. You can buy some of these products from the local shops or try them at the restaurants.
Some facts about Hunder village
Here are some facts about Hunder village that you may find interesting:
- Hunder is a remote village located in the Nubra Valley region, famous for its sand dunes, cold desert and Bactrian camel rides.
- Hunder is approximately 160 km from Leh and one has to cross Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable pass to reach the village.
- Hunder Gompa is one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in Nubra Valley, dating back to the 14th century.
- Hunder was once the capital of the former Nubra kingdom that ruled over this region until the 17th century.
- Hunder has forests of sea-buckthorn, a medicinal plant that grows abundantly in this region.
Where to stay and eat in Hunder village
Hunder village has a range of accommodation options for different budgets and preferences. You can choose from basic guesthouses, homestays, campsites or luxury resorts. Some of the popular places to stay in Hunder are Lumbini Camp, Lchangra House, Stone Hedge Hotel and Mystique Meadows Camp. The average cost of stay per night ranges from INR 1000 to INR 5000 depending on the type and season of accommodation.
Hunder village also has some small restaurants that serve local and Indian cuisine. You can try some of the Ladakhi delicacies like thukpa (noodle soup), momos (dumplings), skyu (pasta) and chhurpi (yak cheese). You can also enjoy some sea-buckthorn juice or tea at these eateries.
When to visit Hunder village
The best time to visit Hunder village is from June to August, when the weather is pleasant and the roads are clear. This is also the peak season for tourism, so expect some crowds and higher prices. If you want to avoid the rush, you can visit Hunder in September or October, when the weather is still good and the tourist inflow is less. However, avoid visiting Hunder in winter (November to March), as the roads are blocked by snow and the temperature drops below freezing.
Why visit Hunder village
Hunder village is a place that will enchant you with its diverse and stunning scenery, its rich and ancient culture, its friendly and hospitable people, and its unique and memorable experiences. It is a place that will make you feel closer to nature and yourself. It is a place that will make you fall in love with Ladakh.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Hunder village soon and discover this hidden gem in Ladakh. You won’t regret it.
Text by Harinder Singh