Beautiful but remote, Hunder village sits like an oasis in the middle of cold desert in Nubra valley of Jammu and Kashmir. Seven km from Diskit which is known for its Buddhist monastery, Nubra has acquired fame for its sand dunes, the cold desert that surrounds it, Bactrian camels and its breath-taking natural beauty.
Situated close the Siachen glacier and Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir in north India, entry beyond Hunder village is barred as the area ahead is controlled by the Indian Army. Hunder is approximately 160 km from Leh and one has to cross Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable pass to reach the remote village.
The high altitude desert, with rolling expanse of sand dunes and barren landscape is the USP of Hunder village. The cold desert and sand dunes seem enigma to scores of tourists who come to visit the spectacle.
Bactrian camels are another attraction. Native to the steppes of central Asia, the Bactrian camel has two humps, in contrast to the single-humped camels found in Rajasthan and other parts of India. The Bactrian camels were the main mode of transport when Ladakh was an important stopover on the ancient trade routes with Central Asia.
Joyrides on the Bactrian camel through the sand dunes is a must do for the tourists who visit Hunder. Camel safari takes around two hours.
Hunder is also the place where you can find forests of sea-buckthorn, a medicinal plant rich in bio-molecules, vitamins and nutritive properties and popularly known as ‘Leh Berry’.
Though the area surrounding Hunder is arid and desolate, the village, however, is a vast expanse of green and abounds with cultivable land. Horticulture products, including, apricots, walnuts, almonds, apples and various fruits and flowers, from Nubra are much sought after.
Because of its remote location, tourist facilities are limited in Hunder. However, the village is popular with campers. The tented accommodations maintained by private operators are not low in comforts.
Hunder is also famous for its Buddhist monastery known as Hundur gompa situated close to the Diskit monastery. It is one of the oldest monasteries of Nubra valley.
Festival of Hundur is a chance to see the ancient culture of Hunder people. It is celebrated jointly with Diskit monastery every year. Display of Cham dance and traditional arts and sports are the highpoint of the festival.
WHERE TO STAY
Guest houses and private hotels with basic facilities are available in Hunder village. Villagers also provide homestay for nominal rent which includes food. Nubra Organic Farm is popular with those planning to go camping. Tour operators, mostly private groups, offer tented accommodation in Hunder during the high season.
WHERE TO EAT
There are a handful of restaurants that serve basic meals.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Winter is quite harsh and Ladakh remains snowbound during the season. Visiting is possible only during summer that is in the months from June to August which is the best time to visit Hundur.