Diskit – The Abode of Maitreya Buddha
Diskit and Hunder are the two places travelers are more familiar with when it comes to Nubra Valley in Ladakh. Although there are many other villages that make up Nubra Valley, these two have the highest priority in an average Ladakh tourist’s itinerary. Somehow in my entire Ladakh itinerary, Turtuk had the highest priority. Therefore, I decided to cover these two villages on my way back to Leh from Turtuk.
ABOUT DISKIT VILLAGE
Diskit is a village in Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir with population of only about 1,700. At an altitude of 10,480 feet, it is home to 106 feet tall statue of Maitreya Buddha and Diskit Monastery. Situated on the banks of Shyok river, it is 110 kms away from Leh (via Khardung La) and 7 kms away from Hunder.
DOCUMENTATION FOR VISITING DISKIT
Since Diskit is a part of Nubra Valley, the tourists need to take an Inner Line Permit (ILP) beforehand in Leh itself. The Permit fee is inclusive of Red Cross, Wildlife and Environmental Fees. I had opted for a week long permit for all the regions under ILP’s purview. You may read more about ILP here and apply for the permit online here. Please note that you have to take the print of the Permit Details document to TIC Office, Opp. J&K Bank in Main Market, Leh and make the necessary payment.
HOW TO REACH
Diskit is 110 kms away from Leh (via Khardung La). Therefore, one can leave early from Leh, explore Diskit by afternoon and then move to Hunder (11 kms further) for an overnight stay. But before that,
HOW TO REACH LEH
Air: The best but the most expensive option. Leh Airport is connected to Srinagar and Delhi Airports. If you choose this option, make sure you acclimatize well once you land in Leh.
Bus: Public and Private transport buses ply between Srinagar and Leh (takes 3 days) as well as Manali and Leh (takes 2 days).
One can reach Diskit either by public transport bus or shared cabs from Leh. The route will be Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley – Diskit. Considering the road conditions at Khardung La pass, it takes 4-5 hours to cover the distance of 100 odd kms.
Cabs: The shared cabs are basically SUVs that accommodate about 7 people plus the driver and they typically charge Rs. 300-400 per person.
Bus: There is a direct public transport bus to Diskit from Leh that leaves at 7:30 am (fare Rs. 243). For reaching Leh from Diskit, one can board a bus that starts at Skuru and reaches Diskit by 8-8:30 am. The bus fare is Rs. 210.
We reached this village by 10:30 am on 3rd August 2018 by public transport bus that leaves from Turtuk daily at 6 am. Since we had planned to stay at Hunder for the night, we had to board 2:30 pm Turtuk bound bus from Diskit. That left us with 3 hours to explore this village. Please note that the shared cabs in Diskit charge exorbitantly high – for example Rs. 700-800 for Hunder and Rs. 3,000 for Turtuk.
PLACES TO VISIT
- Diskit Monastery
- 106 feet statue of Maitreya Buddha
Both these tourist attractions are hardly couple of kilometres away from the main market. Although shared cab services are available to take tourists to the monastery, they charge around Rs. 800-1,200 per ride. If you are tight on budget, then you can simply climb the hill for about an hour.
Inaugurated by the holy priest Dalai Lama, the 106 ft statue of the Future Buddha is on the left whereas the monastery is on the right hill. The monastery is open from 7 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 7 pm. The entry charges are Rs. 30 per person. It takes about 1 – 1.5 hours to explore these two places and the views of the landscapes of Nubra Valley from the top are simply stunning. As planned, we boarded the afternoon bus for Turtuk and got down at Hunder for overnight stay.
BEST TIME TO VISIT DISKIT
May to September
ACCOMMODATION IN DISKIT
- Hotel Stendel Nubra
- Chamba Camp Diskit
- Hotel Lhas Thang
- Hotel Olthang
- Ladakh Ecotel Green Guest House
- Hotel Sand Dune
RESTAURANTS IN DISKIT
- Dolma Restaurant
- Gyantse Restaurant
Drop your queries and suggestions in the comments section below and I would be more than happy to address them.
Till then…Happy Travelizing!!!