Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok Road

by Vargis.Khan

Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok Road

Not too long ago, Shyok road was probably the worst stretch of road in all of Ladakh. It was one stretch that was actually considered to be dangerous to travel on. Even the local drivers used to avoid traveling from Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok because of the extremely bad condition that it was in.

But still, a lot of people wanted to travel from Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake directly. This way, they would not have to go back to Leh and it would save one day in the itinerary. For a few years, this road remained in a terrible state and only the adventurous kind dared to venture in its directions.

Much however has now changed, all thanks to the increase in tourism in Ladakh. What once was a badly broken dirt trail full of stones is now a super smooth stretch of tarmac. So if you were planning to travel from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso directly (or vice versa) but weren’t sure how good the road was, maybe the pictures below can help you decide.

For other details on visiting Ladakh including the best time to reach, how to travel, where to stay, what to see, things to do, itinerary planning, and safety tips, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh – A Complete Travel Guide.

Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok Road

Depending on where you stayed in Nubra Valley, in order to take the Shyok road, you will first have to drive back all the way to Khalsar Village.

The road will bifurcate near Khalsar. You need to take the road towards Village Agham, leaving the upper route going towards Khardung La.

shyok road shyok road shyok road

At some spots, the road is still bad and you will find boulders on the road actually. You may even have to step out of the car to clear the road ahead. Such stretches however are only a few and very short ones.

jitender pathania

Shyok river will accompany you for the most part of your journey.

shyok river shyok river

Once you reach Agham village, you will be at a bifurcation where the road left would take you to Shyok village; and the one towards the right is going towards Wari La. The road towards the left is the one you need to take.

Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok Road

After this, the road will remain smooth all the way and you will arrive at Durbuk village.

Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok Road Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok Road

After Durbuk, you will exit on the Leh Pangong road. Continue driving to Tangtse and from there, it is a straight run to Pangong Lake.

Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok Distance

The total distance on this road between Khalsar to Pangong Tso is approximately 140 km. The total travel time is about 6 hours. This is about 80 to 90 km and 4-5 hours less than the Wari La route.

Best Vehicle

Earlier, this road was doable only in a 4×4 vehicle with high ground clearance. But now, since the road is smooth all the way, even a WagonR completed the journey with no problem at all.

Jitender Pathania

Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake Bus

There are no direct buses available from Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake. In fact, there is no public transport available on the Shyok route at all, not even shared cabs.

So if you were traveling by bus and shared cabs, the only thing you can do is to look for a shared cab from Diskit. If you were lucky, you may find one. If not, you can also try to hitchhike with other tourists heading to Pangong. In peak tourist season, you will find a lot of people who will be willing to drop you at the lake.

If nothing worked, you have no other choice but to return to Leh and go to Pangong the next day.

Conclusion

Should you take this road? Yes, definitely. It will save you a day and the hassle of going back to Leh and then to Pangong the next day. You will also get to see some new areas and explore more.

I hope the information on Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok road and the pictures were of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be happy to answer.

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27 comments

Indranil Jana July 22, 2021 - 6:16 am

Hi Vargis,
Thanks very much for lots of useful articles. Your hyperlinks are properly placed and anyone can easily find desired topics. I got almost all the answers. regarding Leh tours. We will be traveling from Kolkata/ Howrah, WB by car probably on the end of August 2021 with family via Srinagar. Now if RTPCR is mandatory with 96 hrs validity, how can we made it on the way? Is it possible to perform the test at Srinagar? If yes then where should we go at Srinagar? Please help regarding this or make an article on RTPCR test for smooth movement towards Leh Ladakh.

Reply
Vargis.Khan July 25, 2021 - 7:01 am

Thank you for your kind words Indranil. Please speak with Faisal @ 9596410670 in Srinagar about where to get the RTPCR done

Reply
Deeksha Goyal July 12, 2021 - 10:43 am

Hello sir

We plan to stay for two nights in Nubra.
Can we visit Pangong Tso as a day trip from Nubra?

Reply
Vargis.Khan July 12, 2021 - 9:48 pm

Hello Deeksha – Nubra to Pangong is about 6 hours drive so making it a day trip will be very difficult

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SUBHAS GHOSH July 4, 2021 - 1:20 pm

Hi Varghis,
I have been Ladak for three consecutive Years 2017,2018,2019. I had a plan to go in 2020 also. Unfortunately due to pandemic Covid 19 the planning was postponed. This year I am planning to go again at 21st August 2021. My 2 questions to you.
i) Do you think at that time there will be any restriction such as requirement RTPCR test or closing of any local visiting place viz Santi Stupa, Hall of fame etc?
ii) Nubra – Shayak- Pangong will be Ok for Tempo Traveller ?
Subhas, Kolkata

Reply
Vargis.Khan July 4, 2021 - 9:06 pm

Hi Subhas – RTPCR is required right now and I am guessing it will be in August as well. Yes, Shyok road is Ok for tempo travellers as well.

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Deeksha Goyal July 12, 2021 - 10:42 am

Hello Sir

We intend to stay for two nights in Nubra.
Can.we visit Pangong Tso as a day trip from Nubra?

Reply
Vargis.Khan July 12, 2021 - 9:48 pm

Hello Deeksha – Nubra to Pangong is about 6 hours drive so making it a day trip will be very difficult

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Gurpreet Singh March 27, 2021 - 3:54 pm

Hello Vargis,
I am planning to visit Leh in April 2021 from 10th to 18. We are 2 couples. I just wanted to know is it safe if we can go from Leh to Nubra and then to Pangong by rented bike. How’s the road conditions????

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Yash Mishra September 14, 2019 - 3:03 pm

Hello Vargis,

Amazing page and blogs , Thanks you for making travler’s life easy.

I am traveling to Leh on 23rd sept. Was planning to Move Nubra to Pangong direct route. Will be on BIKE and with my wife.

Having less days in hand, wanted to check the current road conditions (after August monsoon season ) for bikers. Will it be safe on the rented bike to travel via Shyok .

Reply
Vargis.Khan September 16, 2019 - 4:15 am

Hi Yash – Road is good and perfectly safe right now. You are OK to go.

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Yash Mishra September 16, 2019 - 4:52 am

Thank you for prompt response. We are in confusion on how to make it a good one..

Taking care of altitude etc.. I planned as per Below :

Day1(23rd Sept) : Stay at Leh hotel and evening local market etc. As will land in Leh at around 12pm.

Day2(24th) : Lamayuru, Magnetic Hill and Sham valley back to leh same day.

Day 3 (25th) Leh to Nubra and stay thr at Hunder.

Day4 (26th) Nubra to Pangong: Including Panamic before leaving Nubra And stay at Pangong.

Day5 (27th) Pangong to TSO Moriri to Leh same-day.(will it be possible?) Or I will have to stay at Moriri.

28 and 29 are in hand as of now. The return Flight is on 30th morning 11am.

Wanted to cover Hanle as well, but not sure how tiring it will be to cover all alone on bike(with wife , she can’t ride) and how to manage Luggage ? As I am not coming back to Leh any time in between Can’t choose locker option.

Right now we have two Rucksack bags, don’t think it will be enough to carry all the clothes and other basic items.

Do you have any advice as we are going on such trip for the first time.

Reply
Vargis.Khan September 16, 2019 - 4:41 pm

Better plan like this.

23 – Leh as planned
24 – As planned
25 – Nubra as planned
26 – Pangong as planned
27 – Pangong to Hanle. 5-6 hours ride, easily doable.
28 – Hanle to Tso Moriri – 5-6 hours ride
29 – Tso Moriri to Leh via Tso Kar – 6-7 hours ride
30 – Fly Out

I assume you will be renting a bike in Ladakh? Contact Azhar @ 9906990020 in Leh for bikes. Give my reference and he will give you a discounted price.
Rucksacks may not be sufficient. Bring along normal bags, 3 would be better, 2 on each side and 1 behind the pillion. Tell Azhar about this and he will make proper arrangements on the bike to make it easy for you to mount the bags.

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Nitesh July 11, 2019 - 1:49 am

Hi Vargis, can we go nubra to pangong via shyok village from bike? And we are couples. Is this route safe in August 1st week. because we are only 2 person. Please suggest what we will do ?

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Vargis.Khan July 11, 2019 - 4:39 am

Hi Nitesh – Yes it is safe enough now.

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Pravishti July 8, 2019 - 5:57 am

Hi Vargis,

I’ll going by an Innova from Nubra valley to Pangong in first week of September. Is the route safe for that time ? In terms of rains or landslides ?

Thanks.

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Vargis.Khan July 8, 2019 - 6:05 am

No it is safe now. It is a good smooth road.

Reply
Pravishti July 8, 2019 - 6:30 am

Thanks

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Ajay Aj June 16, 2019 - 8:19 pm

Can this route now be done by any scooter(gearless vehicle like activa..scooty..jupiter etc).please let me know.

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Vargis.Khan June 17, 2019 - 1:51 pm

Yes it can but you may have to push it at some places to get across Khardung La.

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Rohit June 15, 2019 - 12:00 pm

Hi Vargis, I am going to leh for 8 nights in first week of September. Plan is spend 3 days in leh covering near places and travel via pvt cab to Nubra valley on the 4th day. Can I cover sumur , Panamik , diksit and Hunder same day and leave for pangong early next morning ? From Pangong should I go to Tsomoriri or come back to leh and travel from leh next day ?

Reply
Vargis.Khan June 15, 2019 - 6:47 pm

Hi Rohit,

Yes you can cover sumur , Panamik , diksit and Hunder on the same day if you started early from Leh. From Pangong, go to Moriri direct via Chushul

Reply
Vihang patel May 9, 2021 - 6:28 am

Hello sir, I will be driving on this route (Nubra valley to Pangong lake) during first week of june in my Hyundai i10 car. What do you think, will my car face any issues during trip considering the fact that it is hatchback and front wheel driven car.

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akash SUNDARESH June 11, 2019 - 6:11 pm

Hi Vargis, How about the fuel availability in this route?? And at Pangong Tso?? Am planning to ride from Diskit to Pangong and then from pangong to Tso moriri.. Am a little concerned about fuel stations?? Does any of your blogs cover about the fuel stations at specific stretches??

Thanks for such Extensive blogging. You are helping a lot of us in planning our destinations. Keep up the good work.. Cheers..

Reply
Vargis.Khan June 13, 2019 - 7:41 pm

Hi Akash – Please see the post below. Should be of help.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/fuel-availability-in-leh-ladakh-manage/

Reply
Vineet July 13, 2021 - 3:49 pm

Hi Varghis, very useful first hand information provided by you in your leh blogs. Please answer if anti depressants can continue to be taken at leh nubra pangong as being taken in delhi.

Reply
Vargis.Khan July 14, 2021 - 6:50 am

Hi Vineet – I will really rather not advise on medical matters brother because I do not know. I hope you understand. Please consult with a doctor.

Reply

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