Not too long ago, Agham 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 on this road 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 via Shyok route because then 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. These were clicked in May 2019 and as you can see, the road is not even close to being as bad as it was earlier. You have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok
In order to take the Shyok road, you need to take the road towards Village Agham after crossing Khalsar village; leaving the upper route going towards Khardung La. Once you reach Agham, 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. The total distance on this road between Khalsar to Pangong Tso is approximately 140 km; and total travel time is about 6 hours; which is about 80 to 90 km and 4-5 hours less than the Wari La route.
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. The only thing you need to remember is that there is no public transport available on the Shyok route. So if you were not traveling by your own vehicle, the only thing you can do is to look for a shared cab from Diskit or hitchhike with other tourists heading to Pangong.
I hope the information on Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Shyok and the pictures were of help. If you have any questions; or need any other details; please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.