Hunder is located in the Nubra Valley, Jammu and Kashmir and is 7 km from Diskit which is popular for it Buddhist monastery. Hunder was the farthest accessible points for the tourists in India before Turtuk was opened in 2010. It is a very quiet village serenaded by the soft sound of many streams and rivers crisscrossing the rather green landscape.
After landing on the outskirts of the Hunder village, a local suggested me that I get a view of the valley from a small monastery, up the hill. The monastery was newly built at a few minutes climb from the Diskit-Turtuk Highway. It was unusually hot for such an altitude. The whole Nubra Valley is at an altitude of 3,048 metres above the sea level. From the monastery I could see the whole valley spread out in front of me. It was like an oasis in the middle of a desert. The valley is considered to be a cold desert and the presence of sand dunes makes the case stronger. But on one hand it was also the greenest and the most fertile river belt I have seen in Leh.
Water is life. And it was just so refreshing to hear and see many clear flowing streams in Nubra valley. It was in contrast to all the harsh and sparse landscape I had seen for miles and miles.
I’ve travelled enough in Ladakh and have seen greeneries confined along the river banks and lower valleys where they are continuously fed by rivers and streams. In the Hunder Village, the forest seemed to have grown out of rich and moist residues brought down from the mountains that surround it.
Though the solitude and the quietness of the village makes it look abandoned, yet the Hunder Village is impressive. Villagers live in houses that are sparsely built and scattered spaciously. The villagers and the forest seemed to have been co-exiting in harmony with each other. Hunder looks like a perfect example of people adapting themselves to the landscape rather than shaping it for their living.
The forest around the village supports many birds. I was lucky to spot a quail, which further added to the admiration for Hunder. Ever from a higher ground you could hardly see houses and people. It seems like the villagers have perfectly wedded with the landscape. It was admirable. Locals seemed to live a peaceful life. Houses were nicely built. There are many guest houses hidden between trees and bushes. It was definitely a quiet place with lots of privacy.
After walking in the heat for quite a while, I was hungry but couldn’t find a single place to eat. There were no loud signboard that welcomes tourists, rather it was a reclusive village favoured by serious travellers.