A blissful stopover: Sumur, Nubra Valley
Sumur is a quite, peaceful and lesser know village in the Nubara Valley of the Ladakh region in the Trans-Himalayan mountain range. It is frequently visited by backpackers and hikers from all over the world. The village of Sumur is located at an altitude of around 10,827 feet above sea-level.
To reach Sumur in Nubra Valley from the town of Leh, the best option for a group of six to eight travellers is to hire a Jeep to the village of Sumur. The Jeep ride from Leh takes around six hours. The best option for travellers who choose to venture out alone or in pairs is to book a seat in one of the many share-a-jeeps that ply on this route on a daily basis. A seat in these Jeeps can be booked at any travel agency in Leh.
The picturesque village is around 110 km from the town of Leh. The road leading to Sumur crosses a bridge near the confluence of Nubra and Shyok river, the road then curves sharply south. The roads leading to the village of Sumur is surprisingly very well laid with smooth tar roads all the way leading to the village.
The village of Sumur is famous and also an important stop since the holy monastery named Samstem Ling Gompa is located close to the village. The Samstem Ling Gompa is the most important monastery of Nubra Valley and one needs to hike for around 45 minutes to reach the monastery.
Samstem Ling Gompa belongs to the Gelun-pa sect and about 100 monks live there. A huge image of Shakyamuni dominates the main hall along with the statue of Maitreya and Mahakala that flank the image. The puja ceremony in the Gompa takes place both in the morning and evening.
The best way of getting around this village of Sumur is by foot, since this village is not very big and has not more than 40 odd houses. Nearly all the houses in the village are painted in white and maroon, as the village is mostly inhabited by Buddhists.
Accommodation options in Sumur are very basic with nearly all the guest houses and home stays providing noting more than a room and a bed. Most of the accommodations come with common wash-rooms. The guest houses and home stays also provide meals at a very economical price and the meals served are still cooked in traditional Ladaki vessels and over fire wood. The staple diet of the people from this village is dal, rice, chapati and cabbage. Restaurants of any kind do not exist in this village.
The best time to visit the village of Sumur is during the summer months from June to September. Light woolens are required even during summer since the mercury level drops considerably during the nights.
Sumur is a village that is more of a religious stop over and a place that hikers and backpackers would love since there are plenty of trails and paths that take one to high altitude villages and temples.