Nubra River – Origin, Length & Other Useful Facts

The Nubra River is a tributary of the Shyok river, located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The river system originates from the Siachen and Terong glaciers and flows through Nubra valley in Ladakh. The total length of the river is around 90 km (56 miles).


  • Nubra river originates from Siachen Glacier when the meltwater from glacier emerge from ice caves and merge to form the Nubra river.
  • Terong glacier and few other smaller glaciers in the Karakoram range also contribute to the formation of the Nubra river. 
Nubra river Map


  • It was once known as Yarma Tsangpo on Tibetan maps.
  • The source of the Nubra River, the Siachen Glacier, has been the site of a war between India and Pakistan for some time and has been labeled the world’s highest battlefield.
  • It is the right bank tributary of the Shyok river.
  • It runs in a southeasterly direction between the Karakoram and Saltoro Mountains for approximately 56 miles until getting drained in the Shyok River.
  • Nubra River drains in Shyok river near Diskit village in Nubra and joins the Indus river at Keris, east of the town of Skardu.
  • The river contributes to the deposition of the Quaternary sediments, which has a great value for Quaternary geology researchers.
  • From June to September, the meltwater flow reaches a maximum, due to which the sediment load is highest.
Nubra river

Visit Nubra River

A road trip alongside the Nubra River would be delightful. The beautiful small villages at the bank of the river are known for their breathtaking scenery. The majestic beauty of the snowcapped mountains can be enjoyed while traveling alongside the river.

Best time to visit

  • Peak Season: May, June, and September
  • Shoulder Season: April, July, August, October, and November.
  • Low season: December to March.

How to reach?

Reach Nubra to enjoy the beauty of the Nubra river and its surrounding at their best. The best way to reach Nubra is to fly to Leh and hire a cab from Leh to Nubra Valley. As Nubra is situated at a higher altitude than Leh, you need to rest a night in Leh to acclimatize properly. Obtain the permit to visit Nubra from the DC office, Leh.

Leh to Nubra route

It would take around 5 to 6 hours to arrive Nubra through this route via Khardung La pass.

LehKhardungLa38 km60 min
KhardunglaKhalsar60 km70 min
KhalsarWarshi87 km120 min
WarshiPanamik40 km60 min
PanamikSumur24 km30 min
SumurDiskit32 km40 min

Google Map

We arrange tours and trekkings in Nubra and other places of Ladakh. Contact us to book your trip.

River Rafting in the Nubra River

Nubra river is also famous for rafting among adventure enthusiasts. The river offers an adventurous rafting option while camping around the river.

Insider tips for visitors

  • For a day trip, start your trip early as it takes 5 to 6 hours to reach Nubra.
  • Rent an oxygen cylinder from Leh to carry it in your vehicle from Leh.
  • To reach Nubra, you have to pass through various remote locations with network problems. So, it would be best to download the offline map of Nubra from Google Maps for easy navigation.
  • If you visit Nubra valley via Khardungla, don’t stay in Khardung La for a long time. As your body’s acclimatization is still in process, it isn’t a good idea to stay at a very high altitude place like Khardungla for a very long time.


  • The region has a relatively dry environment and a lack of precipitation.
  • The river’s upper reach regions are practically bare of vegetation.
  • The hottest months are July and August, when the maximum daily temperatures exceed 30 °C.
  • The coldest months are January and February, when the temperature drops below -15 °C.

The flow of the Nubra River measured at the discharge station and used by Bhutiyani (1999) must come not only from Siachen Glacier and the Terong Glaciers but also from a few dozen smaller glaciers and a considerable expanse of ice-free terrain.

Cambridge university press