Panamik, The Only Hot Water Springs In Northern Himalayas

Leh and Ladakh remains one of the most exotic and serene destinations in India. Its terrain, climate and beauty is unmatched. If you are an avid traveler or an eager tourist or just a travel junkie, you have to visit Leh. Panamik in Leh should be on your list of must see things!

Nubra Valley photo
“Photo of Nubra Valley” by Aayush Iyer under CC BY 2.0

A Leh-Ladakh trip is the journey of a lifetime. You experience raw nature and unfiltered views for the first time in your life. Being this close to such powerful forces of nature can calm you and refresh your soul. No wonder people often comment how a trip to Ladakh is like getting your batteries recharged. The sweeping valleys, the snow covered mountains and the colorful monasteries are the antidote to our stress filled lives. There are so many things you should do but the most important thing is to unwind. Having a holiday packed with places to see and things to do can also be overwhelming. That’s why its crucial that you pace your vacation out. Breathe in some of the fresh mountain air and thank your stars for allowing you this view! Leh and Ladakh have several places and monasteries that you should be adding to your list. Nubra Valley is home to most of them. In case you need a refresher, we have this amazing and detailed post on Nubra Valley that will tell you all the things you need to know!

Now we know that Nubra Valley is in a challenging location. Access to the town and nearby areas is tricky. Travelers can catch a flight to Leh or Manali and then take a bus or taxi to Leh. Panamik, the village that we are currently raving about is in Nubra Valley and about 150 kilometres from Leh. You can stay for a few days in Leh and then head to Panamik via bus or taxi. A taxi maybe slightly expensive if you are traveling solo or as a couple. Local buses run on alternate days and you can check the timings once you are in Leh. Travel agents and agencies also provide tourists with shared cabs which are a cheaper option than a taxi and a more comfortable option than the bus. Tourists heading to Panamik will have to obtain a special permit as they are entering Nubra Valley. Now to the most important question, why should you visit Panamik?

Nubra Valley photo
“Photo of Nubra Valley” by Navaneeth Kishor under CC BY 2.0

Panamik is the ONLY accessible hot water sulphur spring in the Northern Himalayan region. A hot water sulphur spring is heated groundwater coming from the Earth’s core. Sulphur is commonly found as a natural mineral near hot water springs. The distinct smell of the mineral can let you know that the spring contains sulphur. Don’t worry, it isn’t harmful. In fact there are studies and reports that suggest sulfur can aid in reducing stress, treating skin infections and boost your blood circulation. The hot water sulphur springs at Panamik are situated at a staggering 10,440 feet above sea level! Think of it as a natural jacuzzi or spa in one of the coldest and highest places on Earth! Of course due to the really high level of heat, you can only take a quick dip in the water. Staying or sitting in the water for too long can be dangerous as the hot water can irritate and burn your skin. Tourists have to pay a small amount (INR 20 in 2019) to take a dip and try the unique Panamik springs. You can also visit the Ensa monastery which is a 2 hour hike from the village. Travelers and tourists can choose from many guest houses or lodges run by locals and residents. You can enjoy a simple home cooked meal by the hosts in the small village of Panamik.

Featured “Photo of Panama Lake” by Madhav Pai under CC BY 2.0

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