Turtuk is a part of Gilgit Baltistan and was under Pakistan's control till 1971. After the war, Turtuk along with three other villages were added to the Indian map overnight. It is the northern-most village in India.
Turtuk is also famous for its vicinity to the Siachen Glacier, the largest glacier in the Indian Subcontinent.
Turtuk for me is how I imagine the heavens to be. Lush green fields, the ubiquitous streams, lots of flowers, lovely people and surrounded by the mighty Himalayas. You will not believe it, but there are plenty of apricot trees and you can pluck from the trees and eat. No one will stop you. Of course, things will change as more tourists go there.
Without any doubt, in my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful villages in India.
The people who inhabit this village are called Balti people. Their origin is from Gilgit Baltistan. They have distinctive facial features that are very different from the Ladakhis. They also have their own language, though not very popular. They are very warm and friendly.
Leh to Turtuk
Leh to Turtuk is 203 km and takes about 5.5 hours to reach. Crossing Khardung La, the highest motorable road and Nubra Valley, this is one of the most interesting roads you will go through during your Ladakh tour.
Turtuk is located at an altitude of 3001 meters which is lower than Leh 3500 metres. Thats the reason, we stay in Leh only for a day and then move to Turtuk as, it is better for acclimatization.
The weather is very pleasant during the summer. The temperature drops at night. July is the best time to go to Ladakh and during that time, it can rain in Turtuk. The green fields look beautiful after a shower of rain.
The temperature at Turtuk is more moderate compared to Leh. Summer temperatures will vary from 10 degrees to 30 degrees celsius. Winters are much colder.
There are a lot of homestays in Turtuk in the village. The rates are from Rs.500 onwards.
Turtuk Holiday Resort (Phone: 01980248103) is one of the best accommodations available if you are looking for luxury. I have personally stayed here and loved the tents here.
Ashoor Guest House is another good place to stay. You can contact Manzoor bhai at 9419800776. These people are very warm, a part of the Balti culture.
After a long day from Leh via Khardung La and Nubra valley, we reached there at about 4pm. We decided to take a walk in the village. We climbed a steep way on a hill and was surprised to see a vast stretch of the plateau with fields and some houses as well.
The villagers say that we can see K2 peak, but that is not true. K2 is also known as Mount Godwin-Austen) – the second-highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest. Its located on the China-Pakistan border.
The village is located on the banks of the meandering Shyok river.
The residents of the place belong to an ethnic community – Baltistani and they follow Islam. They speak Urdu and Ladakhi as well.
The bridge between the villages of Youl and Pharol.
We walked down to the village after ascending the mountain and made friends with these naughty girls.
The Balti people have distinctive facial features and are different from the Ladakhis.
There are several memorials in the village to pay homage to the soldiers who were instrumental during the war with Pakistan.
Enjoy My Turtuk Village Images!
The Milky Way from Turtuk Village
Tips for photographersMake friends with the kids.
Spend time there, its a beautiful place.
Be sensitive to the culture.
Ask for permission before you take pictures.
ThanksgivingThanks to all the participants of my Photography Tours to Ladakh over the last 10 years.
All rights reserved. No copying without permission of the author Ssaurabh A Chatterjee