Turtuk. The Last village on India side. Turtuk, the last village on India Pakistan border. Turtuk the village which was in Pakistan before 1971 war. These may be reasons to include a trip to Turtuk in your Ladakh Itinerary. But there are many more why travel to Turtuk should be part of your Ladakh plan. Please read on.
Not many have heard about this remote hamlet on Shyok river in Ladakh. In fact, we had missed out going to this lovely place in our last three trips to Ladakh.
This time we had resolved to go and go on a trip to Turtuk from Nubra. To say that we loved our visit is an under statement! This is one of the most spectacular drives in Ladakh. We have made sure to include it as an extension in the one week itinerary for Ladakh we have written.
Ladakh is all about road trips. After four visits to this beautiful region, we are still not satiated. There is always a new place to explore. Many a times, it is the journey which is more fascinating than the destination. Even in case of Turtuk it was the same. The Turtuk village is charming and lovely. But it is the journey which keeps you mesmerised with changing colours of mountains and river!
Let us take a you through our picturesque trip to Turtuk !
Please click on the pictures to see them in larger size.
As we leave Hunder, we cross the bridge and see the small Hunder Gompa and drive on. The sight of chortems around makes it a pretty sight.
We drive on the lovely road flanked by mountains on one side and Shyok river on the other. The afternoon sun is lighting up the mountains on either side. We get the first glimpse of what is in store!
We continue to get mesmerised by the colourful mountains even as we cross the Thoise airfield
We continue to drive along Shyok. The mountains become more rugged and colourful. Shyok broadens its flow showing off lovely sand banks.
The road gets narrower. The river broader….
We cross Skuru, Chalunka and Bogdaung villages which are along the river. The river continues to give us company flanked by spectacular mountains!
We cross a lovely bridge and the landscape gets better and better! This bridge used to be the Indo-Pak border before 1971 war.
First view of Turtuk Village
We don’t enter the village and head straight to the India – Pakistan border post at Thang, the Northern most Indian village.
We reach the border post at Thang village. A small team of soldiers welcome us. They take us to briefing point from where they explain about border posts at 17,000 feet on the mountains, bunkers, the actual LOC – one can see the fence – the posts occupied at high altitude ridges………Binoculars are kept for closer viewing as well.
The gap in the Shyok valley is the Line of Control between India and Pakistan.
A customary picture….
Indian flag flying high!
We start driving back. We always believe that mountains look different in different directions. We were not disappointed. The drive back was more spectacular than onward journey. Let the pictures show that!
We see these huge mud walls with peaks in the background!
Another view of Turtuk village.
Mountains in different hues!!!
We noticed this lovely rainbow over the river!!!
The road. The River. The Mountains. You will never be satiated here!
We reach Thoise again and drive back to Diskit. The experience of driving through one of the spectacular landscapes in the world is still lingering with us!
A day trip to Turtuk can be easily done as day trip from Nubra.
- You need Inner Line Permit to visit the place.
- One can stay in the village and spend one/two days exploring it. There are few home stays and hotels where one can stay. You can check out these when you visit the village.
- Natural Cold Storage – In Turtuk, all villagers keep their perishables inside little hollows,which are naturally cold.
- Polo Ground – Built in 16th century. Check out if there are any matches played here!
- Brokpa Fort – Old fort where Yagbo royalty lived once.
- Water Mill – Greek style watermill of yesteryears.
- Mosque, Balti Heritage House, Monastery.
- Waterfall Trek – A tough trek to origin of waterfall. A Three hour climb. But the views from the top of is magnificent including that of K2, the second highest peak in the world.
- We were not lucky to see the crystal clear waters of Shyok river due to heavy melting of snow and resultant heavy flow in river. If you travel in August, you can see it.
- Tourists are allowed to go to the border post since last year. Keep your permits and IDs handy for checks at Army check posts. If you are an army personnel, you can take a special permission from Brigade HQ at Patarpur in advance which will allow a closer look of the LOC compared to regular tourists.
- This is a drive soothing to the eyes. Keep watching the changing colours of the mountains as you drive to Turtuk.
- The road condition is excellent except at few places where work is going on.
- If you are planning a day trip, leave early so that you can have time to explore Turtuk village.
- You can have lunch in Turtuk village.
- The road after the bridge till Turtuk is very windy later in the day and there are chances of stone fall. Be alert.
- Drink water. Wear a good hat. Carry a binocular.
TAKE “CHALO LADAKH” PACKAGE FOR PEACEFUL LADAKH ROAD TRIP
We subscribed to ChalO Ladakh when we travelled to Ladakh in 2014 and in 2016. We just had to sit and relax and enjoy the tour as H V Kumar was in command!
H V Kumar or HVK as he is fondly called is a doyen of Road trippers in India with more than 2500o members in his road trippers group HVK Forum!!
Starting from planning to selection of vehicle and driver, hotels to stay and some exciting places to see which you don’t see in the “tourist circuit” is done by him and his team. Having travelled to Ladakh multiples times, HVK was able to tell us the dark spots of the roads which was very helpful. He was constantly in touch with us on WhatsApp/cell and was able to guide us end to end.
Why are we recommending “ChalO Ladakh” for Classic Ladakh Road Trip?
It is very simple. No headaches. Period! Here are some key features of this package
a) HVK and team will Travel With You virtually when You Travel on this Ladakh road trip
b) Whether you Drive yourself, are Driven in a taxi or Fly into Leh, the HVK and team helps you in
- Planning your Itinerary & Your Route, including Mentoring sessions
- Loading RoutO App in your Android Phone to guide you on the highway
- Arrange your Hotel Rooms at good rates
- From the day you leave home through Ladakh till you return home, every day
- Live Tracking your movements
- 24×7 Helpline
The whole package for Ladakh Road Trip costs you Rs 1501 per trip per team. HVK – who is a dear friend – is giving a special discounted rate of Rs 1350 for Travel Twosome readers . That’s a pittance for the kind of support you will get from the team. We will not give out all secrets of ChalO Ladakh here. You can check it out yourself by clicking this picture below
We do not have any hesitation in recommending this not only because we have used it and were very happy but also because you need someone like HVK behind you when you are driving or bring driven in Ladakh.
Go ahead and take ChalO Ladakh and leave all your Ladakh worries to HVK!
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