Himalayas Ladakh Mountains

Turtuk Village & Pakistan Border| A spectacular drive from Nubra!

trip to Turtuk

Last updated on August 14th, 2023 at 05:33 pm

Turtuk. The Last village on Indian side. Turtuk, is the last village on India Pakistan border. Turtuk was a village which was in Pakistan before the 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 on going to this lovely place on 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 understatement! This is one of the most spectacular drives in Ladakh. Nubra valley to Turtuk distance is 92 KMs.

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 times, it is the journey which is more fascinating than the destination. Even in the 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 rivers!

Before we start, answers to few questions on Turtuk

  1. Is Turtuk a Muslim village ? – Yes. It is. Though Ladakh is predominantly budhist, Turtuk is populated by Muslims who are part of Baltistan region. They have sharp features and good looking.
  2. What is Turtuk known for ? – Turtuk is the last village on the India Pakistan border. However, Turtuk has its own charm of lovely village life, traditional cuisine, trekking trails etc.
  3. Where is Turtuk in Ladakh ? – Turtuk village is remote part of Ladakh and is on the eastern side of Ladakh region. It is accesssible through picturesque road from Nubra.
Let us take you on our picturesque road trip to Turtuk!

Please click on the pictures to see them in larger sizes.

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!

Turtuk

Turtuk

We continue to get mesmerised by the colourful mountains even as we cross the Thoise Airfield

Turtuk

Turtuk

We continue to drive along Shyok. The mountains become more rugged and colourful. Shyok broadens its flow showing off lovely sand banks.

Turtuk

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 the 1971 war.

First view of Turtuk Village

We don’t enter the village and head straight to 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 the 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 the 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!!!

There is one place where the river flows through two huge mountain walls almost looking like a gorge! Notice the height of the wall next to the river here!

We noticed this lovely rainbow over the river!!!

The road. The River. The Mountains. You will never be satiated here!

Trip to Turtuk

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!

Travel Tips

  1. Turtuk can be easily done as a day trip from Nubra.
  2. You need Inner Line Permit to visit the place.
  3. One can stay in the village and spend one/two days exploring it. There are few homestays and hotels where one can stay. You can check out these when you visit the village.
    1. Natural Cold Storage – In Turtuk, all villagers keep their perishables inside little hollows, which are naturally cold.
    2. Polo Ground – Built in the 16th century. Check out if there are any matches played here!
    3. Brokpa Fort – Old fort where Yagbo royalty lived once.
    4. Water Mill – Greek style watermill of yesteryears.
    5. The mosque, Balti Heritage House, Monastery.
    6. Waterfall Trek – A tough trek to the origin of the waterfall. A Three-hour climb. But the views from the top are magnificent including that of K2, the second-highest peak in the world.
  4. We were not lucky to see the crystal clear waters of Shyok River due to the heavy melting of snow and the resultant heavy flow in the river. If you travel in August, you can see it.
  5. 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 special permission from Brigade HQ at Patarpur in advance which will allow a closer look at the LOC compared to regular tourists. Turtuk to Pakistan border distance is just a few KMs. In fact, the border is visible!
  6. This is a drive soothing to the eyes. Keep watching the changing colours of the mountains as you drive to Turtuk.
  7. The road condition is excellent except at a few places where work is going on.
  8. If you are planning a day trip, leave early so that you can have time to explore Turtuk village.
  9. You can have lunch in Turtuk village.
  10. The road after the bridge to Turtuk is very windy later in the day and there are chances of stone fall. Be alert.
  11. Drink water. Wear a good hat. Carry a binocular.

TAKE “CHALO LADAKH” PACKAGE FOR A 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 multiple times, HVK was able to tell us the dark spots of the roads which were 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 on 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!

Thank you and Please Share

Thank you for stopping by Travel Twosome and checking out Turtuk. Hope you liked it. May we request you share it with your friends by clicking the buttons below?

Leave a Comment