Experience Turtuk with an Evening of Village Exploration
By: Zenia D'Abreo


Turtuk, a town in the Leh-Ladakh Union Territory of India, is a place from the dreams. This mountainous terrain is blessed with gushing rivers and trees so tall they seem to be kissing the pleasant blue sky. 

Once, a part of Pakistan (PoK), Turtuk came under the Indian jurisdiction after India won the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Tourism, however, started only in the year 2010. This region is quite raw and untouched, waiting to be explored. Here’s how you can take in the essence of Turtuk in an evening of exploration.


Lose Yourself in the Natural Beauty

Turtuk Leh Ladakh

Any point in this village is a sight to behold. There are several spots to sit and gaze at the natural abundance all around. Pluck and eat apricots, blackberries, and other exotic fruits as you stroll across the village. Stand on the bridge over the river and witness the clear waters gushing beneath. Discover natural refrigerators occurring in caves in many nooks around the village. Every inch of this region is pure beauty.



Get to Know the Balti Culture up Close

Clothes of Balti locals

Set out on a village tour with someone local. Mr Karim, the owner of Bagdour Guest House, conducts these experiential village tours. On this tour, hear stories from the wartime and visit the war bunkers. Discover stone inscriptions dating back centuries and decipher their meaning. End the tour with a visit to the Balti Heritage House & Museum. It is a traditional Balti home converted into a museum, displaying antique vessels, pots, clothes, instruments, weapons, and much more. It's a great place to experience the culture up close and gain insights into the Balti heritage.


Get a Glimpse of the K2 Peak

The K2 peak, the second-highest mountain in the world after Everest, is visible from a vantage point in Turtuk. A trek through golden buckwheat fields along the mighty grey Shyok river leads to this point. There is a cafe at the viewing point where you can enjoy a cup of the traditional hot tea Khawa or a bowl of instant noodles to accompany the scenic panoramas all around.

Visit the LOC at Thaang

LOC at Thaang, Turtuk LehThaang is the last Indian village in this area and is just 2km from Pakistan (PoK). You can see the soldiers of the Indian army in action here, posted to keep order. They also educate tourists about the gravity of the place and the extreme conditions that they work in.


Savor Organic Food with the Locals

Your Turtuk experience is incomplete without a meal with the locals. Having limited access to the main city for food supplies, the locals here grow their own vegetables, rear their own poultry and do everything by themselves. Sit down with Mr Karim and his lovely family for a warm, organic meal over local stories. Savor some specialities of the region like buckwheat handbread (Roti) served with farm-grown vegetable curry or something like pancakes with homemade apricot marmalade and you will have a perfect ending to your eventful evening.



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