Turtuk is a village in the Leh district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It lies along the Shyok River, approximately 150 km north of Ladakh. The village is situated at an elevation of 2,700 meters above sea level and is the northernmost village in India.
Turtuk is known for its beautiful landscapes and rich cultural heritage, including ancient Buddhist monasteries. The village is home to the Balti people who are of Tibetan origin and are known for their vibrant culture and traditions. Find below the top reasons for visiting Turtuk Village on your Leh Ladakh Bike trip.
Top Reasons to Visit Turtuk Village
- A Distinct Culture
The locals of Turtuk are Balti people, who happen to have their own distinct culture and way of life. Visitors can learn about this culture by interacting with residents or hiring a guide like Dave Stamboulis. The language is spoken here in Balti, and visitors may be surprised to discover that it is not related to Urdu or Hindi.
- A Rich History
Turtuk Village has a rich history, having been a site of conflict during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. If you are interested in learning about this period, you can talk with the residents or hire a guide like Dave Stamboulis. The Indian Army captured it during this war, and it has been part of India ever since.
- The Capturing of Turtuk
India captured Turtuk during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, as it lies close to the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. Since then, Turtuk has been open to tourists but remains relatively unexplored due to its remote location. Its strategic location also makes it an essential military base for India.
- The Population and History
The population of Turtuk is around 3,000 people, who have lived there for centuries. Its history dates back to the 13th century when it was part of the Baltistan region. Due to its geographical location and isolation from mainstream tourism, Turtuk has managed to preserve its traditional way of life and culture.
The best way to reach Turtuk is by road from Leh, which is the nearest major city. The journey takes about 5-6 hours and passes through picturesque valleys and mountains. The nearest airport to Turtuk is the Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.
The best time to visit Turtuk is between April and October. The weather during these months is pleasant and suitable for sightseeing and exploring the local culture. Winters in Turtuk can be quite harsh with temperatures dropping to -20°C, making travel difficult. So, if you have found all the reasons not to miss a trip to Turtuk, make sure that visit this village on your Leh Ladakh bike trip.