Ladakh in itself is considered to be an offbeat destination due to its remote nature and challenging terrain. But then there is Turtuk village often called ‘offbeat Ladakh’.
Let’s ride with us to the secret land!
How to reach Turtuk.
Turtuk is located in Ladakh so in order to get there, you will first have to reach Leh City. In case you are wondering how to reach Leh then be calm I will explain.
If you prefer and love traveling by road i.e if you are one who loves the journey beside the destination then the only two roads that lead you to Leh are closed for more than six months from November to March each year due to heavy snowfall on numerous mountain passes that comes on those adventurous roads. The two routes are via Srinagar or Manali. And on the other side, if you like to travel by air, you can visit Leh anytime.
Once you reach Leh you can travel to Turtuk via Khardungla by either your own vehicle or public transport. I will explain both of these options. Below is the direction you will take from Leh city to arrive at the village of Turtuk in case you had been journeying via your personal vehicle or bike, or a rented one from Leh town.
By personal vehicle.
The total journey will be approximately 200 kilometres and a travel time of 6-9 hours depending on how frequently you take breaks. Take an early start from Leh, possibly by 7 AM so that you will be able to avoid the traffic at Khardung La top which may result in a nuisance for you. From Leh, you have first to climb the Khardungla pass and after reaching the top covering 40km you will descend Khardungla pass and will formally enter Nubra valley. The First village you will encounter will be Khardung. After continuing for 22 km you will reach Khalsar village. The road will bifurcate after a few kilometers and one to your right will take you to Sumur and Panamik. The one on your front will go towards Diskit, Hunder, and finally, end at Turtuk. This is the one you need to be driving for another 20 km will ensure you are at the headquarter of Nubra valley, Diskit. From Diskit to Turtuk the road runs parallel to river Shyok and is quite plain with a low gradient. After continuing a further 7 km lies Hunder, famous for its dunes and double humpback camels. After continuing for 19 km in the same direction you will reach Thoise known for its military base. Photography is strictly prohibited so fulfill your duty by abiding and respecting the rules. Next in line among prominent villages is Bogdang which is equal in size to Turtuk and 20 km is left to your destination. After passing the small village of Chalunka you will finally reach Turtuk.
A private taxi will be the most convenient, time-saving, and comfortable way to travel but it can cost you a lot of money. If you are on a budget, then another way to travel will be by shared taxis. Let me explain both.
If you rent a cab for Turtuk, it would have to be a return journey and minimum of 2 days.
Now depending on the type of cab you chose, the fare would be a total of around Rs. 15000 for cabs like Bolero and Eco Van. If you rent a Scorpio, Safari, or Xylo, it would cost you approximately Rs.18000. For cabs like Innova the fare would increase to around Rs. 20000.
If you do not want to spend all that money on private cabs, you can opt for shared taxis. Just walk up to the shared taxi stand near Polo ground early in the morning and look for a cab that can take you all the way to Diskit It would cost you around 800. From Diskit to Turtuk you have to take a shared Cab from Diskit Taxi station. It will cost around 400 inr.
A bus leaves Leh bus station to Diskit every morning around 8 am. From Diskit a bus leaves for Turtuk around 2 pm every day. Traveling by Bus will cost you less than half of a shared taxi.
Information provided in this article was during the 2022 tourist season. There is a possibility of changes that might happen so you should keep track of changes by freely approaching locals after you arrived in Leh. During the whole journey, you will encounter petrol pumps at two locations. First when you arrive at the T point where the road bifurcates near Khalsar .other one is a Diskit main road just before you reach Diskit market.
You should carry oxygen if you have breathing-related issues or aged.