Turtuk is clearly a deserved one if you are looking for an offbeat destination in Ladakh, which is less travelled. There is much more to explore because it has only been opened to tourist since 2010.
If you want most out of your Ladakh trip, diversify it as much as possible.Turtuk is unmatchable when it comes to diversifying your Ladakh trip because of its uniqueness. From culture to history, Turtuk is distinct from the rest of Ladakh.
Since time immemorial, Turtuk is inhabited continuously to present date.Turtuk is derived from balti word ‘duktuk’, which means ‘a desired or want to stay’. Turtuk was an important village of Yabgo Dynasty due to its strategic location and served it as an important gateway to the Silk Road.Travellers found village charming and villagers welcoming.Such was Turtuk reputation that the King as Baltistan started residing in Turtuk during summer months.The royal house of Yabgo dynasty Residence is still intact in Turtuk to this day, though not in its original shape.The Titular King of Yabgo dynasty still resides in Turtuk and you can meet king himself at the royal house of Turtuk.
It is one of the few Balti villages which came under Indian control during 1971 war.Historically Turtuk was part of Baltistan.Now Turtuk is assimilated as one of the village of Union of India Turtuk has nearly 4000 population which is predominantly Muslim.Most of the villagers belong to Noorbakshia Islam of Sufi tradition.Turtuk was predominantly Buddhist up till the 13th century when Syed Ali Hamdani brought about cultural and religious change.Still, Turtuk folks had inherited many Buddhist Bon traditions . Turtuk architectures reflect union of Buddhist and Persian designs.Turtuk native Tongue is Balti. Secondary language is Ladakhi and Urdu.Many villagers understand English as well.
Turtuk temperature is quite moderate to tourist then Leh due to slighter altitude than Leh.Temperature can vary from -15 degree celsius in the month of January to plus 30 degree celsius in the month of July.At a height of 9846ft , Turtuk lies on the bank of Shyok river in Nubra Valley.
Turtuk is approximately 205km from Leh in the North West, across Khardungla.Unlike Leh, Turtuk is part of the Karakoram mountains.Turtuk is also one of the gateway to the Siachen Glacier.
Distance of near-by places.
Turtuk to Thang (10km)
Turtuk to Siachen Glacier Base Camp (approx. 100km)
Hunder to Turtuk (83km)
Diskit to Turtuk (90km)
Leh to Turtuk (205km)
Pangong Tso to Turtuk (318km)
Tso Moriri to Turtuk (396km)
Our tiny recommendation
Take permission before taking pictures.
Don’t enter the field
Respect local culture