Turtuk Village Overview

Turtuk Village, nicknamed the "village divided by a border," lies in Ladakh's remote Baltistan corner. As India’s final settlement, it rests on the Indo-Pak border, embraced by majestic snow-clad mountains. Besides serving as the Siachen Glacier's gateway, Turtuk is renowned for its diverse fruit cultivation, notably apricots. Explore Ladakh holiday packages to experience the charm of this unique village and its breathtaking surroundings

Turtuk Village, nestled in the breathtaking Nubra Valley of Ladakh, is a rare gem waiting to be discovered. It offers a peek into a life far removed from the bustling cities. Surrounded by the majestic Karakoram ranges, Turtuk is the northernmost village of India, sitting close to the India-Pakistan border. What makes it truly special is its vibrant Balti culture and lush apricot orchards. The village has a history that intertwines with the narratives of India and Pakistan. Since opening to tourists in 2010, it has offered a unique glimpse into the lives of the Balti people, their culture, and the serene beauty of Ladakh.

The story of Turtuk Village is as intriguing as its landscapes. Once under Pakistan's control, Turtuk became a part of India after the 1971 war, adding layers of historical significance to its serene environment. The charm of Turtuk lies in its simplicity and the warmth of its people. Visitors are welcomed into traditional stone houses and can wander through fields rich with apricots.

They can also cross the old wooden suspension bridges that link Turtuk to the rest of Ladakh. This quaint village is a sanctuary of peace, offering stunning views, and fascinating history. It is here where you can get a chance to witness the confluence of cultures at the edge of India's territory.

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• Enjoy a visit to the tiny village of Turtuk, the last of its kind in the country, located right on the Indo-Pak border near the Line of Control
• Make your way through a diverse ecosystem of scrublands, floodplains, gorges as well as river streams as you reach this beautiful hamlet
• Learn about the history of the Indo-Pak war right from the people/locals who witnessed it from their very eyes
• Enjoy taking a stroll on the wooden suspension bridge here, which dates back to the 1980s, and connects the village to the main roads in the region
• Spend some time visiting the local mosque in the village, and get a chance to see fine woodwork, complete with diverse geometric designs
• Travel Khardung La Pass and Nubra Valley to witness the Karakoram's grandeur en route to Turtuk.
• Take a tour of the Royal Palace and the Balti Heritage House, which is where you can learn about the region’s heritage

How To Reach

By Air: The closest airport to Turtuk is Leh's Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. It is 208.3 kilometres away from the village. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or join a shared cab. The journey to Turtuk takes about 6 to 7 hours.

By Road: Turtuk Village is located 202.9 kilometres from Leh city centre.  

By Bus: You can avail a ride on the state buses, which operate on a bi-weekly basis from Leh to Turtuk. The total journey takes around 6 to 7 hours, depending on road and weather conditions. 

By Car/Bike: Alternatively, you can also drive your rented or private vehicle to Turtuk. The route from Lek passes via Khardung La Pass, the Diskit-Turtuk Highway as well as places like Hunder and Diskit. The journey can take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Turtuk Village is from April to October, when the weather here is clear and the roads open. With average temperatures ranging between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius, exploring the village becomes great if you visit during summers.

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Other Essential Information

Tips to keep in mind before visiting Turtuk Village

  • The residents of the village typically speak Ladakhi, Urdu and Balti languages, with a little bit of Hindi, so it is always good to learn a few common terms and phrases from these languages when visiting the village
  • Since Turtuk is a military dominated and sensitive area, it is best not to go off to secluded areas all by yourself
  • It is recommended to carry extra batteries and portable chargers since electricity is available only for a few hours here
  • You also require a BSNL number since this is the only form of communication and connectivity in the village
  • You cannot find information about homestays, hotels and guesthouses in Turtuk on the web, making it imperative to explore the village and ask for help from the friendly locals 

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Point of Interest for Turtuk Village
Polo Ground

Polo Ground

The Polo Ground in Turtuk dates back to at least the 16th century, and has been built in a very traditional way. On a good day, you can even catch sights of locals playing a game of polo here. 

Balti Heritage Home and Museum

Balti Heritage Home and Museum

Located in the narrow alleyways of the village, near the polo ground, is the Balti Heritage Home and Museum. It is essentially a 140-year-old house that now serves as a museum. In addition to structures built using stone and wood in the traditional Balti style, you can also marvel at the typical Balti style of architecture here. 

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Brokpa Fort

Brokpa Fort

The best place to learn about the Yagbo royalty, their daily lives and lifestyle, the Brokpa Fort is the best place to be. Said to be at least 500 years old, the fort still retains a major chunk of its original structure, and is a structural marvel.

Turtuk Old Mosque

Turtuk Old Mosque

Located in the heart of the village is the Turtuk Old Mosque, dating back to the 16th century, and boasting of distinctive features. Complete with a spiral staircase and wooden minaret, the mosque is also known for its stunning Iranian designs, and wooden ceiling patterns. 

Tourism Board Alliances

Turtuk Village FAQs

Are there any permits required to enter the Turtuk Village?

Yes, permits are required to visit the Turtuk Village. While citizens of India need an Inner Line Permit along with a government ID to enter the village, foreign nationals are required to have the Ladakh Protected Area Permit for entering Turtuk.

What is there to do in Turtuk Village?

In addition to visiting the different attractions in the village, such as the mosque, gompa, polo ground and more, you can also indulge in trekking and hiking within the village

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