Turtuk (Tur-tuk) is a tiny Baltic village on the border of India and Pakistan. It is surely the prettiest village in the whole of Ladakh, if not in all of India. Here is a list of 10 things to do while in the village of Turtuk.
Table of Contents
1. Pluck apricots in Turtuk
Backpack to Turtuk in July or August and you’ll have an overdose on apricots. The whole village is literally littered with the fruit. You can directly pluck them off the tree, wash them in the stream and eat them. It’s just Pluck-> Wash -> Eat -> Repeat.
2. Selfie on the bridge
The gateway to Turtuk is via a wooden foot over bridge. Fire a selfie with your monopod (selfie stick) and you’ll get one heck of a picture with the Karakoram mountains, flowing river and a sky full of clouds.
3. Home Stay
Over the last few years, tourism in Turtuk has boomed and this has given rise to plenty of luxury stays. But the best way to get a first-hand experience of the village is to spend a night with a Baltic family. The home stays are very basic and have usually a common washing room (western style) but these home stays are extremely high on experience.
4. Bond with locals
The villagers from Turtuk just love to talk and will go out of their way to click a picture with you. Go beyond getting that picture for your Instagram handle and get to know them beyond ‘hi’ and ‘hello’. The older crowd love talking about the war with Pakistan, while the children are more than happy to even let you play with them, don’t forget to get them a few toffees.
5. Monastery hike
At the far end of the village is a small Buddhist monastery (Gonpa) which like every other in the valley offers a mind-blowing view of the entire valley. The walk to the monastery takes one through the village fields which just adds to the build-up to the top. The monastery is a must-visit when you are in Turtuk.
6. Spot Mt K2
From the small verandah like area outside the monastery along with the entire view of the village of Turtuk and the Shayok River flowing; the mighty Mt K2 is visible very clearly, provided that the sky is clear that day. Don’t leave the monastery without spotting the world’s second-highest peak and also the deadliest.
7. The beach
Yes, you have read it correct, there is a small area just slightly ahead of the left turn you take before you reach the wooden bridge of Turtuk. The Shyok River which flows is met by a Nalla from Turtuk and their intersection has created, a decent-sized pool of water with white silt from the river surrounding it. So the locals dubbed the same as the village beach and ever since then it’s been a big hit with tourists.
8. Dry fruit shopping
They say six of the best varieties of apricots in the world come from Turtuk. Request the guest house owner to get you a few dried apricots to taste and you’ll surely ask him to pack a kilo or two to take back home. These apricots are the best thing to give your office buddies or close friends after a trip to Turtuk. They also sell apricot jam and walnuts. The dry fruits are easily 50% cheaper and 100% better than what are on sale in Leh.
9. Baltic museum
Across the wooden bridge, on the other side of the village lives the royal decedents of their great Baltic rulers. The family has turned a section in their house to a small museum which displays very beautifully, the A to Z of Turtuk as a village and the entire Baltic race in general. There is no entry fee and it’s a visit to the museum that just completes the entire Turtuk experience.
10. Glacier water
All through the village. right after you cross the wooden bridge, you’ll spot a walking stick shaped metal pipes with water continuously flowing. This is because it’s freshwater from a melting glacier. This is definitely a must-have, the icy cold water will surely freshen you up.
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