TURTUK, Tiny Paradise in Barren Landscapes of Ladakh

TURTUK, Tiny Paradise in Barren Landscapes of Ladakh


Between the barren mountains, on bank of the Shyok the river of Death.

Turtuk, a less explored part of northern Ladakh, is located at the edge of Shyok river at the altitude of 9,846 feet above the sea level in the barren plateau of Nubra valley. It is the north most village which is 7 kms away from LoC.


Buck wheat farming.

Village Turtuk is situated at lower altitude as compared to other towns of Nubra valley, which makes it land of green lush pasture between the barren mountains. Because of this kind of geographical conditions, locals are totally based on agriculture and farming for their livelihood.

Buck wheat is the main grain and important part of the year long food commodity.


Apricot kept outside for drying.

Apart from Buck wheat, apricots,apples, tomatoes, cauliflowers and cabbages grows in Turtuk seasonally. 

My Co-traveler Joe busy with cabbages.


Three generations together.


Lovely Locals !

One can easily find a different culture here because Turtuk was part of Baltistan, which was captured back by Indian Army in 1971 from Pakistan occupied kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistaan. Locals are very welcoming, warm and open for tourist and happily interact with everyone.

Aged one shares the stories of their era, lived in Pakistani’s controlled govt.


War Memorial near Gorkha Ridge for the martyrs of Indo-Pak War of 1971.



Balti Kids playing in the street.

The villages has beautiful small and narrow streets and architecture inspired from Baltistanis, Afgans and Mughals. The Population is around 3500 with 500 families living in the region.

Balti kids roaming on the road inside the village.


Textured stones and tiny streets are another beautiful and amazing part of Turtuk.

Parents pays special attention for the education. Each and every kid of village attends schools here.
Turtuk Library

Local kid reading a book in small Library of Turtuk.

Girl doing her homework.
Commonly spoken languages are Balti, Urdu and Hindi
Turtuk Kid

Mother and that cute baby.

Balti women are hardworking. They take care of children, most of them works in their own farms and fields, other works as labor at near by construction sites. Men take care of shreds and work as porters.

Those who don’t own any farm, they work as labor at the construction sites.

Turtuk Waterfall

Waterfall near Turtuk, several others exists here which ultimately meets Shyok river.

Turtuk Pond

Water pool for irrigation and house hold utility.


Children having fun in the water pool.


Zero night life, but full of incredible views above your head.

It is a remote area with accessibility issues. Turtuk receives barely 3 hours of electricity every evening. While that causes hardships to the people here, it also has a positive spin off. One can witness incredible views of a starry sky just by stepping out of one’s house. 

It is truly a piece of paradise existing in a desolate, barren valley.




Recent Posts

Message for passing out college Juniors. 

Hello everyone, 

This is a small message to the people who finished their degree and now entered to a different world leaving behind a beautiful set of people and place, MANIT

Being from MACT/MANIT we guys share a bonding, an awesome bonding of Senior-Junior relationship carried by generation which I haven’t seen in any other institute yet. So I will be honest here. MANIT taught us hell lot of things which we all know, trust me it will help you throughout your life as I have met many seniors from 1st batch itself. You are prepared enough to face the toughest now. Congratulations ! Welcome aboard, you are going to be alumni now. 

“Never settle down for less”

Yes, you carry a good potential so don’t get settle for less instead keep working for achieving more. Salary is illusion, so don’t get tempted for it. Learn as much as you can from your firm and prepare for higher studies or UPSC (it’s upto your interest). As I got advices from various alumus and other people I met while traveling, till your 30years of age fight as much you can, be persistent and constant for your goals. Ups and downs will come and go, you don’t need to be frustrated or discouraged. 

“Never ever leave your friends, stay connected”

Everyone is going to get busy now on as 4years of vacation ends here and on that side of college gate, world is going to be bit cruel. Whenever you find it tough, just shout out for help and don’t hesitate. People might say no because of situations but you will get help for sure. These bunch of friends will always be there for you and make sure you too will be there for these crazy friends with whom you have spent lovely college days. Make new friends but don’t ignore them. Put your maximum efforts to be in contact with them. 

“Get Inspired and be an inspiration.”

Do whatever you like, follow your hobbies in free time, engage in Social services, make a good network and circle of people who selflessly works for underprivileged. It will help you to become more mentally stronger and energetic. It will keep away from the daily rush and stressful life. We MANITians are known for setting examples so follow the legacy and make solid impacts on others. Naam roshan karo sabka. 🙂

This is it. All the best for future endeavours. Call/text/email me whenever you want. Enjoy ! 

Varun Namdev (2009-13)


WhatsApp/call @ 9770789087

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