Turtuk, a beautiful village in Nubra Valley, is inhabited by the Balti tribe, situated just a few kilometres from the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. It is the northernmost village of India, in Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The village has a sparse population; and has a strong cultural influence of neighbouring Pakistan and Tibet. Thrown open to travellers in the year 2010, Turtuk has slowly gained recognition for its sweeping landscape. Much of the credit is given to its location; it is perched on the banks of the stunning Shyok River.
The best time to visit here is in March and April, when the locals celebrate Navroz Festival with traditional music, folk song, dances and polo match. It’s a treasure trove of crops such as wheat, buckwheat and barley and also fruits like apple, cherry, walnut, pear, peach, grape and apricot.
One of the main things to explore in Turtuk, are 16th-century old minarets and mosques, the ruins of Pun Khar – the Royal House of Yabgo Dynasty, majestic views of Mount K2, the isolated village, the Natural Freezing Point and the historic Polo Ground.
Turtuk has preserved the traditions that link it to its Balti roots. Polo is an important part of that tradition. Every year, on March 21 – the first day of Navroz – the best polo players of Youl and Faroul (the two parts of Turtuk connected by an old, rickety wooden bridge) gather for a match at the Polo Ground situated at an altitude of over 9,300 feet.
Other attractions here include monasteries and museums. Although there are guesthouses in Turtuk, this amazing village is best explored by camping tours. You’ll wake up to picture-perfect mountain vistas and clear skies, and sleep under millions of twinkling stars. The scenic beauty of this northernmost village of India is absolutely unparalleled.