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After riding the bike for nearly 8 hours, we reached Leh to Turtuk.

Eventually, we left from Leh in the “morning at around 9 a.m”.

Though we had to leave early, but, the day before, we went sick after getting wet in the rainfall, took medicine, slept, and woke up a little late. 

If we weren’t feeling well, we could skipped going to turtuk.

Also, carrying bags was the major problem. Therefore, we kept our bags safe at the Jigyas guest house in Leh, where we had stayed.

On the way, we limited our stop, but many times, I couldn’t resist stopping the bike to admire the jaw-dropping scenery.

Finally, we reached Turtuk…

The blue hour was in progress, and thankfully, we reached before the complete darkness.

If you’re coming to Turtuk in a vehicle (which I suppose you would be because it’s the only option apart from paying heavily for the taxi), you can park your vehicle beneath the bridge.

Because beyond the connecting bridge, you can’t take the vehicle.

You have to explore Turtuk village on foot.

My first impression

Genuinely, my foremost impression of Turtuk was stunning, as I noticed a wooden bridge linking to Turtuk. So, that was unusually impressive! I could imagine something like that sight in the picturesque European countryside.

When I reached Turtuk village after crossing the bridge and climbing stairs, my first motive remained to find the homestay.

Sukoon homestay turtuk

It took me some time to find the Sukoon homestay turtuk and additional time to find the owner!! Because nobody was there.

I roamed outside to see if I could spot somebody, but I couldn’t find anyone.

Shortly, a woman walked and introduced herself as the owner’s wife.

Honestly, after a few conversations only, it felt homely!

Though, I was a little tired. Therefore, I went inside the room and rested for some time. Meantime, it became dark outdoors.

Surprisingly, there was no fan inside the room.

I sensed that fan was not required as it remains a little cold in turtuk even in the summers.

The day to explore turtuk

I gazed outside the window early morning,

I was excited to explore Turtuk early in the morning. Therefore, I got freshen up and had my breakfast till 8:30 a.m.

The owner had arranged the paranthas and bread jam for the breakfast on the rooftop. It was an amazing sight, overlooking the shyok valley.

The homestay has the ground floor, and then the rooftop.

My dress code

Vansh Tiwari in turtuk

I dressed in formals

Being in Turtuk felt awesome, especially for me, so I wore formal. Ditto; my cousin did.

Genuinely, I decided at home, days before leaving for Ladakh, that I would wear formal there.

The village photo walk in the morning

Turtuk village photowalk

saw a school children cap during the walk

I began my Turtuk village walk. Indeed, it was a photo walk.

In the early morning, elders leave to work in the fields, and children go to school. So, you would spot the houses empty.

I went to turtuk on the 15th of August. Consequently, I could spot children running with Indian flags.

Honestly, I was a little nervous before entering Turtuk…

Because Turtuk was a part of Pakistan before the Indian army occupied it during the border war in 1971. But, after entering, I felt the happiest to be present in the Turtuk. The people, the surroundings, everything feels extraordinary.

Moreover, Turtuk opened for tourism in 2010.

For a photo walk, Turtuk is a small village, and you can wander around on foot comfortably—passing the green fields, and narrow lanes, seeing stunning vistas would be endless.

Also, a small water stream will accompany you throughout your walk.

Indeed, the scorching sun had made me feel hot in Ladakh’s August climate. But I continued my journey to see breathtaking Turtuk.

In between, we found a cave-like place. When I stood inside it, I could feel a cold breeze. Indeed, it’s true!

Furthermore, we roamed for around 2-3hrs and then headed back to the homestay.

During evening

Before, the day ended. I again ventured outside to capture moments. While walking, I reached the wooden bridge, and thought to capture long exposure of the river flowing beneath.

First, I tried a few shots from the bridge. Then, I went down on the rocks, stood my tripod and took long exposure of the river.

long exposure of the skyok river

Long exposure of the skyok river

How’s the weather in turtuk in august?

Ladakh—a rain shadow region, receives less rainfall during August when compared to north India.

But, when crossing high mountain passes in Ladakh, be prepared for the change in weather. It might be raining during your journey when crossing the mountain pass.

Just like – we went to Pangong Lake, and to reach there, you’re required to cross the Changla Pass. It was continuously drizzling throughout our way. Indeed, the slight-slight drizzle made us entirely wet, and when we returned home, we were in fever and needed to take medicine.

Hence, don’t neglect—it rains in Ladakh as well.

However, the weather in Turtuk during my visit on the day of Independence was fantastic. It was sunny with a slight cold breeze during early morning and late evening.

Turtuk during night

During the night, I heard that Turtuk is among the best places to do astrophotography.

Genuinely, I wanted to do milky way photography. Though, I tried my best. But, due to a lack of knowledge, the result was not appropriate.

Also, I searched online for the ideal shutter and aperture for shooting the milky way. But it didn’t come as expected.

Cut to present…

I have gathered knowledge and can identify my errors. Indeed, after that, I went to Spiti and did milky way photography there.

However, I captured some long exposures that night in Turtuk from the rooftop.

How are the people of turtuk?

The people of the Turtuk are friendly and well-mannered. I have talked with a few of them, and they were welcoming.

Also, they seemed very dedicated to their work in the field because it’s their only major livelihood.

However, I noticed, especially women, don’t want to reveal their faces in the camera.

I was standing on the wooden bridge, taking a photo of that bridge, a local woman was passing by, she had hidden her face and kept walking.

Thus, you must remain careful and respectful before capturing the locals of the Turtuk.

Undoubtedly, you could also find fantastic portraits. The face and eyes of the people are extremely beautiful!!

When you ask politely, chances are hight that you would get an outstanding portrait.

My total stay

I stayed in turtuk for 2 nights. Eventually, the plan was to stay 1 night in Turtuk and another night in Hunder.

But, that would evolve into very hectic in traveling. So, we decided to stay in Turtuk for 2 nights.

The 1st night went into complete rest, and the next night, I tried some astrophotography on the rooftop and explored the Turtuk village on the foot.

Then, the very next morning around 7 a.m., we left for Leh.

About Author

Vansh Tiwari is a passionate traveler who explores every corner. Then, he presents his vision in images and writing. Further, he loves long walks along the roadside!

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