A Village Lost in Time

2nd Jun 2019
Photo of A Village Lost in Time by Deepakshi Agarwal

Virgin, raw and rugged landscapes of Nubra Valley

Photo of Turtuk by Deepakshi Agarwal

Turtuk, a village that was initially a part of Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, became a part of India only in 1971. This idyllic village opened it’s gate for tourists in 2009; with it's pristine and untouched beauty Turtuk, never ceases to rapture and enthrall . A two and a half hour long drive through the desert like panoramas of Nubra takes you you towards this last village of India before Pakistan. The entire drive through the Nubra valley, alongside the gorges of Karakoram ranges with the mighty Shyok river gushing through, unfolds in-front of you a view that leaves you absolutely transfixed. Turtuk, is a quaint little village that is made up of fragments of our dreams; untouched by modern civilization this hamlet is cradled in lap of majestic karakoram ranges blanketed by clear blue skies. A stream of lucid turquoise colored water meanders through it's bends and crooks; it happily welcomes you to the village where mellifluous sound of the birds singing resonates through the air.

Through the windows of time

Photo of A Village Lost in Time by Deepakshi Agarwal

The village, a little fairy-tale town, seems to be frozen in time. Unwind in it's tranquil environs and take a walk through it’s tiny winding lanes as you’re transported back in time. The houses, some of them quite ancient, reek of history and yesteryear's story. Glimpses of the fair skinned Balti people along with their beautiful distinct features and eyes, the color of the sky, takes you completely by surprise as they are audibly different from the rest of Ladakh. Walking through the by lanes of Turtuk, is an enchanting experience as it opens the door to an entirely different era, a different community, an alien culture and all of it together overwhelms you. The water from the stream flows through the canals and provides a source of water to all the houses where curious glances from the native people follow you as a constant companion. The village is ancient, has it’s own traditions and a rendezvous with the natives gives you an insight into their life which is dominated by certain norms and decrees. The Balti women, have round blue eyes and porcelain skin which makes them stand apart and beautiful in their own unique way. Village life in Turtuk, which is still untouched by modern civilization is not easy and as you walk around you’ll catch glimpses of women working hard while the men laze away in groups on the street sharing a hookah, busy in confabulations. You’ll also see army convoys passing through from time to time as Turtuk is only a few kilometers away from the LOC, beyond which starts the country of Pakistan. Village walk through Turtuk is like being lost in time, the ancient hamlet with an equally ancient culture not only brings forth an enlightening experience but it’s natural beauty, leaves you astounded.