Welcome to Turtuk
The turbulent Shayok valley between Hunder and Turtuk is 80km of scenic magnificence marred only very occasionally by military installations. The grand raw-rock valley briefly narrows near tiny Changmar, the western limit of Ladakhi-Buddhist culture. Thereafter, the rare green splashes of village are culturally and linguistically Muslim Balti. The main centres of Turtuk and less-visited Bogdang villages are raised patchworks of fields and houses on terrace ledges above the main road. Summer sees locals carting huge bundles of barley straw on their backs between the apricot trees. Upper Turtuk has unforgettable views towards serrated high peaks in Pakistan: the frontline is only 7km away. Indeed Turtuk itself was part of Pakistan until the 1971 war.
Note that while many travellers find Turtuk a Ladakh highlight, some others consider its quiet simplicity doesn't quite justify the long journey.