New areas opened in Ladakh: Turtuk, more of Pangong, Batalik, Chiktan

#1 Nov 28th, 2009, 16:09
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#1
Hey, great news for those who have wanted to go to these areas of Ladakh for which foreigners could not get permits. Links to articles are below.

Now, if any of you actually go to these places, please post advice and observations here!

These have now been opened:
Turtuk in Nubra Valley (ie pretty close to the Pakistan border, and about an hour's travel further than Hundar, previously the farthest point you could go to). It's Balti, which is a similar culture and language to Ladakhi. The religion of Turtuk is mostly Nurbakshi Muslim; some villages are Shia.

Batalik and the rest of the Dard villages. Now instead of going to Dah and Bema and then turning back up the Indus, you can continue along down the Indus through more Dard villages, and then cut south back to Kargil town. Dards are a totally different culture and language from Ladakhis. Some are Buddhist, and some are Shia Muslim.

Maan and Merak villages on Pangong Lake. You used to be able to just basically go to the edge of the lake at Spangmik and then you had to turn back. Now you can travel along to a couple of villages there. I think the newly opened area would include about 40 km of lake side.

Chiktan valley in Kargil District is an other circuit you can make from Dah and Bema instead of Batalik. Actually it's been de-facto open for years and I've been there many times with foreigners. For example, last year a local government leader gave prizes to the "Vermont USA" ice hockey team in a tournament there. But some more cautious travelers may have avoided it, being unsure about the advisability of going without a permit. I really like the Chiktan valley -- very quiet and off the beaten track, small narrow valleys, good ruins to explore of Chiktan Castle, and beautiful rock formations in the lower part of the valley. There are some excellent trekking routes there, I'm told.

http://www.kashmirobserver.net/index...iness&Itemid=6
http://www.ptinews.com/news/386861_T...ists--Minister
#2 Nov 30th, 2009, 10:26
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#2
Good news indeed!
Are the permits issued to Indians too in the DC's Office?
H V Kumar
#3 Nov 30th, 2009, 12:23
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Permits for Indians have always been issued in Leh at the DC's office so I assume they still are. Indians have only needed an I-card of any kind, not a passport, and they don't need to be in groups. They could already go to some or all of these areas, but foreigners couldn't. Batalik and Chiktan are in Kargil District so the permits would be issued by the DC of Kargil.
#4 Nov 30th, 2009, 22:50
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#4
Thanks for the info. Few more reasons to visit Ladakh for second time.

Ronak.
#5 Mar 11th, 2010, 01:35
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I really really really want to go up to Turtuk and there around. I do NOT want a guide or anything. Ive been in kashmir 6 months and dont need translators or any such nonsense. What I do want to know if anyone has been to turtuk or how to get there safely? or any remarks of anyone has been at all. Im very interested in that village and the area around. And when the weather is better I intend to go . Anyone been? Thank you.
#6 Apr 15th, 2010, 22:02
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#6

Thumbs up

hey there how r u ? well my name is salim i am from turtuk currently in dubai iam glad to hear that u realy wanna be in our village ........
Last edited by delhiwala; Apr 15th, 2010 at 23:05.. Reason: Email ID Deleted from the post
#7 Apr 16th, 2010, 04:07
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Thanks Salim. I am planning on going fairly soon. But I have not found anyone to go with me and foreigners are onyl allowed to visit in pairs. So I thought I would have to go to Leh and wait there til I find someone willing to go in that direction. Is it fairly easy to get to from Leh?
#8 Apr 16th, 2010, 23:40
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IFFFF you get your permit, there are buses to Nubra every other day (or you can take a taxi in the wrong direction the other days but it's a hairy ride to do so). I expect there are buses from Leh to Turtuk every other day, and if not, surely there are local buses from Diskit.

But please let us know if you get that permit! Last year to get permits for, eg, Nubra, you needed a group of four (not a pair), and to stop people just using old passport photocopies, they required the original passports to be shown when the photocopies were submitted.
#9 Sep 13th, 2011, 22:24
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#9
Hi,

A group of us (Indians) went to Turtuk in August 2011.I believe this route has been opened to tourists last year,so this summer,it was Turtuk's 2nd season.
Some information of interest to travellers:

- Turtuk is about 83 km from Hundar. The road follows the countours of the Shyok River Valley and there are no high passes.Travelling in an SUV it took us about 2 hours to cover the distance with photo stops in between.
- Both Indians and Foreign Nationals can travel to Turtuk,and the permits are issued in Leh.
- There are tented cottages and some Guest Houses to stay in but we did not have the time to check on the quality of the accomodation or the price.
- There are several military camps on the way and photography is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
- If you plan to travel to Nubra Valley,it is suggested that you plan for 2 nights / 3 days trip. Otherwise you will be spending a lot of money travelling and not spending enough time to enjoy the place. To experience any place you need time and Turtuk is no exception. The drive along the valley is beautiful.

Enjoy Turtuk!!

Outrigorsandeep

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