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Old 15th December 2011, 10:36   #1336
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

HVK Scorpio
Aug 12, Bombay-Behror, 1402 kms
Aug 13, Behror-Rampur, 692 kms
Aug 14, Rampur-Chitkul, 144 kms
Aug 15, Chitkul-Pooh, 207 kms
Aug 16, Pooh-Kaza, 178 kms
Aug 17-19, Kaza, 291 kms
Aug 20, Kaza-Jispa, 236 kms
Aug 21, Jispa-Leh, 374 kms
Aug 22, Leh-Kargil, 343 kms
Aug 23, Kargil-Padum, 248 kms
Aug 24, Padum-Kargil, 275 kms
Aug 25, Kargil-Leh, 259 kms
Aug 26, Leh, 148 kms


Aug 27, 2011, Leh-Turtuk, 241 kms


34°50'44"N 76°49'39"E
NORTHERN MOST POINT IN INDIA



Did you know that Turtuk is the northern most point in India motorable by road for Indian civilians?

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9220 feet MSL, nearly half that of Khardung la where we were just a few hours ago.

Just 15 more kms to the Gorkha Ridge, which is the final border post.

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An unique village populated by Baltistanis from yonder Pamirs in distant Central Asia, all Muslim, but speaking a strange dialect, with not-conservative women-folk and just 4 or 5 villages of them in the Nubra Valley.

They call themselves the Apricot Capital of the Indian sub-continent.

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Photo: TD

They sat their most popular sport is Polo and their team is one of the best in Ladakh.

...and they even have their own Raja of Turtuk!

The Outlook magazine ran an article on them recently - found that there were unusual number of them who were living long, some centenarians too - no doubt, the salubrious atmosphere and the food they have!

So are we here to find out the secret of their youth and long life??

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That is Rahmatullah Khan, the owner of the Turtuk Holiday Cap where we stayed for the night
Photo: BolBolero

Last edited by hvkumar : 15th December 2011 at 10:43.
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Old 15th December 2011, 11:27   #1337
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

HVK Scorpio
Aug 12, Bombay-Behror, 1402 kms
Aug 13, Behror-Rampur, 692 kms
Aug 14, Rampur-Chitkul, 144 kms
Aug 15, Chitkul-Pooh, 207 kms
Aug 16, Pooh-Kaza, 178 kms
Aug 17-19, Kaza, 291 kms
Aug 20, Kaza-Jispa, 236 kms
Aug 21, Jispa-Leh, 374 kms
Aug 22, Leh-Kargil, 343 kms
Aug 23, Kargil-Padum, 248 kms
Aug 24, Padum-Kargil, 275 kms
Aug 25, Kargil-Leh, 259 kms
Aug 26, Leh, 148 kms


Aug 27, 2011, Leh-Turtuk, 241 kms

Turtuk Holiday Camp - probably the only decent resort here, it opened last year. Owned by TK's family (TK was the man we got to arrange permits for us in Leh) and managed by his brother Rahmatullah Khan. Not exactly cheap, but this is in the end of the Indian world after all.

We took over the lovely tent camp - all 8 tents occupied by the 16 of us - which we had booked in advance. None of the tents, barring one (which we allotted to SS & DB) have toilets, there is a common but clean toilet for all of us. No power either, it runs on generator for some part of the late evening, but is under darkness all night and early morning.

Rice for dinner, bread for breakfast, they were carried by us in our car for the Turtuk Holiday Camp kitchen!

Why was I so desperate to reach Turtuk as early as possible? Because we wanted to take a walking tour of the Turtuk Village before it became too dark. Villages like Turtuk are very deceptive - you don't see anything on the road, they are actually located away from the road. You have to walk up a steep path (no motorable road) to reach a ridge overlooking the Valley - with the River Shayok winding its way to POK hardly 10 kms away.

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Rahmatullah Khan showed us the Paki border posts - and the Indian border posts to counter them! - and we shivered at the thought of these brave jawans facing each other in this icy wilderness throughout the year in constant vigil to guard their respective borders. People like Rahmat appeared to be very happy that the village of Turtuk is now opened up so that they can earn some money from domestic tourists. He was born when his village was in POK and laments the lack of any development, but Turtuk is quite a rich village as we are to find out.

What strikes you first is how clean the entire village is! And how orderly are the paths through the fields and village, as you can see from the photos Lalu has already uploaded. The fields are lush, there are vegetable,s fruits and grains being grown there, am sure they must be totally self-sufficient.

And also Poppies! We asked them, what do you do with it, and they say there is no market - no, it is not used to make Heroin drugs!

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Apricots - they claim that they have the best in the entire Indian sub-continent. Golly, we arrived in the peak growing season and the trees were heavy with the golden fruit. They were delicious as they said. We also got Rahmat to get us some dried apricots to take back home.

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There is one part of the village which is where they play POlo - and apparently the Turtuk team is one of the favourites to win the Polo tournament in Leh during the Ladakh Festival every September. We did not see any ponies though.

The village is quite well-populated with many cute kids and not-so-shy women and they were all delighted to see us as our team walked through the gullies of the village. We saw a homestay inside the village too, a nice play to stay in. Unfortunately, we did not visit the Raja in his Palace for some reason.

But surely the most unique place were this one corner of the village which they called the Fridge-cum-Heater. A place where some cavities under the rocks had been converted into store rooms, apparently keeps food items cool during summer, warm during winter. You can feel the cool draught - as though someone opened a fridge door - even as we stand outside the cavities.

It was getting to be dark and almost 630 pm when we went past the ancient mosque and returned to the camp. Dinner followed and then sleep.

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Photos are by members of the team
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Old 15th December 2011, 13:37   #1338
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

HVK Scorpio, Log Book of Aug 27, 2011, Leh-Turtuk, 241 kms
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Old 15th December 2011, 20:04   #1339
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16 - 27th August 2011 - Khardung La-Hundar

After the detailed description by HVK and a Lalu there is nothing left for me to say. All i am going to try and do is post a few pics that may be different from the ones posted by Lalu.HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_0065.jpg

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Old 15th December 2011, 20:32   #1340
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16 - 27th August 2011 - Hundar_Turtuk

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Old 15th December 2011, 22:02   #1341
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
But surely the most unique place were this one corner of the village which they called the Fridge-cum-Heater. A place where some cavities under the rocks had been converted into store rooms, apparently keeps food items cool during summer, warm during winter. You can feel the cool draught - as though someone opened a fridge door - even as we stand outside the cavities.


Here is KSM-vTEC's photo of the fridge-cum-heater place in Turtuk Village. Note the small doors which open into the storage chambers.
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Old 16th December 2011, 00:53   #1342
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 11: Leh to Turtuk 27th. August 2011

Part II: KhardungLa to Turtuk


As KSM-Vtec so succinctly put it, not much to say after the narration by Chief HVK and laluks! So just a photologue...

The roads towards Diskit
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A village amongst all the barrenness
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Flowing river Shayok? I don't think so!
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Mountains
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The village from a different perspective
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Moonscapes again?
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River Shayok
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and the valley it irrigates
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River Shayok
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HVK explaining something to JeepCaptain with a bemused KSM-Vtec looking on!
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BolBolero and no_enthu_da
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Reclining laluks and clicking JP!
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JeepCaptain posing for NJ with the rides in the background
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River Shayok!
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The twisting road to Diskit..
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which sort of straightens out...
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only for us to wait at the edge of the river to let the army convoy pass..
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before getting on to this beautiful piece of Tar...
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viewed from a higher altitude!
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to be continued....
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Old 16th December 2011, 09:11   #1343
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 11: Leh to Turtuk 27th. August 2011

Part II: KhardungLa to Turtuk


The photologue continues...

Brown Mountains and Blue Sky at Diskit
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Prayer wheel @ Diskit
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Diskit Gompa
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Hundar Sand Dunes
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Bactrian Camels @ Hundar
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Sand dunes with mountain in the background
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Will somebody identify this bird?
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The rides @ Hundar
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The camels moving away...
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The dunes and the mountains
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The IPHE team
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and JeepCaptain, our very own waterbaby!
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to be continued...
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Old 16th December 2011, 09:27   #1344
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

I thought it will be interested to bring a comparative perspective on the photos between the 2009 and 2011 drives, especially in the context of Lalu complaining that there was lots of blue water when we visited 2 years ago.

Let us see whether he is right!
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Old 16th December 2011, 10:45   #1345
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Regarding the blue water, some pictures from 2009 by SJ_Koova
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Some from my side
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I rest my case
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Old 16th December 2011, 11:14   #1346
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Wow! the water is really blue, your case is settled, it was more blue in 2009
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Old 16th December 2011, 13:22   #1347
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

My 2 cents

Blue water is pure Ice melt

Brown water is rain water coming down mountain sides and carrying a lot of silt along
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Old 16th December 2011, 13:46   #1348
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

You must have crossed Thoise en route to Turtok, any clicks of the airport?? Also I believe somewhere in between Diskit and Turtok, there is a road that joins to Warshi, any news on that??

Regards

EDIT: I might be jumping the gun here and going ahead of the travelogue, but did you go towards Warshi too??

Last edited by deky : 16th December 2011 at 13:49.
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Old 16th December 2011, 14:16   #1349
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
You must have crossed Thoise en route to Turtok, any clicks of the airport?? Also I believe somewhere in between Diskit and Turtok, there is a road that joins to Warshi, any news on that??

Regards

EDIT: I might be jumping the gun here and going ahead of the travelogue, but did you go towards Warshi too??

Yes we did cross the air strip..i think Anku should have some pics. I remember Kunal out of the window with the camera in that section

Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 16th December 2011 at 14:17.
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Old 16th December 2011, 22:24   #1350
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by deky View Post
You must have crossed Thoise en route to Turtok, any clicks of the airport?? Also I believe somewhere in between Diskit and Turtok, there is a road that joins to Warshi, any news on that??

Regards

EDIT: I might be jumping the gun here and going ahead of the travelogue, but did you go towards Warshi too??
No, we did not go to Warshi. I saw the signboards pointing to it across the river after the Largiap Bridge and before Changmar. Are civilians allowed there? What goes there?

Lalu has already uploaded a couple of photos on the Thoise air strip, but I will also search the other albums for more.
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